Chinese Lemon Chicken
Chinese Lemon Chicken made with crispy fried chicken covered in an authentic, fresh lemon sauce. The ultimate Chinese Lemon Chicken Recipe which is way better than take-out.
My family is obsessed with Chinese food. However, I don't like taking them to those places you find in the mall or quick take-out because I am never really sure what ingredients are in it! I wanted to create a homemade, made from scratch Chinese lemon chicken recipe with only ingredients I can pronounce. It was such a huge hit and time to share the recipe!
My ORANGE CHICKEN RECIPE is one of the most popular recipes on Modern Honey so it was time to share my lemon chicken version.
This Chinese Lemon Chicken is made with boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces, dredged, and then fried until golden and crispy. The fresh lemon sauce is a mix of sweet and sour! It is a sweet lemon sauce made with freshly squeezed lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, red chili flakes, and fresh lemon zest. It is both sweet and spicy and full of flavor. The lemon zest is a must as it gives a big punch of lemon flavor.
How to make Homemade Chinese Lemon Chicken:
- Start with boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs. Cut into bite-size pieces. Dredge the chicken in whisked eggs and cornstarch/flour mixture until nice and coated.
- To make your homemade lemon sauce, place freshly squeezed lemon juice, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and red chili flakes in a small pot and cook over medium-high heat. Add cornstarch and water and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest.
- Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. When frying foods, it is so helpful to use a thermometer. Let the oil heat up to 350 degrees. Once the oil is ready, in batches, cook chicken for about 2 minutes until light golden brown. Repeat with remaining chicken.
- Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Toss fried chicken with the sweet lemon sauce. Top with grated lemon zest and green onions. If you want it to be extra saucy to be served with rice, I suggest 1 ½ times the sauce recipe. Serve immediately.
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Hi there, I’m writing from London England and we don’t have cup measurements here. Is it possible to tell us the ingredients by ounces and pounds along with your cup measurements? Also, how do you get a cupful of butter? Do you have to squeeze a bar ( block ) of butter into a cup and then get it out again? It seems weird to a Brit as we weigh it!
Loving your recipes I read them all the time but not tried yet. Can’t wait. 🤗
1 cup equals 8oz. I hope that helps you.
1/3 cup is 2.7 oz
Mary L Tognazzini
just bought chicken breast, huge so how much chicken by cup?
Yum yum yum! My Husband and I really enjoyed this recipe. When I first looked at the recipe with a cup of lemon juice I thought it would be way to much, I used 3/4 lemon and 1/4 water to make up the amount. I have a Thermomix so making sauces are so easy. I added to the bowl all sauce ingredients set Thermomix
7 minutes / 100* / speed 4 and then walked off and added zest when finished.
1 egg was plenty for coating chicken, flour mixture was perfect. I think this is important…. When the chicken is cooked spoon only enough sauce to coat the chicken and a bit extra for the rice. We had more than 1/2 the sauce left over.
I want to make enough for 15 people, but having other things on menu also should I double or triple the recipe
Amazing recipe! Love the freshness of the lemon!
I haven’t made this but would prefer to use my air fryer. Any recommendations for cooking the chicken that way?
Haven’t tried the lemon chicken yet but we love the Orange Chicken and that’s what’s for supper tonight..
Can you fry the chicken pieces in an oil deep fryer?
Waaaaaay tooooo much lemon juice!
My husband and I absolutely loved this! I’ll probably use a bit less sugar next time but that’s just personal taste. My husband doesn’t really care for chicken and he went back for seconds wonderful bright lemon flavor
I was wondering, could you make the sauce ahead of time and just warm it up when ever you need it? And if so, how long does it keep for?
Yes you can
Hi Alina, when I make Lemon chicken I use a finely minced clove of garlic that I sauté in a bit of oil along with about 1 tablespoon of finely grated fresh ginger just until it’s fragrant. Then I use some chicken broth (or you can use a bit of chicken bouillon if you don’t have chicken broth) to give the lemon sauce a bit of a savoury flavouring while maintaining the taste of the lemon. I hope this helps.
My husband enjoyed the sauce, though we both feel the sauce flavor needs adjusting. I used fresh ingredients, but the flavor entirely tasted like lemonade with a slight spice. Is there any suggestions to what to switch or advice on picking the best lemons for his recipe?
Hi Alina, when I make lemon sauce for Lemon chicken I use chicken broth or chicken bouillon to give it a little bit of a savoury flavouring yet still retaining the lemon taste.
I don’t generally leave feedback on blogs, but this recipe is spot on. The best lemon chicken we’ve ever had!
Delish! Thank you for a lovely dinner idea.
My daughter wanted orange chicken, and I had lemons. What could I do? Make lemon chicken!
Took longer then I normally like for a dinner, but it was so good!! Will make again. 🙂
This looks delicious! I am wondering if you have ever tried making the chicken in an air fryer. I am just starting to use one and it seems that it would cut down on the fat and make this even healthier.
I’m wondering the same. Anyone try using an air fryer?
Your recipe looks good? I wanna make it? But what kind of vinegar is that white vinegarr rice vinegar?