Lemon chicken recipe | Easy Indo chinese chicken starter recipe

By Swasthi on August 10, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Lemon chicken recipe, an easy Indo chinese chicken starter recipe with step by step photos. This lemon chicken recipe yields tender chicken bites with a dominant flavor of lemon juice, mint and mild spices. Slightly tangy, mildly hot with full of flavors. It makes a great starter for parties or get together and can also be served as a side to a main course.

lemon chicken recipe swasthis recipes

Since lemon chicken is a fusion food it pairs well with Indo chinese foods like veg fried rice, schezwan fried rice, veg noodles, egg fried rice, egg noodles or hakka noodles. It can also be served with any rice dishes like jeera rice, peas pulao, or with plain rice and rasam.

I haven’t used lemon zest since i did not have. If you like the flavor you can add a pinch of the powdered zest towards the end.

You can find more chicken recipes on the blog,
chicken manchurian
chicken lollipop
szechuan chicken
street style chicken 65

Preparation for lemon chicken

1. Add chicken cubes or entire breast, ginger paste, red chili powder, salt, turmeric, lemon juice, lemon zest and oil. Do not skip oil, it is the key to tenderize chicken along with lemon juice. I used half of a large lemon. I suggest using fresh lemon and freshly ground ginger or grated ginger.

marinade for lemon chicken recipe

2. Marinate the chicken and set aside for at least 1 hour 15 minutes. If using a meat mallet or a metal meat tenderizer, marination time can be reduced to 40 minutes. It can also be left overnight in the refrigerator.

resting marinade

How to make lemon chicken recipe

3. Add little oil to the hot pan, fry chopped ginger and garlic.

fry ginger for lemon chicken recipe

4. When ginger garlic begins to smell good, add onions, chili, sugar and salt.

addition of onions

5. Fry until the onions turn transparent.

addition of marinade

6. Add marinated chicken along with lemon juice. Turn down the flame to low, Stir and fry till the chicken is half cooked.

stir fry

7. Sprinkle garam masala or cajun spice mix or all spice. I used a flavorful garam masala powder. But earlier i have also made this with cajun spice that is used to make fried chicken and it yielded good results. Mix and fry until you begin to smell the masala good, for about 2 to 3 minutes.

addition of spice powder

8. Pour soya sauce and cook till the chicken is soft cooked. Sauce should be absorbed by now. Taste the chicken and adjust spice powder, red chili powder or salt as needed. Add more if needed. With an addition of all these the sourness from lemon juice gets balanced.

soya sauce

9. Add finely chopped pudina/mint leaves or celery and fry until the leaves wilt.

mint leaves

10. Chicken should look moist, tender and soft cooked now. Switch off the stove.

finished soft cooked lemon chicken recipe

Garnish lemon chicken with fresh mint leaves. Serve with onion wedges.

Lemon chicken

Related Recipes

Lemon chicken recipe | how to make lemon chicken recipe | chicken starter

Lemon chicken recipe – A quick and easy Indo chinese style chicken starter.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )


  • 300 grams chicken boneless cubes or breast
  • 1 ½ tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 ½ to 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt as needed
  • ¼ tsp lemon zest (optional)
  • ¾ tsp red chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric

other ingredients

  • ½ tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp ginger chopped or minced
  • ½ tbsp garlic
  • 1 green chili slit
  • 1 onion large , chopped
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cajun spice mix or garam masala
  • ½ tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 Handful celery or mint or coriander leaves



  • Marinate chicken with all the ingredients mentioned under marinade. Set this aside for about 1 hour 15 minutes. It can also be refrigerated for longer to over night.

Making lemon chicken

  • Heat a pan with oil, add ginger and garlic and fry until nice smell begins to waft.
  • Add onions, chili, sugar and salt. Fry until the onions turn pink.
  • Add marinated chicken and stir. Fry until the chicken is half cooked.
  • Add spice powder and stir. Fry for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add soya sauce and mix well. 
  • Cook until the chicken is soft and tender. Any taste can be adjusted now, more chili powder, spice powder,salt or soya sauce can be added to reduce the tang.
  • Add mint leaves and fry until they wilt. Chicken should just be moist but not with dripping sauces. Cook to evaporate any excess moisture.
  • Serve lemon chicken with onion wedges as a side to fried rice, noodles or rice.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Lemon chicken recipe | how to make lemon chicken recipe | chicken starter
Amount Per Serving
Calories 312 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 5g31%
Cholesterol 75mg25%
Sodium 219mg10%
Potassium 202mg6%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Protein 19g38%
Vitamin A 340IU7%
Vitamin C 2.4mg3%
Calcium 15mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

lemon chicken recipe

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
Hi swasthi, I am a huge fan of your webpage and have tried many recipes with great success.
The portion size is so small and I would have to double/triple most of the times. Wondering if I am using 1 kg chicken if need to triple all ingredients ??

5 stars
I tried Lemon Chicken recipe and it came out really nice. I made one change thought. In place of mint or coriander leaves, I used springs of spring onions.

5 stars
Came out great!! Everyone enjoyed it.

Hi Swasthi, Looks amazing. Could I make it ahead of time and reheat for a party?

5 stars
Very simple recipe, me and my husband tried it for the first time, it came out very nicely.

itz too much yummy and tasty….i made it first time but it wuz very simple…thnkww

Hi Swasthi,

I always refer to your recipes when I cook something different. I tried this dish as a starter for some guests. Left the chicken marinate overnight. The dish turned out so yummy that I got barely to taste it. All my guests are it and appreciated the flavours very much.

Please keep posting new things.

Thank you,

Hi swati,

I always refer to your blog before I cook something new. So get lemon chicken today. I find it very easy to follow all recepies that u believe. I believe that the chicken will also turn out to be yummy. Thank u.


5 stars
It was toooo tummy, i made as advised
My hubby loved it
Thank you

I tried first time as advised it was too easy and my hubby loved it
Thank you

5 stars
This is a very good recipe.
I made it twice, the first time as it is written, the second with some modifications. I am reporting them so maybe someone will find them useful:
-the second time I used 2 tablespoons of yogurt + 1 teaspoon oil instead of 1 1/2 tablespoon oil. I wanted to see if I could bring some of the oil down. It worked for me.
-I am always looking for methods to cut onion and garlic away from recipes because unfortunately they irritate my stomach (due to medicines my stomach is sensitive). So I didn’t use onion and garlic and in their place I started the recipe with a tadka of 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed + 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida and then, when frying the chili, a pinch of turmeric. I think it was good.
-I didn’t try this but I would be interested in using tamarind instead of soy sauce.

As always thank you Swasthi, your recipes are very good!

5 stars
Hi swathi…lemon chicken recipe is so simple & yummy..i tried this for the first time & got appreciation from my hubby…thanks a lot for the yummy recipe…

5 stars
Hi Swathi,

We don’t get Soya sauce, what should I use instead. Or can we make it without it ?

Please advise 🙂


5 stars
Hey Swati
I m cooking chicken for the first time.
I need to know that when is chicken half cooked or full cooked n thanks for the recipe.

5 stars
I tried lemon chicken it’s yum

Dear Swasthi,

I made the lemon chicken on my mother’s birthday.. Believe me.. it was so tasty.. have no words to describe. my brother asked me to make it twice in a week and were amused both the times we tasted it. Super tasty 😀

Thanks isn’t enough
again making it do with thanks


Yummy , thanks for the recipe

Wow nice food

So beautiful thank you

4 stars
Hi swasthi, visited your blog for the first time and tried this recipe. It was a super hit. I am sure to haunt your blogs more often hereafter 😉 thank u!

Nice receipe should try it