This crispy Chinese Lemon Chicken resembles Chinese takeout lemon chicken with a sweet and sour lemony glaze. It’s a gluten-free recipe!

Crispy Chinese Lemon Chicken is garnished with green onion and chopsticks.

Crispy Chinese Lemon Chicken

Crispy Chinese Lemon Chicken is a classic Chinese takeout recipe that many people love. Chicken breast meat is deep-fried and then coated with a tangy sweet and sour lemony glaze. 

It is one of my all time favorite Chinese style chicken dishes. If you like sweet & sour tasting dishes, this will surely satisfy your craving.

Deep-frying the chicken twice will ensure the crispy texture of chicken and remain its crispiness for a long time even after they are coated with the  lemon glaze.

Mimicking a Chinese takeout style dish at home is not that difficult, especially with this crispy lemon chicken. If you are craving for something sweet and tangy, try this out.

Watch Lemon Chicken Recipe Video

Crispy Chinese Lemon Chicken

How to make crispy Chinese lemon chicken

Chicken: I use chicken breast. Chicken thigh works fine too. Chicken is cut into bite size pieces, seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil, then coated with cornstarch.

Lemon sauce: Chicken stock, lemon zest & lemon juice is seasoned with soy sauce, sweetened with mix of honey and sugar. A hint of ginger will elevate the overall taste.

Deep-frying: I like to use peanut oil but any kind of high smoking point oil, such as grape seed oil, sunflower oil, or corn oil, will work as well. I highly recommend to deep-fry twice to ensure the crispiness of the chicken. The texture will last longer

What to serve with lemon chicken

Crispy Chinese lemon chicken go well with either white rice or fried rice. Even cauliflower fried rice will be a good choice, too. A simple green vegetable side dish would accompany the lemon chicken very well.

Crispy Chinese Lemon Chicken is garnished with green onion and chopsticks

Crispy Chinese Lemon Chicken

Crispy Chinese Lemon Chicken is a classic Chinese takeout recipe. Chicken breast is deep-fried twice and coated with a sweet and sour lemony glaze. It's gluten-free!
5 from 2 ratings


For chicken

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, diced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet rice wine (mirim)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • oil for deep-frying
  • 1 green onion sliced, to garnish
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds, to garnish

For Lemon glaze

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • pinch salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp cornstarch


  • Put chicken pieces in a bowl and add the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine, and egg; mix well.
  • Put cornstarch in a plastic bag, add 1/2 of the chicken and shake to coat. Add another 1/3 of the chicken and shake. Repeat again to coat the chicken with cornstarch evenly.
  • Heat oil in a wok or deep skillet. Drop the chicken pieces one at a time to hot oil. Do not crown the chicken (It is better to deep fry small batches at a time). Deep-fry until lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Shake off the access oil and transfer to a plate. Repeat the deep-frying to finish all the batches.
  • Once all the batches are deep-fried, do the second frying until chicken is golden. Shake off excess oil and set aside.
  • To make the lemon glaze; combine chicken stock, soy sauce, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, honey, salt, ginger, and cornstarch in a small bowl; mix well
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a skillet over high heat until very hot. Pour the lemon sauce and bring to boil. It will thicken very soon and turn into glaze. Add the chicken pieces and toss well to coat with the lemon glaze. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with green onion and sesame seeds. Serve immediately


To make sure this recipe to be gluten-free, use gluten-free soy sauce and chicken stock.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @beyondkimchee on Instagram. I love to see your masterpiece.