• Lemon chicken (Danielle Abou Karam)Source: Danielle Abou Karam

A Chinese takeaway classic, Adam Liaw shares his version of lemon chicken, which includes a rice wine and ginger sauce and does away with the gluey marinade associated with the dish.






Skill level

Average: 4.2 (52 votes)


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • 90 g (¾ cup) cornflour
  • 500 ml (2 cups) vegetable oil, for shallow frying
  • lemon slices, to serve

Lemon sauce

  • 1 tsp grated ginger, juice only
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) chicken stock
  • 2 tsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tsp cornflour mixed with ¼ cup water
  • 2 spring onions, finely shredded

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time: 20 minutes

  1. Butterfly the chicken breasts, then cut in half to make 4 large chicken scallops.
  2. Lightly whisk the egg whites, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and white pepper in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat well. Stand for 20 minutes.
  3. Toss the chicken into the cornflour until the mixture is coated and dry.
  4. Heat the oil in a large saucepan to 190°C. Fry the chicken breasts, 2 at a time for 5 minutes or until golden, crisp and cooked through. Drain on paper towel.
  5. For the lemon sauce, place the ginger juice, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, stock, wine and fish sauce in a bowl and stir to combine. Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Add the sauce mixture and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 1 minute, then stir in the cornflour mixture, a little at a time to form a silky sauce. Add the spring onion and stir to combine well.
  6. Thickly slice the chicken and place on a serving plate. Pour over the lemon sauce and serve with lemon slices.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.