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Asian Sweet & Pungent Chicken

Asian Aromatic Sweet & Pungent Chicken 

This Asian Aromatic Chicken has a tangy, sweet, and pungent sauce that combines garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and crispy coated succulent chicken, that will leave you craving more. 

I have had this recipe in my recipe box for nearly 30 years and have made it numerous times over the years. I originally acquired it through the owner of a little Asian restaurant back when I was living in Southern California. 

I have made a few changes to it over the years to make it simpler to prepare, but it is still one of the very best dishes I have ever tried! It is also great made with 2 pounds of shrimp in place of the chicken. 

Asian Sweet and Pungent Aromatic chicken

Prepare the sweet and pungent sauce:

In a bowl, combine the ketchup, cooking sherry, red pepper flakes, grated ginger, sugar, and salt.  Mix well and set aside. If you want to heat up the sauce a bit, you can add more red pepper flakes. I like to use freshly grated ginger in my recipes because nothing compares to the taste of fresh ginger. 

Tip: I used to avoid buying fresh ginger because I could never use it up before it would spoil. But then I discovered that you can buy fresh ginger root and store it in your freezer. When you need it, simply grate as much as you need and put it back into the freezer! There is no need to peel it and it grates well when frozen. This will allow you have fresh ginger root on hand for months. Fresh ginger root is not only more delicious, but also more nutritious.

1/2 cup ketchup 

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cooking sherry 

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger  

1 1/2 teaspoon salt,

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Prepare the Chicken:

Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and place it into a resealable plastic bag. Pour cornstarch over the chicken, close the bag, and shake until the chicken is well-coated. 

1 cup cornstarch

Add about half of the canola or vegetable oil to a wok and heat until oil is shimmering. Shake any excess cornstarch from the chicken as you add it to the wok to cook. Add about half the chicken. As it cooks, turn it carefully until cooked through and lightly browned on all sides. Remove the chicken and drain on paper towels. To prevent the coating from falling off of the chicken do not stir. Repeat the process by adding the remaining canola or vegetable oil and the rest of the chicken to the wok. 

Asian Aromatic Chicken

Cook Remaining Ingredients:

Once the remaining chicken is cooked and removed from the pan to drain, chop the green onion and add it to the wok along with the sesame oil, red pepper flakes, and sesame seed and cook for 1 minute. 

2 green onions, Chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon sesame seed

Once the onions are wilted, add the sauce to the wok and cook until heated. Add the chicken, and carefully stir it into the sauce. Once it is heated through, it is ready to be devoured!

I usually serve this Asian Aromatic Chicken over steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables or broccoli. Each tender bite offers a blend of aromatic spices and delightful tanginess.

Serves 6

Asian Aromatic Chicken

This Asian Aromatic Chicken has a delicious, tangy, sweet, and pungent glaze that combines aromatic Asian spices, and crispy-coated tender chicken, which will leave you craving more.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course dinner, main entree, Supper
Cuisine Asian
Servings 6


  • 1 Wok


Combine Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp Cooking sherry Or white wine
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed red pepper flakes

Prepare the Chicken:

  • 2 pounds Boneless chicken breast Cut into bite-sized pieces or 1-inch strips
  • 1/3 cup Canola or vegetable oil For frying chicken
  • 1 cups Corn starch

Add Remaining Ingredients to Wok:

  • 2 Green onions chopped
  • 1 tbsp Sesame seed
  • 1 tbsp Sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Minced fresh garlic or bottled minced garlic


For the sauce:

  • In a bowl, combine the ketchup, cooking sherry, red pepper flakes, grated ginger, sugar, and salt.  Mix well and set aside.

For the chicken:

  • Heat the wok with half the oil (about 2 1/2 tbsp) on high heat until hot.
  • Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces or 1 inch strips.
  • Using a gallon-sized zip-loc bag, add cornstarch and chicken to bag and shake until coated evenly. Shake all excess cornstarch off chicken and fry 1/2 the chicken in canola or vegetable oil. Cook until lightly browned and chicken is cooked through. Turn chicken as needed to brown all sides. Set aside to drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Cook the remaining chicken following the same steps.

Combine All Ingredients:

  • Add sesame oil, garlic, green onion and, red pepper flakes to wok and cook for 1 minute. Pour the prepared sauce back into the wok with the cooked onion and garlic and cook and stir until heated. Add the chicken, carefully stir, and cook for 2 more minutes until heated through.
  • Serve over prepared sticky rice.


  • Asian Aromatic ChickenI usually prepare about 5 cups of rice for the chicken.
  • I serve this meal with steamed broccoli seasoned with 1 tsp of olive oil and chicken bullion.
  • You can use more or less of the red pepper flakes depending on your preference for spiciness.
  • Use caution stirring the chicken as you cook it so that the coating does not fall off into the wok.
Keyword Aromatic Chicken, Asian Aromatic Shrimp, Asian Chicken, Sweet and Pungent Chicken

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Laura Coufal

About Laura

I  am a Southern California turned small town, Midwest Mom. I am wife to Bruce and mom to my three girls.

Back when I first started my organizing journey in 2013, I had what I thought of as a dirty little secret. I have ADHD and although I am organized, and enjoy the process of sorting, and tidying. I knew that there were many others with ADHD who really struggled with staying organized. I had a case of imposter syndrome and mostly kept the fact that I had ADHD to myself. That is until I learned that there are other successful professional organizers who have also learned to compensate for their ADHD.

I eventually realized that my need for order and simplicity actually stems from having ADHD as a way to compensate for my short attention span. So my gifts and my challenges are all ironically tied together to create who I am,  and I am able to relate to and help others as a result of this coping method that I have developed for myself.

I help women and moms with ADHD, but I also help those who struggle with clutter without having ADHD.  Because simplicity and less clutter are always at the heart of staying organized, there is much overlap when it comes to finding solutions to clutter and disorganization.

I am dedicated to keeping my life as simple as possible and to helping others do the same by teaching them how to declutter their homes, simplify their lives, and manage their busy families better.

I have been helping others stay organized since 2013.

It is my deepest hope that you will find resources here that will bring you closer to living a simpler, more intentional, and more peaceful life. 

always have



in your space…

…but let it be

as simple

as a daisy

in a vase.


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