Chinese Lemon Fish

The lighter, crispier way to enjoy the classic restaurant dish – no gluggy batter in sight! I love to use snapper, but cod, mahi mahi and barramundi work equally as well.


Chinese Lemon Fish

10 minutes
20 minutes

800g (1.7 lb) white fish fillets*, cut into bite-sized pieces 

1½ cup plain (all purpose) flour 

vegetable oil for frying 

1 tsp sesame seeds 

sliced spring onions (scallions), to serve 



2 tbsp soy sauce 

1 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing wine* 

1 egg white  


Lemon sauce: 

¼ cup chicken or fish stock  

1 tbsp soy sauce  

4 tbsp sugar  

finely grated zest of ¼ lemon  

2 tbsp lemon juice  

1 tbsp vegetable oil  

1 small garlic clove, finely grated  

2 tsp cornflour (cornstarch), dissolved in 2 tbsp water  

  • Step 1

    For the marinade, combine soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and egg white in a large bowl. Add the white fish and mix until well combined. Set aside. 

  • Step 2

    To make the lemon sauce, mix together the stock, soy sauce and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix together the zest and lemon juice. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the oil and the garlic. Cook for about 10 seconds or until fragrant, then add the stock mixture. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved.  

  • Step 3

    Add the lemon juice and zest. Simmer for another 30 seconds before adding the cornflour mixture. Cook for another 30 seconds or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Allow to cool.  

  • Step 4

    Place the flour in a large tray or bowl. Add half the fish pieces, being sure to add a little marinade as well. Use your hands to pat and press the marinade and flour together around the fish pieces to form a craggy coating. 

  • Step 5

    Fill a wok or saucepan to about 1/3 capacity with the vegetable oil and place over a high heat. The oil is hot enough for frying at 165°C/325°F, or when a wooden spoon dipped into the oil forms furious little bubbles. Shake excess flour from the fish pieces and carefully add to oil. Cook the fish for about 3 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper. Continue with the remaining fish pieces and flour. 

  • Step 6

    To serve, transfer the fish pieces to a serving plate. Drizzle with the lemon sauce and sprinkle over the sesame seeds and spring onion.

  • Notes

    – I love using snapper, barramundi, mahimahior cod. 

    – You could use apple juice instead of the Shaoxing wine if you wish.

Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite. Marion's Kitchen is for everyone who finds joy in flavour and happiness in every bite.

What our customers say

5.0 out of 5 stars (based on 2 reviews)
Very good0%

Absolutely Delicious!

November 27, 2023

This recipe turned out perfectly. The sauce had just the right sour and sweet taste. I made this yesterday and I will continue to keep making this recipe! Thank you so much, Marion 🙂

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My favorite cooking skills

March 14, 2023

I love and appreciate seeing ur recipe everyday in my Facebook , when I get home to my country I will try to open up restaurants and try to cook some of ur recipes

If when I am ready to do .

Thank u Marion Kitchen

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