This lemon chicken recipe is light and full of flavour, but you’ll enjoy it just as much as its naughty takeaway brother
Fancy a takeaway but haven’t got the money? Or are you banning that weekly Chinese for your New Year’s resolutions? Either way, this lemon chicken recipe is light and full of flavour, avoiding the often sweet and cloying sauces found in many Chinese takeaways, and is quick and easy to make at home.
Serves 2, easily doubled. Serve with rice.
2 small chicken breasts
1 small egg white
100ml chicken stock
1½ lemons juiced
1tsp caster sugar
1tbsp soy sauce
1tbsp mirin/rice wine
½tsp chilli flakes
2 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper
1 spring onion sliced on the diagonal to serve (optional)
I love the lemon chicken I get from a restaurant called Dim T near where my parents live. It’s breadcrumbed chicken served in a light and tangy lemon sauce. It’s very different to the sickly sweet and cloying sauces often found on lemon chicken dishes in Chinese restaurants (and even to those meals I ate in Singapore). This recipe is a combination of both; it’s not breadcrumbed chicken and nor is the sauce overly sweet, it’s now the a light, clean-tasting meal.
Mix the egg white and cornflour together in a large bowl to form a paste. Cut the chicken into strips and place in the bowl with the egg mix. Coat well and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes (this “velvets” the chicken and gives it the right texture, although you could leave it out if you’re in a hurry). Cook some rice for serving.
Mix together the stock, lemon juice, sugar, soy sauce, mirin, chilli flakes and seasoning.
Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan and add the chicken (try to avoid getting any excess egg mix into the wok). Stir fry until the chicken has cooked, then remove from the wok and set aside.
Fry the minced garlic in the wok for 30 seconds to cook it and then add the lemon juice mixture. Bring to the boil and simmer for a minute. Mix the ½tsp of cornflour with 1 tbsp of water to make a smooth paste and add to the sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes or so to thicken the sauce slightly.
Return the chicken to the pan and heat through, adding a few drops of sesame oil. Make sure you test the flavour of the sauce and adjust as needed.
Serve the lemon chicken with rice and top with the artistically sliced spring onions.