I've talked before about how my kids are pretty adventurous eaters (yesterday, they chowed down on calamari with their Nana). Some of it is totally luck. Some of it is just consistent exposure to new foods and flavors.
We take the kids with us to different restaurants and encourage them to try bites of whatever we're eating. We also try to make things for them at home that they recognize as something they love (i.e. noodles, pasta, chicken strips) but turn them up a bit with exotic flavors.
One favorite meal that does this is Simple Soy Chicken Tenders with Fried Rice!
The recipe does have some prep work and a few simple steps but is really yummy and appealing to kids. 99.9% of kids love chicken tenders and this recipe just coats that favorite with a tasty soy sauce then pairs it with easy-to-make, flavor-infused frozen fried rice (like, make in the microwave easy!).
My favorite part is that I can chop, mince, and prep all the ingredients in the morning when my kids are still quiet and waking up. I just put each component into a zipper baggie and stash them in the fridge until I'm ready to cook.
If you'd like to add a vegetable to this meal, just roast some green beans and then lightly saute them in a bit of sesame oil.
When I make this at home, I like to pair our soy chicken tenders with some Ling Ling Yakitori Chicken Asian Style Fried Rice – the Japanese inspired flavors pair really well with the savory soy flavor of the tenders.
I always have a box of Ling Ling Fried Rice in my freezer since it's so easy to snag one in the freezer aisle at Walmart plus, they taste SO GOOD. Honestly, you can't even tell the difference between it and a restaurant side dish.
Simple Soy Chicken Tenders and Fried Rice
A simple way to introduce new flavors to your kids.
- 1 thumb ginger peeled and minced
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 scallions
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 12 ounces chicken tenders
- 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Peel and mince ginger and garlic. Trim, then thinly slice the scallions - keep the whites and greens separate (you will cook with the whites and use the greens for a garnish).
Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil into a pan preheated over medium-high heat. Use paper towels to pat the chicken dry and then add them in a single layer to the oiled pan. Cook 2-4 minutes per side (until lightly browned but not cooked completely through). Remove from the pan and set aside.
Whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Drizzle the pan with the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the scallion whites, garlic, and ginger to the pan and toss to cook for 1-2 minutes (until softened). Stir in soy sauce mixture and simmer until slightly thickened (about 2 minutes).
Return the chicken to the pan and toss to coat with the thickened soy sauce. Allow to completely cook through, about 2-3 minutes. Add to microwaved fried rice and garnish with scallion greens and sesame seeds.