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Chicken and Lychee in Sweet and Sour Sauce

This chicken and lychee in sweet and sour sauce is one of my Mom’s staple dish to celebrate Chinese New Year. Since the CNY celebration lasts for 15 long days, and some families will gather for a big feast on the 15th day of CNY, I thought I would squeeze in one more dish appropriate for this occasion :)

Chicken and Lychee in Sweet and Sour Sauce

Chicken and Lychee in Sweet and Sour Sauce

This dish is extremely easy to prepare, and super fast too, especially since the chicken is cut into really thin slices. I actually like making this dish throughout the year and not just for Chinese New Year, and it is a great way to finish off those cans of lychee if you are lucky enough to be gifted this. Well, exchanging gifts is part of the custom during CNY, and sometimes one can end up with many canned or fresh fruits. So, usually during CNY, dishes with fruits will naturally crop up to take advantage of all those fruits. ♥

Chicken and Lychee in Sweet and Sour Sauce

Chicken and Lychee in Sweet and Sour Sauce

Chicken and Lychee in Sweet and Sour Sauce

5.0 from 6 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

Serves: 6

Print Recipe


  • 500 gram skinless boneless chicken breast (Indonesian: ayam dada), cut into thin slices
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch (Indonesian: tepung maizena)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 inch ginger (Indonesian: jahe), grated
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion (Indonesian: bawang bombay), thinly sliced
  • 3 red chilies (Indonesian: cabe merah besar), cut into 1 inch squares (*)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper (Indonesian: bubuk lada putih)
  • 1 can (565 gram / 20 oz) of lychee in syrup, drained but reserve syrup for making the sauce
  • corn starch liquid (1/2 tablespoon corn starch + 1 tablespoon water)
  • 2 scallions (Indonesian: daun bawang), thinly sliced diagonally
  • Sauce
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup syrup from the can of lychee
  • 1/2 cup drinking water
  • 2 tablespoon plum sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. Marinate chicken breast with corn starch, salt, and grated ginger for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside. You can actually adjust the taste of the sauce at this stage with salt and sugar. :)
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan/wok and sauté onion and red chilies until the onion looks wilted and slighty translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add chicken breast into the pan and stir until no longer pink, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Pour the sauce into the pan and bring to a boil. Add the ground white pepper, mix well, and adjust taste as needed.
  6. Add the lychee and mix well. Thicken the sauce with corn starch liquid.
  7. Turn off heat, transfer to a serving plate and garnish the sliced scallions. Serve immediately with steamed white rice.


  • (*) You can substitute this with one red bell pepper.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • Yi @ Yi Reservation Yi @ Yi Reservation says:

    I have to tell you that I've never cooked lychee with meat before! This is totally new to me but I am so curious now that I have to try it! I am just glad that the recipe is not calling for fresh lychee because that's not something I see everyday here in NYC. Thanks for sharing!

    • Anita Anita says:

      I actually never expected this to be a strange dish since my Mom always make this for every Chinese New Year without fail, but those who love sweet and sour chicken/pork/etc will definitely love this since both dishes pair fruit with meat.♥

      • Denis Denis says:

        Had this dish in 1972 at a take away in Uxbridge your recipe put another element to it.

  • Salim J Kabir Salim J Kabir says:

    Hello Anita I love Malay and Indonesian and Thai food all time favorite. I love your blog and thanks for all types of food recopies you provide for us. Regards Salim Kabir .

  • Food to Fitness Food to Fitness says:

    Chicken and lychee...that's a rare combination. Worth a try. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Marlyzen Marlyzen says:

    Hi Anita, Thanks for this recipe, I made it and it was wonderful! I used fresh lychees and a can of lychee drink for the sauce. So yummy! Link and credit here: http://www.marlyzen.com/2016/02/poulet-aux-litchis-sauce-aigre-douce.html

    • Anita Anita says:

      Wow, fresh lychees! I bet it tastes really wonderful :)

  • Sara Welch Sara Welch says:

    Wow, this is my kind of recipe! Unique, flavorful and easy too! Adding this to my dinner line up for the week!

  • Mirlene Mirlene says:

    WOW! what an interesting combination. I am very much interested in making it.

  • Erica Schwarz Erica Schwarz says:

    My friend here in Florida has a lychee tree! We're going to try this recipe when she has extra lychees.

  • Krissy Allori Krissy Allori says:

    This looks like a fabulous dish. I love all the flavors and when I've had this dish in the past, it was always a winner.

  • Cate Cate says:

    Wow! I've never heard of something like this, but it sounds delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

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