Lemon Chicken Wings

Locale: China

Source: Charmaine Solomon, Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking [p. 93]

Serves: 4-6


  • 1.5 lbs chicken wings (or thighs or breasts)
  • peanut oil, for deep frying


  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tbs cornstarch
  • 6 lemon slices
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Lemon sauce:

  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1.5 tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
  • 1 tbs cornstarch
  • 9 tbs water


  • sprigs of fresh cilantro
  • additional lemon slices


  1. If not using wings, skin and bone chicken, and cut into finger-width strips. Combine marinade ingredients, and add chicken. Marinate at least 30 minutes.

  2. Deep fry chicken. Drain on paper towels.

  3. Combine sauce ingredients in small bowl, with 9 tbs water.

  4. Heat sautee pan. Add 1 tbs oil, then return chicken to pan. Add lemon slices, then sauce, and stir to thicken and coat the chicken. Garnish and serve.


  1. Recipe is written for chicken breast or thighs. I got the idea of using wings from somewhere else, but wound up adapting this recipe for the purpose. Recipe also calls for olive nuts (1 oz), which are briefly fried. Pine nuts or slivered almonds could be substituted, but since wings tend to be eaten with fingers, the nuts are of little value in that version.

  2. I've often wondered why the cornstarch is mixed into the sauce rather than mixed with water and added separately. Probably to keep the chicken crisp. I'd also be tempted to add lemon zest to the sauce, but it's always come out quite lemony.