Chinese crispy lemon chicken with stir-fried morning glory

I’ve been eating a lot of red meat lately due to my new job working as a marketing manager for a steakhouse, so when it comes to cooking at home, it’s strictly been chicken or fish.

Tonight, I thought I’d conquer my fear of deep-frying by tackling a recipe my mother used to cook from a classic Australian Woman’s Weekly cookbook, ‘Chinese Cooking Class‘.


Mr Q and I took a trip to Hoo Hing in Enfield to pick up the bits I’d need for the crispy lemon chicken recipe – nothing too outlandish – everything we purchased can also be bought at any local shop. I just love any excuse to head to Hoo Hing, it’s a wonderland of exotic Eastern ingredients of every kind. I will happily spend several hours browsing the aisles looking at the bizarre jars of pickles, all manner of dried fungi, and noodles of every type.

Anyway, here’s the recipe, amended to include the few tweaks I made to the original AWW recipe:

Chinese crispy lemon chicken

½ cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornflour (or cornstarch, same thing!)
2 tablespoons water
4 medium chicken thighs, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 eggs, lightly beaten
cornflour, to coat
vegetable oil for frying
shallots, sliced on an angle, to garnish
Pop the lemon juice, honey, ginger, stock and soy in a saucepan. Bring to the boil. Whisk the cornflour and the water together in a cup. Add to the sauce and simmer until thickened to a syrupy sauce. Remove from heat.
Trim chicken of excess fat. Dip each piece into the beaten egg and then into cornflour. Shake off any excess cornflour.
Half fill a wok with oil and heat until a cube of bread browns in 15 seconds. Add chicken and cook for about 5 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Drain on crumpled paper towel.
Gently rewarm the sauce. Serve the chicken pieces drizzled with the sauce and garnished with shallots.
I’ve not done a lot of deep-frying in my time, so was worried about whether the chicken would cook through properly, but after about six minutes in the hot oil, the chicken was not only crispy, but also perfectly cooked through and still juicy. Easy!

I decided to serve my crispy lemon chicken with some stir-fried morning glory for an added healthy boost. Chinese morning glory is a dark green leafy vegetable sometimes referred to as water spinach. If you can’t find morning glory, use regular spinach, baby broccoli, pak choy, snow peas, or even asparagus – any green vegetable you fancy will be lovely.

Chinese crispy lemon chicken

All I did was stir-fry the morning glory briefly in sesame oil with finely-sliced garlic, dried chilli flakes and a good dollop of oyster sauce – it takes just 60 seconds. The stir-fried morning glory was a great fresh, crisp accompaniment to the sweet and sour taste of the chicken.

Enjoy with steamed jasmine rice for a really yummy meal. For a variation, use firm white fish instead of chicken – the lemony sauce would be fantastic combined with fish. I’m considering using prawns next time!
Chinese crispy lemon chicken

I’ve purchased the original Chinese Cooking Class cookbook (published 20 years ago!) from Amazon, so expect a whole lot more Chinese-style recipes here on


12 thoughts on “Chinese crispy lemon chicken with stir-fried morning glory

  1. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could ‘virtually sample’ food blogger’s recipes?? Maybe a century from now, it’ll be possible. But, for now, you’ll just have to try the recipe for yourself. It’s dead easy!

  2. Pingback: Kitchen inspiration: top 10 Chinese recipes to try | Chilli Marmalade

  3. Pingback: Best of the Foodie Blogs: Ten at Ten (50) | Foodies 100

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