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Chinese Lemon Chicken

Master a classic Chinese dish with this quick and easy recipe for lemon chicken.

From the book


Most of my memories of this are of breadcrumbed chicken breasts drowning in neon yellow sauce so, when I tried this version, I couldn’t believe it was based on the same dish. It’s truly wonderful.

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For the chicken:
2 tsp cornflour, plus 1 tsp, mixed to a paste with some water (optional)
1 egg white
2 skinless chicken breasts, sliced
2 skinless boneless chicken thighs, sliced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, cut into wedges
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted
2 spring onions, shredded
For the sauce:
150ml chicken stock
juice of 3 lemons
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine or mirin
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ tsp chilli flakes

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Put the cornflour and egg white into a large bowl. Whisk together until it is lump free, then add the chicken. Mix thoroughly so all of the chicken is coated, then leave in the fridge for around 30 minutes, or until you are ready to cook.

Mix all the sauce ingredients together and have them ready by your wok. Heat the oil in the wok. When it starts to shimmer, add the onion and chicken. Stir-fry quickly until the chicken has browned on all sides – no more than a minute or two – some of the breast will cook completely in this time. Pour over the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer for a minute.

If you want to thicken this slightly, add the cornflour paste and continue to cook until thickened. Sprinkle over a few drops of sesame oil, the sesame seeds and the shredded spring onions. Serve with some Chinese greens and steamed rice. 

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From the book: Chicken: Over two hundred recipes devoted to one glorious bird

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