Marion’s Best Lemon Chicken

Ditch the Chinese takeout imposter for real-deal deliciousness with my version of the classic. Crispy fried chicken that can resist that sweet, sticky lemon sauce without going soggy? You heard me – this is my 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

5.0 out of 5 stars (based on 12 reviews)
Very good0%

Excited to try this recipe

May 3, 2024

I am going to try this on Saturday, I do not have castor sugar. I hope regular sugar works. Sounds sooo delicious!

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Sharon B

Simply the best 🥰

November 16, 2023

Thank you Marion . I am now a Marion’s kitchen convert. I have made this twice and both times delicious. This is by far the tastiest and easiest, repeat, tastiest and easiest lemon chicken I’ve ever made. Definitely a keeper.

Avatar for Deb

Just superb

August 28, 2023

Easy to cook, and definitely better than any I’ve had in a Chinese restaurant. And even heats up again ok the next day.

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