Lemon Chicken Recipe

Every cook has his/her own personal favorites that are sure-fire hits every single time. I have been preparing this chicken recipe for many years and it never fails to please. The fabulous aroma of the ginger and garlic wafting from the kitchen put diners in the right mood even before the dish comes to the table.

When served on a gleaming white tray, with the green of the lettuce, a sprinkling of scallions and sesame seeds, and the bright color of the sauce, you have an exciting dish. This is definitely not your garden variety lemon chicken.


2 to 3 chicken breasts split, boned, and skinless
1 lemon, sliced for garnish
2 egg whites, whisked
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 cup of finely shredded iceberg lettuce
1 teaspoon chopped scallion

The Marinade

1 Tablespoon pale dry sherry
½ -cup fresh lemon juice

The Sauce

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
4 Tablespoons catsup
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon chopped ginger
1 teaspoon chopped garlic


Put the marinade and the chicken in an airtight plastic bag and let it marinate for 30 minutes
In a bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch and salt
Dip the pieces of chicken in the egg white and then into the flour/cornstarch/salt mixture.
Shake off the excess and deep-fry the chicken until light golden brown, (medium heat).
Drain and cut into bite sized pieces.
Arrange the shredded lettuce and lemon on a platter
Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil, add all the other sauce ingredients. Stir continuously and cook until just at the boiling point.
Then pour over the chicken just before serving.
Serve additional sauce in a gravy boat.
Sprinkle with chopped scallion and sesame seeds.

Serve with steamed rice. I prefer basmati.

About Rabbi Michael Sternfield

Michael Sternfield has been a Reform rabbi for 40 years, most recently serving at Chicago Sinai Congregation from 1995 until 2013. He served for 20 years as spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Israel in San Diego, and briefly as the leader of the Durban, South Africa Progressive Jewish Congregation during South Africa’s historic transition to multi-racial democracy. He is now based in Los Angeles, California.