Because it’s not fried, this lemon chicken recipe is a lighter take on the versions you’ll find in Chinese restaurants. A frothy coating of egg white and cornstarch keeps the chicken superbly moist and tender and the lemon sauce is tangy, with just enough sweetness. The dish is a perfect choice for a quick weeknight meal. Serve with white rice and steamed broccoli.Print
Chinese Lemon Chicken
Forget the takeout and make a healthy alternative to Chinese Lemon Chicken with this quick, easy, un-fried version of a restaurant favorite.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sherry
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg white
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 bunch (4 or 5) scallions, sliced
- Lemon wedges for garnish
For the sauce:
- 5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 6 tablespoons cold water
- If your chicken breasts have tenderloins attached, remove them and reserve for another use. Place the breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, gently pound them to an even thickness of about 1/2-inch, then cut them into strips about 1/2-inch wide and transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Add the sesame oil, sherry, ground ginger, salt and pepper to the chicken. Mix well and marinate at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white and cornstarch together until white and frothy. Add to the chicken and combine well.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat, add the chicken and stir fry until cooked through and golden brown on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Whisk the cornstarch and water together for the sauce and set aside.
- Return the pan to the heat and add the lemon juice, sugar and salt. Bring to boil, then add the cornstarch-water mixture. Stir constantly until the sauce is smooth and reaches a syrupy consistency, 1 to 2 minutes. Return the chicken to the pan and toss to coat with the sauce. Add the scallions, cook for 1 minute, then transfer to plates and spoon any sauce remaining in the pan over the chicken.