Sha Cha Chicken
Sha Cha Chicken is a flavorful and aromatic dish that is popular in Chinese cuisine; it’s known for its unique blend of ingredients and rich, savory taste. Also known as Chinese BBQ sauce, Sha Cha sauce is a complex, slightly spicy, and savory paste.
Sha Cha sauce, also known as Chinese BBQ sauce or Satay sauce, is a unique and flavorful condiment as it’s a complex blend of ingredients that results in a savory, slightly spicy, and umami-rich sauce. Here are some key characteristics of Sha Cha sauce:
- Seafood Elements: The sauce typically contains dried shrimp, brill fish, and sometimes dried scallops, contributing to its distinct umami and seafood flavors.
- Aromatics and Spices: Garlic, shallots, chilis, and various spices are blended in, adding depth and a bit of heat.
- Soybean Oil: Used as the base, it helps in creating a paste-like consistency.
- Roasted Peanuts: Some variations include peanuts, adding a nutty flavor and thicker texture.
Sha Cha Chicken Dish
- Chicken: The dish typically uses boneless chicken pieces, often breast or thigh, cut into bite-sized chunks. For this dish, we use chicken thighs as we prefer to use thighs over breasts since thighs don’t dry out so easily; thighs are extremely tender and juicy once cooked.
- Vegetables: Commonly used vegetables include bell peppers, onions (such as spring onions), and sometimes carrots, adding color and crunch to the dish. We like to opt for broccoli with our Sha Cha chicken as our unique spin on the dish; broccoli gives the dish a bit of crunch and a pop of color; we just love broccoli and we think you might too!
- Sha Cha Sauce: This is the star ingredient - it’s used to marinate the chicken and also added to the stir-fry, imparting a deep, umami-rich flavor with hints of seafood and a subtle spiciness.
- Aromatics: Garlic and ginger are often used to add depth and fragrance to the dish; to save time when making this recipe with ginger and garlic, we recommend using ginger and garlic paste.
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What's the flavor profile of Sha Cha sauce?
The combination of seafood and aromatics gives Sha Cha sauce a pronounced savory taste with a rich umami depth, and while not overly hot, it does have a subtle spiciness that adds warmth to dishes.
How is Sha Cha sauce used in Chinese cooking?
Sha Cha sauce is incredibly versatile in Chinese cooking; it's commonly used in stir-fries, as a marinade for meats, in hot pot dipping sauces, and sometimes in soup bases, and it's often paired with beef, chicken, or seafood.
Can I store Sha Cha Chicken in the fridge?
Yes, store Sha Cha Chicken in the fridge for roughly three days in an airtight container.
What can I serve with Sha Cha Chicken?
Here are some suggestions on what to serve with Sha Cha Chicken:
- Steamed rice
- Medium egg noodles
- Charred broccoli
- Stir-fried vegetables
Sha Cha Chicken
We were introduced to this Sha Cha Chicken recipe recently and we couldn’t believe how quick and easy it was to make a restaurant-quality dish like this - the seafood and spicy undertones of the Sha Cha sauce makes this dish truly delicious.
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs - chopped
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1.5 teaspoons minced ginger
1.5 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons sha cha sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 medium white onion
3 green onions (chopped in 1-inch pieces)
vegetable oil (as needed)
Mix the sliced chicken thighs, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 2 teaspoons cornstarch in a bowl.
Heat a pan over high heat with a little bit of vegetable oil. Once the pan is hot, add the chopped chicken thighs to the pan until the chicken slices cook on the outside - roughly 30 seconds on each side. It’s fine if the slices are still slightly pink in the center since we will put the chicken back into the pan to cook completely. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.
Reduce the heat to medium heat. Add 1.5 teaspoons of ginger, 1.5 teaspoons of garlic, 2 tablespoons of sha cha sauce, 2 teaspoons of sugar, and half the chopped white onion to the pan and cook for 1 minute.
After 1 minute, add the chicken and the green onions into the pan with the sha cha sauce mixture. Cook everything on high heat until the white onions are opaque and the green onions have wilted. The chicken should also be completely cooked through.
While cooking the chicken initially, you may have to cook the chicken in batches so that you can evenly cook each piece of chicken.
- Calories 219 kcal |
- Carbohydrate Content 10.3 g |
- Cholesterol Content 106.5 mg |
- Fat Content 9.3 g |
- Fiber Content 0.6 g |
- Protein Content 22.8 g |
- Serving Size 1 portion |
- Sodium Content 214.5 mg |
- Sugar Content 6.7 g |