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Chinese Lemon Chicken: a tasty copycat recipe for the popular takeaway dish

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
By Cookist

Homemade Chinese lemon chicken is a fabulous take-out fake-out recipe that the whole family will love. Made from tender, juicy breaded chicken breasts fried to golden brown perfection and topped with a sweet, zesty lemon sauce, lemon chicken always hits the spot. 

Making Chinese lemon chicken at home is also healthier than ordering it from a restaurant because you can control the amount of sugar and salt in the recipe. One of the many reasons this easy Chinese lemon chicken is so popular is that it's not only delicious, you can prep and cook it in about half an hour. It's a great, fast, delicious meal you can whip up on busy evenings when you're short on time.


Reduce the sugar for a sauce that's less sweet. You can also swap it out for a sweetener to make sugar-free Chinese lemon chicken.

If you're keeping an eye on your salt intake, use low-sodium chicken broth.

To ensure the chicken cooks evenly, fry it in batches – don't overcrowd the pan.

Use gluten-free flour to make gluten-free Chinese lemon chicken.

For a thicker sauce, add an extra dash of cornstarch.


What to Serve with Chinese Lemon Chicken

Serve your Chinese lemon chicken with white or brown rice, cauliflower rice, noodles, and zucchini noodles, or enjoy it with a side of sautéed veggies.

How to Store Chinese Lemon Chicken

Lemon chicken will last up to three days when stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Leftover sauce will last up to 5 days.


for the chicken
large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
Large eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp
1/2 cup
All-purpose flour
1/4 cup
for the sauce
2 tbsp
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup
1/4 cup
Chicken broth
2/3 cup
salt to taste
1 tbsp
for garnish
green onions, chopped

How to Make Chinese Lemon Chicken

Whisk the eggs, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

In a second bowl, whisk the flour and cornstarch until combined.

Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg.

Then coat it in the flour, gently shaking off any excess. Set on a plate.

Pour the oil into a large pan over medium heat. Cook a few pieces of chicken at a time for 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Remove them once crispy and golden brown.

Set them on a paper towel-lined plate.

Cook the rest of the chicken.

Pour off any oil in the pan and melt the butter.

Then stir in the lemon juice, salt, and cornstarch.

Add the sugar.

Stir in the broth.

Keep whisking until the sauce thickens.

Cut the chicken into strips and set on a plate. Add the lemon sauce, then top with chopped green onions.

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