There are certain ingredients I underutilize in my kitchen, and sesame seeds are one of them! I usually think of them reserved for hamburger buns, but these little guys pack big benefits & flavor, despite their tiny size. I’ve wanted to work seeds into my cooking lately, when it dawned on me, one of my favorite recipes growing up features them! So, I decided I was way overdue to make a batch of my Mom’s Sesame Chicken Strips. They are quick, baked, and the nuttiness of the sesame gives them a very crunchy crust. I decided to pair them with a a little sweet & sour sauce I put together with honey and mustard, which makes for the perfect dippage. It turns out sesame seeds happen to be the world’s oldest condiment (I would have thought ketchup:)?! Their culinary applications date back to prehistoric times, and they were readily used by ancient Egyptians for baking. Those guys must have been onto something, check out this profile…
Sesames (Sesamum indicum) are loaded with body-benefiting minerals, vitamins & fiber. Hard to believe that 1/4 of a cup gives us the following Daily Values:
- 73% copper,
- 44% manganese,
- 35% calcium,
- 31% magnesium,
- 29% iron,
- 22% phosphorus,
- 18% zinc, and last but not least,
- 17% of our daily value of fiber.
Well, I’ll be darned! They’re also unique, as they possess two special lignans (sesamin & sesaolin) that help protect against oxidative damage and lower cholesterol. Speaking of lowering cholesterol, sesame seeds contain the highest amount of phytosterols over any other nut/seed, per a study published in The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry. Plant phytosterols are proven very important for lowering cholesterol levels, so why not add a few of these into your cooking?
Despite their healthy disposition, these baby seeds are nutty and add great texture. Easy to throw on salads and into dressings, but why not incorporate them right into your breadcrumb mix? So this is how we use them to make a favorite family chicken recipe…
- 1 package chicken breasts (~4 boneless/skinless), cut into strips (~1lb chicken)
- ½ cup sesame seeds
- 2 cups dry bread crumbs, plain or seasoned
- ⅔ cup flour, for dredging chicken
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten for egg wash
- ½ cup melted butter
- S&P, to taste
- 1T prepared Sweet & Sour sauce
- 1T honey
- ½ T prepared, coarse ground dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp fresh orange zest
- pinch of salt
- Rinse chicken breast, pat dry & season lightly with salt & pepper.
- Cut chicken breasts into small-medium sized strips.
- in a shallow bowl combine sesame seeds and bread crumbs.
- Lightly coat each strip in flour, dip into egg wash, then into bread crumb/sesame mix.
- Place in a single layer on a greased & rimmed baking sheet.
- Pour melted butter evenly on top of layer of strips, bake in 350 degree oven until crispy and cooked through (~25 - 35 minutes depending on how large you decide to cut strips).
- Cool on rack for 2 minutes.
- In small mixing bowl combine 1 T store-bought Sweet & Sour, 1 T honey, ½ T mustard, ¼ tsp orange zest and pinch salt.
- Whisk ingredients combing well.
- Double ingredients if you require more sauce and add more mustard and salt to taste.
These are an easy appetizer, or make them slightly larger as the main protein for your dinner. It’s crucial to time this and serve them right after baking, so avoid leaving them in oven to keep warm, or they’ll become tough and seeds will burn. I have found they’re still delicious & crispy at room temp if you’re serving as an app, and they make for tasty leftovers. There are bountiful choices of dipping sauces, and Lord knows I love ketchup more than the average adult should, but a tangy honey-based sauce really works best with the nutty sesame flavor in my opinion. (Maybe all of those childhood years dipping my Chicken Nuggets in honey really wasn’t all that weird!?) These strips are a convenient way to include more sesame into your diet, and I think they’ll become a repeat recipe in your kitchen also!
Sesame seeds are nutritious & delicious, but thanks to the great & late comedian Mitch Hedburg, they’re also humorous…this is a favorite: Mitch Hedberg Sesame Seeds.Pin It