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Chinese Lemon Chicken

Chinese Lemon Chicken

This Chinese lemon chicken is super easy to make and can be ready in just 30 minutes! Perfect for dinner tonight instead of takeout!

Chinese lemon chicken recipe.

I think lemon chicken is my favourite Chinese takeout food. It’s so tasty, it’s always one of the first things to disappear when we get takeout.

Everyone loves it.

Easy to make homemade lemon chicken recipe.

The only thing I don’t love about it, is the overly sweet lemon sauce. It’s good, but it’s just a little too sweet and not quite lemon-y enough sometimes.

The best part about making Chinese lemon chicken at home is that the sauce is so much better.

Easy to make homemade Chinese lemon chicken.

Just sweet enough with loads of lemon flavour. And it’s super easy to make.

This whole recipe is easy. It takes a few minutes to pan fry all the chicken, but it comes together quickly and is very easy.

Homemade lemon chicken recipe.

If you have a large enough pan to cook all the chicken in one batch it will be ready in just 30 minutes. If you need to cook the chicken in batches it will take a bit longer than that, but it’s still ready quite quickly.

Crispy, sticky, delicious, Chinese lemon chicken at home. Who needs takeout?

Easy to make homemade lemon chicken recipe.

What do you eat lemon chicken with?

We like lemon chicken served over hot, cooked rice, with a vegetable or two on the side.

This Asian broccoli stir fry goes very well with it. Or this Asian chopped salad would be great with it, although that would take longer to prepare.

But some simple steamed vegetables would be great with it too, and keeps dinner prep easy!

Skillet with spoon and homemade Chinese lemon chicken.

How to make Asian Lemon Chicken:

  • Don’t cut your chicken pieces too small or it will take forever to cook them all.
  • Make sure you use enough oil to coat the bottom of your skillet. If you don’t use enough your chicken won’t get as browned and crispy.
  • You can toss all the chicken pieces with the beaten egg in a bowl, but dredge them in the cornstarch individually as you place them in the hot pan.

Here are some more great 30 minute chicken meals:

Skillet with homemade Chinese lemon chicken.
Yield: serves 6

Chinese Lemon Chicken

Homemade lemon chicken recipe.

This Chinese lemon chicken is super easy to make and can be ready in just 30 minutes! Perfect for dinner tonight instead of takeout!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch

For the chicken:

  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds chicken breasts (3-4), cut into 1” pieces
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water


  1. In a bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the chicken broth, lemon juice, lemon zest, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sugar, and corn starch until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Add enough olive oil to a large skillet to completely coat the bottom and heat it over medium heat until it’s hot and rippling.  
  3. Place the cut pieces of chicken into a bowl with the beaten egg and toss to coat them completely in the egg.
  4. Dip each piece of chicken into the cornstarch, coating it completely and place it in the hot skillet.
  5. Repeat with the remaining chicken, placing the pieces in a single layer in the pan. Do this in a couple batches if it doesn’t all fit in a single layer.
  6. Cook the chicken until it’s golden brown and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side.
  7. Move the chicken to a paper towelled lined plate to drain and add a little more oil to the pan if needed to cook the rest of the chicken.
  8. Wipe out any excess oil in the pan and return it to medium heat.
  9. Pour the sauce into the pan and cook, stirring, over medium heat until it comes to a boil.
  10. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens a bit, and then lower the heat to a simmer.
  11. Return the chicken to the pan and stir to coat it in the sauce. Simmer for 1-2 minutes in the sauce and then serve it over hot cooked rice.


Source:  Adapted from The Chinese Takeout Cookbook.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 430Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 160mgSodium: 495mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 49g

Nutrition Information is estimated based on ingredients used and may not be exact.


Saturday 1st of January 2022

Can you substitute the corn starch with something else?


Monday 3rd of January 2022

I haven't tried making this with anything other than corn starch.


Wednesday 21st of April 2021

Sorry, 2-3 lemons for 6 tablespoons! of juice, you kidding? Sometimes I really wonder what the recipe writers are thinkin while writing these recipes. Did you even try out this recipe yourself?


Wednesday 21st of April 2021

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