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 1/2 times the sauce recipe. Serve immediately.
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This Chinese Lemon Chicken is way better than take-out!
- (4) Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (cut into bite-size pieces)
- 3 large Eggs (whisked)
- 1/3 cup Cornstarch
- 1/3 cup Flour
- 1 cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice (from about 4-5 lemons)
- 2/3 cup Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon Ginger Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Lemon Zest (from one lemon)
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
In a medium pot, add lemon juice, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and red chili flakes. Heat for 3 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 Tablespoons of water to form a paste. Add to lemon sauce and whisk together. Continue to cook for 5 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken. Once the sauce is thickened, remove from heat and add lemon zest.
- Place flour and cornstarch in a shallow dish or pie plate. Add a pinch of salt. Stir.
Whisk eggs in a shallow dish. Dip chicken pieces in the egg mixture and then flour mixture. Place on a plate.
- Heat 2 -3 inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Using a thermometer, watch for it to reach 350 degrees.
- Working in batches, cook several chicken pieces at a time. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes, turning often until golden brown. Place chicken on a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat.
Toss chicken with lemon sauce. You may reserve some of the sauce to place on rice. Serve it with a sprinkling of green onion and lemon zest, if so desired.
*If serving it with rice, you may want to make extra sauce. I would suggest 1 1/2 times the sauce recipe.