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Marion’s Best Lemon Chicken

Ditch the Chinese takeout imposter for real-deal deliciousness with our version of the classic. Crispy fried chicken that can resist that sweet, sticky lemon sauce without going soggy? You heard us – this is Marion’s best lemon chicken recipe ever!

20 minutes
10 minutes

600g (1 lb 5 oz) chicken breast, cut into 1cm (⅜ inch) thick slice

1 egg white, beaten well

2 tsp Chinese Shaoxing wine*

3 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1½ tsp cornflour (cornstarch)

sea salt

1 lemon, thinly sliced

2 spring onions (scallions), trimmed and very finely sliced on the diagonal



¾ cup plain (all purpose) flour

½ cup cornflour (cornstarch)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder


Lemon sauce

½ cup chicken stock

¼ cup lemon juice

⅓ cup caster (superfine) sugar

2 tsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing wine*

2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch), mixed with 1½ tbsp water

  • Step 1

    Add the chicken, egg white, Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, sesame oil and cornflour to a large bowl and mix well to combine. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, for the coating, whisk the flour, cornflour, salt and baking power in a bowl. Fill a saucepan or wok to about one-third capacity with vegetable oil and place over medium-high heat. Heat oil to 180°C (350°F), or until a wooden spoon dipped into the oil produces lots of bubbles.

  • Step 3

    While the oil heats, let’s make the lemon sauce. Combine the stock, lemon juice, sugar, rice vinegar, Shadowing wine and lemon zest in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the cornflour mixture to the sauce and simmer for 1 minute or until thickened. Keep warm.

  • Step 4

    Working in two batches, add the chicken to the coating mixture, tossing it well to coat each piece. Cook half the chicken in the oil and cook for 4-5 minutes until crisp, golden and cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a tray lined with baking paper, and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

  • Step 5

    Arrange the lemon slices on a serving platter, then pile the chicken on top. Drizzle with the hot lemon sauce, scatter with the spring onion, then serve.

  • Notes

    – Chinese Shaoxing wine is a type of cooking rice wine. It’s available in the Asian aisle of some major supermarkets or from an Asian grocery store. If you’d rather leave it out, simply replace with chicken stock.

What does lemon chicken taste like?

Lemon chicken is a highly popular Chinese recipe that you’ll find on many restaurant and takeaway menus. Our version of Chinese lemon chicken features boneless and skinless chicken breast that’s dredged in a coating, then fried until it’s golden and crispy. Lemon sauce gets drizzled on top, which is a tangy mix of sweet and sour.

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

Rated 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 stars (based on 8 reviews)
Very good0%
May 26, 2023

yummy lemon chicken

This recipe is so easy to follow.. Best yet, its my first recipe I’ve made from Marion’s kitchen..

Sophie W
May 15, 2023

Easy Lemon Chicken

Made this for a delicious Friday night dinner with crispy scallion pancakes and fresh cucumber. Delicious! It’s fast to make and has simple ingredients. Chicken easy to marinate and coat, and lemon sauce perfectly balanced to really lift the chicken. I had to fry in a few batches so kept chicken crispy in the oven while I finished the frying. The marinade helps keep the chicken juicy and tasty. The whole family loved it! Will become a regular in our household!

May 8, 2023

Easy and delicious

It’s worth doing this recipe just for the chicken. We have to eat gluten free so the kids don’t get takeaway chicken much, and never Chinese food. I used gf plain flour and cornflour. They loved the chicken without the sauce. The lemon sauce is absolutely delicious and paired with a savoury fried rice it was so good, and even though deep fried didn’t leave me feeling like I’d had a fatty meal as the coating is crisp. Thank you Marion, this is the first of many of your recipes I’m sure. I’ve ordered your Mum’s book as it looks fantastic.

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