General Tse’s Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken

General Tse' Sweet and Sour Chicken
Gareth Morgans
  • Yield: 2 servings


6 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2teaspoon salt
1/2teaspoon sugar
1tablespoon potato starch, plus extra for coating
3tablespoons water
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Sweet and Sour Sauce
1/2 green or red pepper (or a mixture of each), cut into 1/2- inch dice
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/3cup pineapple chunks
5tablespoons white sugar
5tablespoons ketchup
4tablespoons white vinegar
1 1/4cups cold water
2 lemon slices


  1. Put the chicken in a bowl. Add the salt, sugar, potato starch, and the water and combine well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to marinate in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, fill a wok with approx. 2⁄3 cup oil and preheat over medium heat to 350F. Test the temperature with a bamboo chopstick. Dip an unpainted, natural bamboo chopstick into the oil. If it bubbles rapidly around the chopstick end in the oil, then the oil is hot enough for deep-frying. At this stage reduce the heat to low.
  3. Remove the chicken from the fridge and dip each piece into potato starch to coat it on all sides. Deep-fry the chicken in the hot oil for 5–6 minutes until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  4. Pour off the oil from the wok into a metal container; this can be reused for cooking.
  5. To make the sauce, return the wok to the heat, add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil, and stir-fry the peppers, onion, and pineapple over high heat for 3 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Don’t overcook the sauce or it will caramelize and turn black. Add the cooked pieces of chicken to the bubbling sauce and toss well to coat. Serve with egg-fried rice.

Tip: Marinating the chicken with salt, sugar, and potato starch stops it becoming rubbery. You can poach the chicken first, before stir-frying, to ensure that it stays moist and doesn’t dry out.

Recipe from Sweet Mandarin Cookbook by Helen and Lisa Tse (Kyle books, 2015).