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+ servings

Easy Chinese Lemon Chicken

Chinese Lemon Chicken. Crispy fried chicken coated in a zesty tangy lemon sauce with a hint of garlic. This quick Chinese lemon chicken recipe takes 30 minutes and is simple to make, as we are not deep frying. I also share AIR FRYING instructions below in the Notes section.
5 from 11 votes
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 3
Calories per serving 616 kcal



  • ¼ cup Brown sugar
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon Ginger grated
  • Zest of One Lemon
  • 2 tablespoon Freshly squeezed lemon juice about 1 lemon squeezed
  • 2 tablespoon Regular soy sauce
  • ½ cup Chicken stock low sodium
  • ½ tablespoon Cornstarch or sub with potato starch



  • Dice chicken thighs into bite size pieces, about 1-inch wide. Transfer diced chicken to a large bowl.
  • In a small bowl, combine your sauce ingredients as listed. Set aside.
  • Add cornstarch to the bowl of diced chicken and evenly coat each piece in the cornstarch with tongs. If you have extra time, you can place cornstarch on a large shallow bowl and coat individually coat the chicken pieces into the starch until evenly coated for that crispy coating. Alternatively, you could also toss the diced chicken in a Ziplock bag with the cornstarch.
  • Heat a large skillet, heavy-bottomed pot or wok over medium-high heat, add vegetable oil. Allow oil to reach a temperature of 350 degrees F with a digital thermometer. To check if oil is hot enough without a digital instant read thermometer, place a wooden chopstick into the oil and look for bubbles to form. Once you see bubbles, your oil is hot enough. 
  • Carefully lower coated chicken away from you and spread apart quickly to prevent pieces from sticking to each other. Fry chicken for 6-7 minutes in total until golden brown, flipping over halfway.
  • Remove fried chicken pieces from oil and transfer to a wire rack or baking sheet lined with paper towel to soak up excess oil. Remove any excess oil from pan.
  • Heat pan on medium heat and pour in sauce. Keep stirring sauce until it bubbles and thickens and you have a sticky sauce.
  • Toss in fried chicken. Optional, garnish with sesame seeds, lemon slices or green onions. Enjoy!


How to Air Fry Chicken:

  1. Place cornstarch on a plate and in small batches, dredge cubed chicken into starch until evenly coated. 
  2. Transfer to air fryer basket in a single layer giving each piece some space. Depending on the size of your air fryer you may need to do this in a couple batches.
  3. Spray oil over the chicken.
  4. Air fry at 400 F for 12-14 minutes until crispy. No need to flip halfway. 
Enjoyed my recipe?Please leave a 5 star review (be kind)! Tag me on social media @christieathome as I'd love to see your creations!

Suggested Equipment & Products

Measuring Set
Cutting Board
Santoku Knife
Mixing bowl
citrus squeezer

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Calories: 616kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 204mg | Sodium: 1282mg | Potassium: 546mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg