• Lemon myrtle chicken (Adam Liaw)Source: Adam Liaw

This Chinese-style marinated and battered chicken gets a twist with ground lemon myrtle leaves, adding a refreshing touch of citrus and subtle eucalypt flavour.






Skill level

Average: 4.1 (8 votes)


  • 4 free-range chicken thighs (about 800 g)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • 125 g (1 cup) cornflour
  • 1 litre vegetable oil, for deep - frying
  • 3 thick spring onions, finely sliced on a steep diagonal
  • 1 sheet rice paper, to serve (optional)


  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried ground lemon myrtle, plus extra to serve
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • ½ tsp cornflour


  • 75 g (½ cup) plain flour
  • 60 g (½ cup) cornflour
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 185 ml (¾ cup) cold water
  • 5 ice cubes

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.


  1. Trim some of the visible fat from the chicken thighs and cut into 3 cm pieces. Combine with the soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, bicarbonate of soda, salt, sugar and 1 teaspoon of the cornflour. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, for the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
  3. For the batter, place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir until just combined. A few lumps are fine.
  4. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok to 175˚C.
  5. Toss the chicken in the remaining cornflour and transfer to the batter. Fry the chicken in small batches, for 3-4 minutes. It doesn't have to be cooked through at this point. Drain on a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. Reheat the oil to 185˚C and fry the chicken again for about 1 minute or until golden brown and crisp. If using, fry the rice paper sheet about 10 seconds until puffed and crisp. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with a little salt and lemon myrtle.
  7. Place a wok over high heat. Add the sauce to the wok, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until thickened to the consistency of maple syrup. Add the chicken and spring onions and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving plate with the crisp rice paper and sprinkle the chicken with a little extra lemon myrtle.


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

Photography by Adam Liaw.