This is so easy, it’s cheating.

I love lemon chicken. The chicken is easy; the sauce is where the work is.

What follows is a really good authentic lemon chicken recipe. But the sauce includes ten ingredients.

If you use our lemon sauce mix, you’ll save 20 minutes or more-and simplify your dinner. The mix calls for water and butter. Add water and butter and cook it for a few minutes. Cook the chicken per the directions and add the sauce. You’ll have “take out” quality lemon chicken.

There are two differences between this and the scratch recipe below: the chicken broth and the garlic. But you can add those if you wish. Mix up a little chicken broth-I use those little cubes of dried broth-and add a little garlic powder. Now you’re just like the authentic recipe-and you still simplified your dinner.

Oh, and one more hack–grab one of those 90-second packages of microwave rice and a salad. Now dinner is done.

Get the lemon sauce mix!

Make perfect rice easier with a Microwave Rice Cooker!

Authentic Crispy Chinese Lemon Chicken Recipe

For the Chicken

  • 3-4 chicken breasts
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups panko
  • vegetable oil for frying

For the Lemon Sauce

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1-2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Make an egg wash by slightly beating two eggs with one tablespoon of water. In a separate flat-bottomed dish, place the two cups of panko.
  2. With a meat mallet, pound each chicken breast to 1/4 inch thick. Dip each chicken breast in egg then panko, and again in egg then panko. This double-dipping process is crucial to create an extra-crispy crust for each chicken piece that will not rub off.
  3. Fry each chicken piece in 350° vegetable oil until the crust is crispy and golden brown. Place the fried chicken pieces onto a plate with a paper towel allowing the excess oil to drain and set aside.
  4. In a wok, on medium heat, heat 1/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup chicken broth, 1 teaspoon lemon
    zest, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, one garlic clove, and one or two drops yellow food coloring (if desired). In a separate small bowl, combine one tablespoon cornstarch with one tablespoon water to make the slurry. Add the slurry to the sauce and continue to heat and stir until sauce is thickened.
  5. Place the fried chicken on a plate and cut into strips. Pour the sauce over the top and serve warm.

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