Now that I’m a young mum with three kids, I am looking for and cooking more and more quick and universally appealing dishes. Luckily it doesn’t just mean macaroni with fried pork or pasta with pesto – the “older” kids are happy to try different foods (like mussels), and I can still cook my old favourites from across the world. Last week (when I was still a mum to just two :)) I made this quick and easy Chinese chicken dish, which they all loved. It’s a lighter and healthier version of the popular Cantonese dish.
The recipe is adapted from Wynnie Chan’s 2007 cookbook “Fresh Chinese”. Wynnie Chan is a nutritional consultant for the Chinese National Healty Living Centre in the United Kingdom, so she’s dedicated to adjusting popular Chinese dishes to modern healthy palates. That isn’t always easy, but seems to work for this lemon chicken recipe.
I usually serve it with rice, but egg noodles work just as well, especially if doused with a little sesame oil and sprinkled with some sesame seeds.
Chinese Lemon Chicken
400-500 g chicken breast filets
2 garlic cloves, finely crushed or grated
2 small lemons
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
4 Tbsp cornflour
1 Tbsp groundnut oil or other mild vegetable oil
2 spring onions, sliced at an angle
Whisk the egg, garlic, finely grated zest of 1 lemon, soy sauce, sesame oil and cornflour until combined. Cut the chicken breasts into 2 cm cubes or strips, put into the lemony cornflour mixture. Leave to marinate for at least 15 minutes, preferably an hour.
Heat the wok or a large frying pan until very hot, then add the oil and heat until almost smoking. Add the chicken pieces in batches and fry until golden brown on all sides (reduce the heat, if necessary). Transfer the golden chicken nuggets onto a plate and fry the rest in a similar manner.
When all the chicken pieces are cooked, then return them all to the pan. Add the juice of one lemon, give the dish a quick stir. Taste for seasoning – add more soy sauce or juice of another lemon, if you wish.
Garnish with spring onions and serve at once.