Crispy Honey Lemon Chicken with lightly battered chicken tossed in classic Chinese style lemon sauce. It takes only 30 minutes to prepare and a lot quicker than ordering from the takeaway! In this recipe, you'll learn how to make a perfect sweet, savoury, tangy lemon chicken recipe with our simple tips.
If you are a fan of PF Chang's crispy honey chicken or Panda Express honey sesame chicken, you will definitely love our homemade version of crispy honey lemon chicken too!
Chinese Lemon Chicken
Lemon chicken is a famous Chinese takeout in the West but some people say it is not a very authentic Chinese dish. It's originated in Hong Kong and can be found in Asian countries and across the world with so many different versions of it.
The dish itself is famous for its amazing sweet, savoury, and tangy taste. It's so easy to make and you need the ingredients which are not actually easy to find.
The Honey Lemon Sauce
This sauce is one of the most popular classic Chinese style honey lemon sauce that all kids and adults loves. I haven't seen anyone who doesn't like this sauce also. You can find it in the menu of all most every Chinese or Thai restaurant menu. Some restaurants and takeout might add a bit of food colouring to create the dish brighter. But for home-cooking we don’t actually need to use it in our recipe, we can create it with simple pantry friendly ingredients. Simple but the taste is not bland! If you haven’t tasted this crispy chicken dish with homemade sauce, I highly recommend to try it at home. I am sure you will definitely love it!
You can add this honey sauce in different varieties of dishes and make it crispy honey prawns, squid, or even taste great with crispy tender steak. If you prefer your sauce with a kick of chilli taste, add a bit of sweet chilli sauce or crushed chilli flakes to the sauce mixture.
Chicken & Marinade
I used chicken breast in this recipe, but you can substitute it with chicken thigh, lamb, beef, prawns, or any protein you wish. You can simply season the chicken pieces with light soy sauce, baking soda, sesame oil, and ginger-garlic paste.
Baking soda in the marinade keeps the meat moist and tender result when you deep fry it with high heat. If you wish to make it with beef, use a tender steak cut like rump, sirloin, tenderloin, or rib-eye.
How to Make It
Cut chicken into small bite-size pieces. Place the chicken pieces in the large mixing bowl and add baking soda, sesame oil, ginger garlic paste, and light soy sauce. Mix well and marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.
Cut ginger into thin strips. Squeeze lemon juice out from one lemon and set aside.
Break one egg into the marinated chicken pieces and mix it well. Then add the potato/corn starch and coat the chicken each piece evenly with flour. Toss the excess flour out before frying.
Heat the oil into high heat about 350° F. You can test oil temperature with wooden chopstick, its ready to fry when the bubbles start to fizz steadily.
Add the coated chicken pieces and deep fry for 2-3 mins until chicken turn into crispy golden brown.
Remove from oil, transfer to paper towel or cooling rack.
Heat the wok, add chicken stock, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt to taste. Bring it to boil with medium high heat.
Add the fried chicken pieces. Stir the sauce and chicken pieces very quick with medium high heat to few seconds. Add corn starch and water mixture in the sauce and stir well until the chicken pieces are coated well and become glossy.
Serve over a bed of steamed rice or stir fry noodles. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and lemon slices. Delicious honey lemon chicken is ready! Enjoy!
More Chinese Takeout Favourite Recipes On Our Website:
- General Tso’s Chicken ( Crispy coated chicken cooked in sweet, spicy, savoury sauce. )
- Sesame Chicken ( Crispy chicken with toasted sesame flavour! )
- Crispy Sweet Chilli Beef ( The best crispy beef recipe )
- Orange Chicken ( Better than takeout! )
- Beef and Broccoli ( Beefsteak and tender stem broccoli in savoury homemade sauce. )
Watch how to make recipe video
- 250 g Chicken breast or thigh, cut small cubes
- 1 Egg
- 1 cup Potato / Corn starch
- Cornstarch slurry Corn flour½ tsp + 1 tbsp water
- Toasted sesame seeds
- Oil for frying vegetable or neutral flavour oil, canola, sunflower, etc
Marinate for Chicken
- ¼ tsp Baking soda
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tsp Light Soy Sauce or all-purpose soy sauce
- 1 tsp Ginger garlic paste ( grated ginger and garlic )
- ½ cup Chicken Stock Or water
- ½ tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Honey or sugar
- 1 tsp Lemon zest
- 1 Lemon about 3 tbsp of lemon juice
- 3-4 slices Ginger cut thin strips
- Cut chicken into small bite size pieces. Add baking soda, sesame oil, ginger garlic paste and light soy sauce mix well and marinate for 15 minutes.
- Cut ginger into thin slices. Squeeze lemon juice out from one lemon and set aside.
- Break one egg into the marinated chicken pieces and mix it well. Then add the potato/corn starch and coat the chicken pieces toss the excess flour out before frying.
- Heat the oil into high heat about 350° F. You can test oil temperature with wooden chopstick, its ready to fry when the bubbles start to fizz steadily. Add the coated chicken pieces and deep fry for 2-3 mins until the chicken turn into crispy golden brown. Remove from oil and set aside.
- Heat the wok, add all ingredients from the sauce mixture and bring it to boil with medium high heat.
- Add the fried chicken pieces. Stir well with medium high heat to few seconds.
- Add corn starch and water mixture in the sauce and stir well until the chicken pieces are glossy and coated well with the sauce.
- Serve immediately with a bowl of steamed rice or a stir-fry noodle. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and lemon slices. Crispy Honey Lemon Chicken is ready! Enjoy!
- Chicken stock/broth - instead of chicken stock/broth you can add water or vegetable stock. If you are adding water you can add 1 tsp of chicken bouillon powder/cube for extra umami flavour.
- Honey - Instead of honey, you can use brown sugar or regular white sugar as a substitute.
- Customize the sauce - If you prefer the sauce sweeter, you can add more honey, or if you like it tangier, you can add more lemon juice.
If you enjoy our recipe, please leave a comment and give us a rating! If you’ve tried this recipe, tag me on social media, I would love to see your creations! Follow me on social media Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for the latest updates.
Karen Jane Davis says
Hi Khin, adoring all your recipes! never made so much chinese food. recently made crispy honey chicken. can I simply double sauce ingredients for more sauce. thanks
Adrian Donlan says
Great recipe, my kids loved it. I've made this a few times with different recipes and this is definitely the best
Thank you so much Adrian! So glad that you enjoyed it!