Lemon & Cashew Chicken

One of the more retro Chinese dishes, Lemon Chicken has slumped in popularity since people's tastes have evolved to incorporate more exotic flavours. Along with Sweet & Sour Chicken, Lemon Chicken is probably something your Gran would order as it isn't too offensive and ranks zero on the heat front. However, lemon chicken is awesome when you get the flavour and textures right. Cripsy chicken, zesty lemon with a hint of sweetness makes for a fantastic dish that can be made in less time it takes to order a takeaway.




Serves 2

For the Chicken

  • Chicken Breasts 3
  • Soy Sauce 5 Tablespoons
  • Cornflour 6 Tablespoons
  • Egg 1

For the Sauce

  • Chicken Stock 750ml
  • Juice of 2 Lemons
  • Chinese Rice Wine
  • Honey 2 Tablespoons
  • Brown Sugar 3 Teaspoons
  • Ginger Thumb size chunk
  • Garlic 2 Cloves
  • Spring Onion 1
  • Roasted Cashews



The first step is to cut the chicken breasts into thin slices and marinade in the soy sauce. You can marinade the chicken for as long or as little time as you wish. For the crispy coating add the cornflour, egg, salt and mix until you reach a thickish batter like consistently. If the mixture is too thin add more cornflour.


For the lemon Sauce simply add the lemon Juice, chicken stock, rice wine and finely sliced garlic and ginger to a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce on a low simmer while you cook the chicken.


To fry the chicken add the vegetable oil to a deep-frying pan or pot and heat on high. It should take around 4-5 minutes for the oil to come up to temperature depending on the depth of the pan. Test the temperature by dropping a piece of chicken in the oil and if it starts to sizzle quite aggressively you are good to go. Add the chicken and ensure you shake off the excess coating and stir continuously for around 5 minutes. I only used three small breasts meaning I could add all the chicken at once. If you are cooking for more people then fry the chicken in batches otherwise the oil will drop in temperature to the point were the chicken will absorb the oil and braise rather than fry.


Next add the reduced lemon sauce to a wok along with a slurry of cornflour and water which will thicken the sauce. Bring to the boil and once thick enough to coat the back of a spoon add the crispy chicken and mix well.


To finish the dish crush some roasted cashew nuts and sprinkle over the chicken. Ensure the heat is up high and the chicken is piping hot before serving.


Chop some fresh spring onion and garnish with toasted sesame seeds. I served with basmati rice but this would also work great with soft noodles or fried rice.


Hope you enjoy,