War Su Gai (Almond Boneless Chicken)

war su gai

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Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 60 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 3 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
487 Calories
24g Fat
22g Carbs
42g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 487
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 149mg 50%
Sodium 770mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 42g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 102mg 8%
Iron 3mg 16%
Potassium 571mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

War Su Gai is a Chinese-American dish consisting of deep-fried chicken that is coated with flavorful gravy and garnished with almonds. Although not widely available, it's a specialty in Detroit, Michigan, Columbus, Ohio, and no doubt a few other areas. In this version, I've used oyster sauce in the marinade to lend extra flavor to the cooked chicken.


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For the Marinade:

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce

For the Batter:

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped green onion

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water, or more as needed

For the Gravy:

  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth, preferably reduced sodium

  • 2 ounces (1 to 1 1/4 cups) fresh mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 stalk celery, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon rice wine, or dry sherry

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons water

  • Oil, as needed, for deep-frying

  • 2 leaves romaine lettuce, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, for optional garnish

Steps to Make It

Prep the Chicken and Marinade:

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Pat the chicken breast halves dry.

  3. Rub the salt, pepper and oyster sauce over the chicken. Place in the refrigerator to marinate while preparing the other ingredients.

Make the Batter:

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in a bowl, stirring to make sure the baking powder is mixed in evenly.

  3. Stir in the chopped green onion.

  4. Add the egg, then enough water to make a smooth batter.

Deep-fry the Chicken:

  1. Heat the oil in a wok or electric wok to 375 F.

  2. Coat a chicken breast in the batter.

  3. Then carefully add to the deep-fry oil. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes on one side, then turn over and deep-fry on the other side until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through—10 to 15 minutes total. (You will probably need to cook the chicken in batches).

  4. Drain the deep-fried chicken on paper towels or on a tempura rack.

Make the Gravy:

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Bring the chicken broth to a boil on medium heat. Add the mushrooms and chopped celery. Bring to a boil.

  3. Stir in the rice wine or sherry.

  4. Give the cornstarch slurry a quick re-stir, then pour it in and stir quickly until the sauce thickens.

  5. To serve, cut the chicken into thin slices and arrange on the lettuce. Pour the sauce over and garnish with the almonds.

  6. Enjoy!

Recipe Variation

  • Feel free to vary the vegetables, for example replacing half the mushrooms with water chestnuts.

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