Peanut Chicken

I invented this crispy peanut chicken recipe as a copy of a dish that my husband used to eat at a Chinese restaurant in the U.S. It’s definitely not the healthiest dish, but once in a while we really enjoy this for dinner.

Japan notes: Peanut butter is definitely available in Japan, in small, expensive jars. American brands are sold at import stores and some grocery stores. I have never tried the Japanese product called “peanut cream,” so I don’t know how that compares. We usually get our peanut butter from loving family members who send it from the U.S.

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts
1/2 tbsp grated ginger
1/2 tbsp sake or rice wine
salt and pepper
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup peanut butter (we prefer chunky)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
extra vegetable oil for frying
1 tbsp sesame oil

Squeeze the juice from the grated ginger into a bowl. Add sake and mix. Cut the chicken breasts into strips. Add the chicken to the bowl, add a sprinkle each of salt and pepper, and stir to coat. Let the chicken marinate for at least 20 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and shake off any excess liquid. Coat the chicken in cornstarch. I find the easiest way is to put the chicken pieces and cornstarch in a bowl, cover with a lid, and shake it to coat them evenly.

Heat about 2″ vegetable oil on the stove and add sesame oil for flavor. Once the oil is hot, fry the chicken a few pieces at a time until golden brown. Drain on paper towels to remove extra oil.

Make the peanut sauce by heating the peanut butter in a saucepan over low heat until it softens. Add the sugar and vegetable oil and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar melts.

To serve, I like to put the chicken on the plate and drizzle peanut sauce over. This keeps the chicken crispy. I usually serve this with rice and some green veggies. The peanut sauce is good over the vegetable as well!

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