Chicken Breasts with Ketchup

Tomato Ketchup chicken Main edited re-sized

My children used to greet me with cheery and loud “Hi Mama!” when I picked both of them from school. My daughter’s very next statement would inevitably be “What’s for lunch today?”. She still recalls her pleasure when my reply is “Chicken Breasts with Ketchup.” Green vegetables have never been high on her list of favourites. This is another One-dish meal recipe.

Both my son and I like green vegetables so a plate of simple stir fry green vegetables (for example Shanghai Cabbage with Oyster Sauce & Garlic, Click here) usually formed another part of their meal. Another way to get a better balance of fibre and vitamin C would be to serve  a larger portion of fresh fruits.

In those days, a cookbook called “Chinese Cooking for Beginners by Huang Su-Huei” provided several recipes which formed the backbone of my training of my helpers. Quite a number of recipes in that cookbook also suited the taste buds of my ex-pat friends. This recipe was one of the first to hit the right spot with my children.

Preparation of Ingredients

STEP 1. Gather all the ingredients.

  • Skinless, boneless chicken breasts and/or thighs.
  • For marinade – Chinese cooking wine, (optional) ground pepper, and cornflour.
  • For Sauce – light soy sauce, vinegar, sugar,  sesame oil, corn flour and water.

STEP 2. Peel, wash and slice onion into thin wedges.

001 - Chicken Breasts with Ketchup edited re-sized

STEP 3. Cut chicken breast lengthwise into 2 pieces. Then slice each half diagonally into smaller slices.

HINT: To ensure tender slices of chicken after cooking, cut across the grain of the chicken.

002 - Chicken Breasts with Ketchup edited re-sized

STEP 4. Add cooking wine and cornflour to marinade. Mix well. Set aside for 20 mins.

005 - Chicken Breasts with Ketchup edited re-szed

Cooking the Dish

STEP 1. Pan fry chicken slices on medium high heat till bottoms caramelize and the edges whiten. Flip to cook other side. Do not over-cook chicken as it will be added to be cooked with the sauce again. 

007 - Chicken Breasts with Ketchup edited re-sized

STEP 2. Chicken has been removed onto a plate. Add onion wedges and fry for 2 to 3 mins to soften slightly.  Sprinkle some water (perhaps one to 2 Tbsp) to prevent burning if necessary.

008 - Chicken Breasts with Ketchup edited re-sized

STEP 3. Pour sauce over onions and continue to heat and cook for about 2 mins. more. Add cooked chicken breast pieces and continue to cook for a short while till sauce thickens. Should your sauce become too thick, add 1 or 2 Tbps. of water and continue cooking over lower heat. Adjust the thickness of the sauce to your desired consistency.

011 - Chicken Breasts with Ketchup edited re-sized


Serves: 4 to 5 persons


300 gm skinless + boneless chicken breast or thighs

Marinade (chicken for 20 mins)

  • 1 Tbsp cornflour
  • ½ Tbsp Chinese cooking wine
  • Optional. 2 dashes of ground white pepper.

2/3 Cup peeled and thinly wedged onions

Cooking Oil


  • 2 Tbsp water
  • ½ Tbsp light soy sauce
  • ½ Tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp sesame oil


1. Slice breast into halves and then each half into 3 slices. If using thighs, slice into halves. Marinate chicken pieces.

2. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a wok. Add the chicken pieces and fry about 2 mins or so on each side to just cook the chicken. Lift chicken pieces onto a separate plate. Set aside.

3. Add 1 Tbsp oil into wok. Add the onions for a quick stir fry. In case there is a little burning, sprinkle some water and lower heat. Pour in the sauce and bring to boil. Add the chicken and stir fry to mix all ingredients. Test to ensure chicken are properly cooked. Remove onto a serving platter and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Quick Meal. Accompany this dish with bowl of Chinese Soup, rice and a vegetable dish.

Guests are coming! Some other dishes are listed below. Remind your helper to use those ingredients that are already in the fridge, freezer or larder first.

Chinese Soups

1. Jin Hua Ham and Winter Melon Soup. Click here.

2. Lotus Root, Peanut and Pork Ribs. Click here.

3. Radishes and Dried Squid. Click here.

4. Pork Stomach with Peppercorn. Click here

5. Tang Ho with Fishballs. Click here

6. Watercress and Red Dates. Click here.

Seafood dishes

1. Fried Fish with Fermented Black Bean Sauce. Click here.

2. Fish Moolie. Click here.

2. Stuffed You Tiao (Baked).  Click here.

3. Dry Assam Seafood. Click here.

4. Prawns in Tomato Sauce. Click here.

Meat dishes

1. Beef Rendang (spicy). Click here

2. Singapore Curry Chicken (spicy). Click here.

3. Chicken Adobo. Click here.

Vegetable Dishes

1. Broccoli and Meat/Tofu Stir Fry. Click here.

2. Spinach in Broth with 3 types of eggs. Click here.

3. Pork, Spinach and Egg Stir Fry. Click here.

4. Shanghai Cabbage with Oyster Sauce & Garlic. Click here.

Try a little fusion addition with these complimentary Japanese dishes.

1. Chawan Mushi. Click here.

2. Simmered Pumpkin. Click here.

3. Tofu no Shira-ae. Click here.

4. Yawata Maki. Click here


A plate of cold, freshly cut seasonal fruits is always appropriate. Perhaps you had time to make a dessert like one of the several listed below?

1. Almond Jelly + Longans Click here.

2. Coconut Jelly with Can Lychees. Click here.

3. Sweet Potato Dessert Soup. Click here.

4. Sago Pudding. Click here.

5. Orange Agar Agar. Click here.

6. Caramel Custard. Click here.


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