Lemon Chicken


  • 2 pounds skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3 cups peanut or vegetable oil
  • Lemon slices (optional)
  • White sesame seeds (optional)



  • 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water


  • Combine the soy sauce and sesame oil. Coat the chicken with the marinade and let sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • In a large bowl or deep plate combine the cornstarch and white pepper. Get excess marinade off the chicken, then toss the cubes in the cornstarch mixture. Shake off excess cornstarch before frying.
  • Heat the 3 cups of oil in your wok. Heat wok until just smoking, then add the first batch of chicken cubes and deep-fry until cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels or brown paper (from a paper bag). Repeat with the rest of the chicken.
  • Transfer 1 tablespoon of the oil into a medium-sized pot and heat over medium-high. (You save the oil for later use by allowing it to cool, then straining into an aluminum can or other container.)
  • Add the garlic and ginger and cook briefly until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, chicken stock, and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the cornstarch mixture so the sauce can thicken.
  • Remove from the heat, and toss the fried chicken in the sauce. Garnish with lemon slices and white sesame seeds. Serve with white rice and maybe some broccoli.

Serves 4