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Chinese lemon chicken in a frying pan, garnished with lemon zest, sesame seeds and green onions.

Chinese Lemon Chicken

This Chinese lemon chicken is crispy battered chicken breast pieces smothered in a sweet and tangy lemon sauce. A remake of the take out classic that tastes just as good as what you'd get in a restaurant!
Course Main
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 323kcal
Author Sara Welch


  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • oil for frying canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest


  • Place the eggs, salt and pepper in a bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Place the flour and 1/2 cup of cornstarch in a shallow bowl or on a plate. Stir to combine.
  • Dip each piece of chicken into the egg mixture, then into the flour. Repeat the process with all of the chicken.
  • Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep pan to 350 degrees F.
  • Add 7-8 pieces of chicken to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Repeat the process with the remaining chicken.
  • Drain the chicken on paper towels.
  • While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce. Place the lemon juice, sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the lemon juice mixture. 
  • Bring the sauce to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
  • Toss the lemon sauce with the chicken. Stir in the lemon zest. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions, then serve immediately.


Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 156mg | Potassium: 471mg | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 115IU | Vitamin C: 9.2mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1.4mg