Lemon, honey and ginger chicken

By Adam Liaw
Serves  4
Print recipe

Not your nanna’s cold remedy. This Chinese-style chicken brings together three familiar flavours for a modern take on a Chinese restaurant classic.


  • 4 Lilydale free range chicken thighs (around 800 g)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup cornflour
  • 1-2 litres vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced on a steep diagonal
  • 1 rice paper sheet, to serve (optional)
  • lettuce leaves, to serve (optional)
  • Japanese mayonnaise, to serve (optional)


  • juice of 1 large lemon (or 2 small lemons)
  • 100 g honey
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp cornflour


  • ½ cup plain flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ tsp salt


  1. Trim some of the visible fat from the chicken thighs and cut into 3cm pieces. Combine with the soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, bicarbonate of soda, salt and 1 tsp of the cornflour and set aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a separate bowl. In another bowl, combine the batter ingredients with ¾ cup of cold water and 5 ice cubes.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok to 175C. Toss the chicken in the remaining cornstarch and transfer to the batter.
  4. Fry the chicken in batches one piece at a time for 3-4 minutes. Drain on a wire rack and allow to cool to room temperature. Heat the oil to 185C and fry the chicken again for about 1 minute until golden brown and crisp. If using, break the rice paper sheet into large pieces and fry for about 10 seconds until puffed and crisp.
  5. Place a wok over high heat. Stir the sauce ingredients and add to the wok. Bring to a simmer and simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened to the consistency of maple syrup. Toss through the chicken and the spring onions. Transfer to a serving plate with the lettuce leaves and the rice paper crisps.