Chinese lemon chicken

Create a takeaway classic at home with this delicious Chinese lemon chicken recipe! Sweet, tangy and utterly tasty, this dish will soon be a family favourite

  • 10 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print
This recipe first appeared in Food magazine issue 72.
Follow Food on Facebook, Instagram and sign up to their e-newsletter.


  • 500 gram boneless chicken thighs or breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • flour for coating
  • oil for cooking
  • toasted sesame seeds
Lemon sauce
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour


  • 1
    Place the chicken pieces in a bowl with the soy sauce, ginger and sesame oil. Mix well to coat the chicken pieces evenly, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, prepare the lemon sauce. Place the lemon juice, water, lemon zest, chicken stock, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and cornflour in a pan. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring, then turn down the heat and simmer the sauce for 2-3 minutes, or until it has thickened. Set the sauce aside and keep it warm.
  • 3
    Place the flour on a plate and coat the chicken pieces in the flour, shaking off any excess. Heat about 1cm of oil in a frypan over a medium-high heat. Cook the chicken pieces in batches for 4-5 minutes until the chicken is crisp and golden and cooked through. Keep the previously fried chicken warm while you are cooking each batch.
  • 4
    To serve, arrange the chicken on a platter, pour over the hot lemon sauce and sprinkle the chicken with sesame seeds.