This Crispy Lemon Chicken is a classic Chinese-style takeout dinner that is so easy to make at home! Quick, simple, and full of sticky honey and lemon flavor!Jump to Recipe
This Crispy Lemon Chicken is one of my favourite chicken recipes, and we cook it very frequently at home, especially during weekend nights when we're craving Chinese takeout. Made with fresh and easily-accessible or pantry ingredients, this recipe can be easily made at home, and tastes better than Chinese takeout chicken! So why don't you give this a try? I promise it will become one of your go-to recipes in no time!
What is Crispy Lemon Chicken?
Chinese-style lemon chicken is a popular takeout dish consisting of fried battered chicken strips or pieces which are then covered with a freshly made sweet-and-sour lemon sauce. Lemon chicken is typically served with rice.
How to Make Crispy Lemon Chicken (Step by Step)
This delicious Crispy Lemon Chicken can be easily made in your home with ingredients you probably have in your pantry/ fridge right now! It's ready in under an hour and makes a great alternative to takeout, knowing exactly what's in it!
Ingredients for Crispy Lemon Chicken
For this lemon chicken, you will need the following ingredients:
- Skinless, boneless chicken breast: Chicken breast needs to be cleaned and cut into strips or bite sized pieces, whatever you prefer 🙂
- Scallion (green onion): This is used for the honey lemon sauce and for topping
- Soy sauce: Soy sauce is needed to marinate the chicken and for the sauce
- Garlic: This will give the sauce a lot of flavor. Garlic needs to be finely diced
- Fresh Ginger: This will also be used for the sauce, for flavor
- Egg: Used to dip the chicken strips before frying
- Lemon juice: For the honey lemon sauce
- Sliced lemon: This will be added to the sauce whilst it is simmering to provide more flavor and color!
- Cornflour + cold water: A cornflour slurry is needed to thicken the sauce. It's really important to use cold water!
- Honey: Used to give a sweet flavor and to make the sauce "sticky"
- Sunflower oil: For frying the chicken. You'd need to fill your skillet with an amount of at least half the thickness of your chicken slices/pieces. Use a smaller skillet and cook your chicken in batches.
- Sesame seeds: These are optional and are used for topping the honey lemon glazed chicken 🙂
Making Crispy Chicken
To make the crispy chicken, start by cleaning the chicken breast and slicing it into strips or bite sized pieces. Please note that cooking time will depend on the thickness of your chicken. Place the chicken into a large bowl or plate and marinate in soy sauce for at least half an hour (and up to 2 hours).
Beat an egg in a small bowl and place cornflour into another bowl. In the meantime, heat sunflower oil in a skillet or pan. You would need enough oil to cover at least half the thickness of your chicken. Make sure the oil is sizzling before you start frying the chicken.
Dip each chicken strip/ piece into the egg mixture and then into the cornflour and shake to remove excess flour. Fry the chicken in sizzling oil for 1-2 minutes on each side, being very careful of the hot oil. You may need to do this in batches. The chicken should be a nice golden brown. Transfer the chicken onto a plate lined with kitchen paper towels to soak excess oil.
Making Honey Lemon Sauce
To make the sauce, start by heating sunflower oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallion and sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly using a wooden spoon. Be careful not to burn the garlic!
Add soy sauce, honey, and lemon juice, and bring to a simmer. Mix cornflour with cold water, add the the skillet and lower the heat. Stir constantly until the mixture starts to thicken. If it thickens too much, add more water. Then, add the cooked chicken strips/pieces and sliced lemon and mix well to glaze the chicken with the sauce. Simmer on low heat for 1-2 minutes and remove from heat.
Serve the lemon chicken on fluffy white rice and sprinkle with sliced scallion and sesame seeds as desired.
Tips for the Perfect Crispy Lemon Chicken
- It's important to coat the chicken completely and evenly with cornflour to ensure crispiness throughout.
- You'll need to use enough oil to cover at least half of your chicken (in thickness). Use a small skillet and fry your chicken in batches if needed.
- The sauce should be thick and sticky and should be just enough to glaze the chicken. Add more water if you'd like a thinner consistency.
- It's important to use fresh lemon (juice) and slices and fresh garlic and ginger to obtain a full flavor!
Storing Crispy Lemon Chicken
If storing the chicken, skip the sesame seeds and scallion toppings, allow to cool completely and chill in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Warm in a microwave or skillet before serving.
Have you tried this Chinese-style Crispy Lemon Chicken? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and don't forget to rate the recipe! Also, don't forget to follow Baked Fig on Pinterest, and Instagram to stay updated with any new recipes! Also, check out these other great Asian-inspired recipes.
Crispy Lemon Chicken
- 1 whole skinless boneless chicken breast cut into strips
- 6 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 egg large, beaten
- 90 g cornflour (¾ cup)
- 120 mL vegetable oil (sunflower or canola oil, ½ cup), depending on chicken thickness and pan size
Honey Lemon Sauce
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil (sunflower or canola oil)
- 1 scallion sliced
- 2 garlic cloves finely diced
- ½ tsp fresh ginger grated
- 5 tbsp lemon juice fresh
- 1 lemon sliced
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 180 mL cold water (⅔ cup)
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds optional
- Clean and cut the chicken breast into strips or bite-sized pieces. Place in a bowl with 6 tbsp soy sauce and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes (up to 2 hours).
- In the meantime, beat egg into a small bowl and place cornflour into another bowl. Prepare a small pan with vegetable oil (you will need to have enough to cover at least half the thickness of your chicken).
- Bring the oil to a sizzle on high heat. Dip the chicken strips into the egg mixture, and then into the cornflour, making sure to coat the chicken evenly and completely. Shake to remove excess cornflour.
- Carefully, place coated chicken strips into sizzling oil and fry for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through. (Frying time will depend on thickness of the chicken).
- Transfer cooked chicken onto a plate lined with kitchen paper towel to drain excess oil.
Honey Lemon Sauce
- Heat 1 tbsp. vegetable oil in a large non-stick skillet and add the garlic, ginger, and scallion. Sauté on medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, being careful not to burn the garlic.
- Add 1 tbsp. soy sauce, honey and lemon juice and bring to a simmer.
- Mix 2 tbsp. cornflour in cold water to make a cornflour slurry. Add this to your skillet and mix well to combine. The sauce will thicken as it starts to simmer. Lower down the heat. Sauce should be thick and sticky, but add more water if you'd like a thinner sauce.
- Add cooked chicken and sliced lemon and mix well to glaze the chicken pieces with sauce. Simmer for 1-2 minutes and remove from heat. Serve with white rice or steamed vegetables and top with sesame seeds and sliced scallion.