Fakeaway – Super Easy Chinese Sticky Lemon Chicken with Rice

Nothing screams comfort food more than a nice, easy, fakeaway recipe such as this sticky lemon chicken one. It saves you money, it saves you time, and it’s packed with flavour. Surprisingly, the next day might even be a tiny bit better if you pop it back in the oven for 10 minutes or so at 180 fan. For the rice, you can either make a fresh batch of boiled rice, or, if you cook enough to last you for the next day as well, you might as well try our Egg Fried Rice recipe. The sky is the limit.

We didn’t add any veggies to this one, but as for our Teriyaki chicken recipe, you might want to cook some tenderstem broccoli in a bit of soy sauce, garlic, and ginger mix to get that 1 of 5 a day or whatever other vegetable that you see fit (think pak choi, peppers, courgettes, or carrots).

We’ll see you after the recipe for a praise of Asian ingredients and where to find them in the UK!

A decorated bowl of sticky lemon chicken over a bed of rice, garnished with spring onions, sesame seeds and sriracha and with a pair of decorated chopsticks on top

Chinese Sticky Lemon Chicken with Rice

An easy fakeway recipe for your weekday dinners that taste even better the next day!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Marinating time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Servings 4 servings


  • Wok


For the Sauce

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 inch ginger (minced)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 lemon (juice)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp cornstarch (dissolved in water)
  • Salt to taste

For the Rice

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 1/2 cups water

For the Chicken

  • 600 g chicken (breast or thighs)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Chinese wine vinegar (shaoxing wine)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • Toasted sesame seeds (to garnish)
  • Spring onions (to garnish)


For the Sauce

  • Mince garlic and ginger and sauté them for 30 seconds to 1 minute over medium heat. Add the sugar, lemon juice, honey, soy sauce and chicken stock until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Dissolve your cornstarch in 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and add to the mix. Whisk together until it's thickened. Salt to taste and set aside. You will need a bit of hot water right before adding the chicken to make it easier to mix.

For the Chicken

  • Chop your chicken in small bite-size bits.
  • Whisk the egg, soy sauce and Chinese wine vinegar and add the chicken to the bowl. Let marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Once it's done, sprinkle plenty of cornstarch on a tray and press each piece of chicken until completely coated.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or high pan or skillet over high heat and cook the chicken in batches until golden brown (approx. 5 to 7 minutes).
  • Take them off and let them drain over some paper towels to avoid the chicken being too oily.

For The Rice

  • Rinse your rice until water runs clear and add to a pot with the 1 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Reduce heat to a minimum, cover, and let the rice cook for 12 to 15 minutes.
  • When ready, fluff with a fork and let it steam covered.

Putting All Together

  • Add some hot water to your lemon sauce to make it softer and toss the chicken in the pan, making sure it's all well coated.
  • Plate your rice first, add the well-coated chicken, and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and spring onions. Add a bit of sriracha or soy sauce too if you feel like it.
Keyword Fakeaway

Asian Ingredients: Make this Sticky Lemon Chicken a 10/10

It’s no secret that we love our Asian fakeaway food (and takeaway as well, for that matter). There’s something about the holy triad of garlic, ginger and soy sauce that wakes our tastebuds up in a matter of seconds. And it’s for this exact reason that we always stock up on Asian ingredients, that can conveniently be used for any other type of cuisine as well as a source of flavour punch (oyster and fish sauce can bring that extra bit of amazing flavourness to any tomato sauce).

As I mentioned before in our Teriyaki Chicken recipe, Asian ingredients might feel a bit overwhelming if you’re not used to them. Our advise is to go over Asian Grocery UK or your country’s equivalent and buy at least:

  • oyster sauce
  • fish sauce
  • rice wine
  • soy sauce (although I have to hope you have this one already)

We also managed to stock up on our Asian ingredients the other day in a physical shop for the first time in months – if you’re based in London, you definitely want to go and pay a visit to Longdan, they have different locations and conveniently ship all over the UK.

On top of that, make sure to always have some green or spring onions in the house: just buy a bunch, put them into a glass of water (and make sure to change the water every day!) and after you cut them to add them to your dish, put them back into the glass. They’re gonna grow back in a matter of days. A note on that: the outer layers are going to deteriorate in time, so just take them out when they start feeling a bit mushy. We posted a video on that a while ago on Instagram if you need some visual support!

close up of a bowl of sticky lemon chicken topped with sesame seeds, sriracha and green onions over a bed of boiled rice

If you liked this Chinese sticky lemon chicken recipe…

I know they almost looked the same because I’m a bit of a one-trick pony when it comes to pictures, but I promise you the taste is completely different. This teriyaki sauce took us several attempts but we heard of sooo many people swearing by it and honestly, it filled our hearts with joy.

And to keep on the Asian flavours, why not give a try to our Chinese version of aglio e olio? It became our most viewed recipe in a matter of days, and no one is more surprised than us since we made this up one weekday at lunch when we realised we ran out of food! After that one time, this became a must for weekends lunch when we just want to have a quick bite before going out.