Lemon Chicken


Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Balance and Harmony

By Neil Perry

Published 2008

  • About

In the first chapter there was a recipe for a steamed lemon chicken. This, on the other hand, is more like the classic lemon chicken you’d see in Chinese restaurants. The chicken is battered, fried and then sauced. You could substitute slices of fresh fish, like blue eye or snapper, for a lovely light dish.


  • 300 g (10½ oz) free-range or organic chicken thigh fillets, skin on, trimmed, cut into 1 cm (¾ inch) slices
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch) vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • a pinch of Sichuan pepper
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced


    Put the chicken, egg and sea salt in a bowl, toss together and leave for 20 minutes.

    Remove the chicken from the egg, allowing the excess to drip away, and toss in the cornflour until evenly coated. Heat the oil in a wok or deep-fryer until just smoking (180°C/350°F), and deep-fry the chicken pieces until golden brown and cooked through, then drain on paper towel.

    Finely grate the zest from half a lemon, then juice the whole lemon. Peel and fillet the other lemon. Put the sugar, vinegar, 3 tablespoons water, lemon fillets, zest and juice in a small pot. Stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves, then bring to the boil and remove from the heat. Pour the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with Sichuan pepper and spring onions to serve.