Saturday, December 3, 2005


As I am a big fan of Chinese food, This "LEMON CHICKEN“ is always a fulfilling culinary experience for me. It has the merit of being easy to prepare and not too demanding ingredients-wise.

This traditional Cantonese (Southeastern China) dish allies the subtle tangy sourness of lemon juice with the round and nutty taste of the deliciously crispy chicken nuggets. Like all Cantonese dishes, it is not hot nor too spicy, but succulently stir-fried...

You will discover that eating Chinese food at home is not mission impossible, because cooking dishes from this part of the world is not out of your reach! Once you’ve taken up making your own traditional Chinese specialities, you will not miss going to the restaurant as homemade Asian food can prove to be as fine as professionally prepared meals, if not even better!…

I’ve based this recipe on The Australian Women’s Weekly “Chinese Cooking Class” cookbook and adapted it according to my own gustative memories based on what I had eaten at the Chinese restaurant and in diverse “fast-foods”.

Serves 4

4 Whole chicken breasts
1/2 Cup cornstarch
2 Tbs Water
1 Tbs Light soy sauce or oyster sauce
4 Egg yolks (~50g eggs)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
6 Green shallots (spring onions), chopped
Oil for deep-frying
150ml Lemon juice
3 1/2 Tbs Cornstarch
1 1/2 Tbs Sherry
3 Tbs Light runny honey
2 1/2 Tbs Light brown sugar
240ml Water
2 Cube chicken stock, crumbled
1 Tsp Ginger, finely grated
Salt to taste

1. Cut the chicken breasts in strips. Reserve.
2. For the sauce, combine the lemon juice, cornstarch, sherry, honey, sugar, water, chicken stock and ginger together in a saucepan.
3. Stir over low heat until all the sugar has melted. Then let the sauce boil and thicken. Reserve.
4. Beat the egg yolks, soy sauce and two tablespoons water together. Put the cornstarch into a bowl, gradually add the egg mixture and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.
5. Heat up the oil.
6. Dip the chicken breast strips into the batter.
7. Put a few pieces of chicken into the hot oil and fry until golden. Drain on absorbent paper.
8. Keep warm in a moderate oven (~160°C/325°F) while frying the remaining chicken strips.
9. Arrange the chicken on a serving plate, spoon hot sauce over and sprinkle with the chopped green shallots.

Don’t overcook the sauce, otherwise it will lose all of it’s thickness.
Deep-fry the meat in batches.
If you wish, you could also use duck fillets or lean pork chops for this recipe.
Add the sauce just before serving, otherwise the crispy batter will soften.

Serving suggestions:
Eat this dish with Thai jasmine rice or long grain rice.

(Lemon Chicken -Pic by
(Lemon Chicken -Pic by Rosa
(Cantonese Garden -Pic by Lityuer Liao www.trekearth)


  1. J'aime beaucoup cette recette. Et quelle magnifique illustration! :-)

  2. Merci Elvira pour ton commentaire qui me fait chaud au coeur!

  3. Rosa,
    I followed your link via chanit's blog (she always finds the most interesting sites!) and wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading all of your posts on this page. Two posts in particularly caught my eye...the one on ELLE À TABLE. I picked up a mag in France but didn't know that they have distribution in Italy! I'll have to search for it as my french is non-existent and I always need to rely on my husband to translate.

    Secondly, that Moqueca de peixe sounds really good. I am nuts for exotic food from the tropics and elsewhere and will definitely give this recipe a try. I look forward to the next post!

  4. Bonjour Rosa, just the other day my friend asked me for a chicken with lemony flavour so I suggested a pan grilled breast served w cream lemon sauce. she wanted something quick but I did promise her to look for more lemony kind of recipe. I will forward her this recipe if you dont mind.

  5. This looks absolutely delicious. The photo below of the garden is really nice, too.


  6. Hi,

    No problem, you can forward this recipe to your friend. I hope she will enjoy eating this dish!

    glutton rabbit:
    I always liked this Cantonese speciality! I love Chinese ans Asian food and I cook a lot of specialities. You see, I'm not afraid to try cooking exotic dishes at home. Mostly, I'm more satisfied by them than if I go out to eat!

    Thanks for the nice comments! Yeah, the garden looks peaceful...

  7. Looks great! I've got to try this sometime soon.
    And you did your categories perfectly! I'm sooooooooooooo happy for you! Great job! :D

  8. Hi Obachan,

    Thanks for the nice comment! I'm very pleaed with my categories although this part is still under construction. Your help was very useful!!! THANKS very much...

  9. Great photo! The dish looks so delicious.

  10. This is the first site I have found that has the typical restaurant style Lemon Chicken recipe. You have listed all of the ingredients and not left a thing out. Congratulations! and Thank You!

  11. Hello Rosa,
    I tried your lemon chicken. My whole family loves it! I'm book-marking your recipe for future reference.

    Thanks a bunch!

  12. NIC: Thanks!

    LORI: Thanks for the very kind compliment, Lori!

    SI KARIN: Thanks for your visit and nice comment! I'm ever so happy to hear that my recipe has been enjoyed by your whole family. Wow!

  13. Rosa, thank you for this recipe. I decided to cook it for my family tonight (as my first time cooking a main meal "by myself" - except for the rice, which my mother made)... it turned out nicely. My dad ate half of it on his own! Both mum & dad liked it and have asked me to make it again sometime!! :) Thanks again...oh, and I'll definitely be using more of your recipes in the future! :)

  14. Hello, I was just looking for a nice lemon chicken recipe and I came across yours. I think I'll try it out tonight, as it looks and sounds delicious. Thankyou for posting this ^^ I'm sure it'll be lovely, as others have commented on how nice it was :D

  15. NI: Thanks for passing by and for the kind comment! I hope you'll enjoy that delicious dish :-D!

  16. Hi Rosa,

    Thank you for the recipe! It was easy to follow, and the yummiest I've made yet.

    Vegetarian "chicken" pieces can be substituted, but it helps to microwave them 1-2 minutes before battering and frying. I also grated the lemon peel and added it to the sauce.

  17. Yum, great recipe.

  18. LOVED IT!!!

    Thanks so much.
    Cooked lemon chicken yesterday, it is the best lemon chicken I have ever had.
    I actually added grated lemon zest from 2 lemons and additional spoon of honey.

    Thanks so much for sharing this amazing recipe.

  19. ANONYMOUS: Thanks for passing by and for the kind comment! I'm ever so happy to hear that you loved this dish! Your version sounds interesting...

  20. Hi Rosa, my sauce turned into a big lumpy blob...what did I do wrong?

  21. LISA: I'm so sorry to hear that your sauce didn't work...
    Are you sure you mixed the ingredients correctly (dissolving the cornstarch)? Maybe, you overheated the sauce and didn't stir it while it was cooking... I hope it helps!

  22. Rosa ,what can I say ,your lemon chicken was fantastic ,will be making it again and again and again.My batter was not h
    as thick as I think it should have been but that gives me the opportunity to try again.
    thanks again ,Liz from Glasgow ,Scotland

  23. LIZ: Thanks for passing ba and for leaving a comment! I'm so happy to hear that you liked that dish! Happy cooking! Cheers.

  24. This chicken spells delicious all over it. I have bookmarked it. Thank you for doing the 7 links post, else I would have missed such wonderful recipes.

  25. that photo is japanese, isnt it ?

  26. ANONYMOUS: It could be a Japanese garden, but is is Cantonese... ;-)