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A white plate with Asian Lemon Chicken and a fresh lemon wedge. A bowl of fresh lemons is off to the side.

Chinese Lemon Chicken

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Created by Mariam E.
Chicken in lemon sauce has an incredible citrus flavor. If you love orange chicken, you will love this Chinese lemon chicken recipe. Crispy nuggets of chicken are served with a tangy Chinese lemon sauce. It has that authentic restaurant flavor that you love but costs less to make.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Asian
Servings 2 servings


To fry the chicken

  • 1 lb chicken tenderloins cubed
  • 2 tbsps. cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce lite sodium
  • 1 whole egg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 cup all purpose flour for dredging
  • Oil to deep fry

To make the lemon sauce

  • cup chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 tbsps. granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp Salt & pepper each, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ginger finely grated
  • 1 tsp garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 stalks green onion chopped
  • Lemon wedges to garnish


  • Combine the cubed chicken with cornstarch, soy sauce, egg, salt and pepper. Marinate for 10 minutes.
  • Dredge the chicken cubes in all purpose flour and make sure the chicken pieces are evenly coated .
  • Deep fry the chicken cubes until crisp and golden for 4-5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile in a medium bowl combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Mix the sauces and keep it aside.
  • Heat a medium pan, add oil, ginger and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes. Add the sauce mixture and cook for a couple of minutes until the sauce slightly thickens.
  • Transfer the chicken back to the pan and toss the chicken until coated.
  • Finally sprinkle some sesame seeds and green onions, toss and serve while it is still warm with lemon wedges on the side.


  • Chop the chicken into similar sized pieces for even cooking.
  • Allow the chicken to marinate in the cornstarch, soy, egg, salt and pepper mixture before dredging in flour and frying. 
  • For perfectly crispy chicken, make sure the oil is adequately heated before adding the chicken. Be sure the temperature of the oil reaches at least 350 degrees F.
  • If the oil is too hot, it may splatter and will burn the outside of the chicken before the inside is cooked through. 
  • If you have a smaller pot, you may need to cook the chicken in batches. 
  • Drain the fried chicken pieces on paper towels to absorb the excess oil. 
  • Use fresh lemon for the sauce as it will have superior flavor to bottled lemon juice. 
  • For a thicker sauce, you can use a bit more cornstarch.


Calories: 673kcal | Carbohydrates: 91g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 1979mg | Potassium: 1062mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 196IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 5mg
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