Recipe: Crispy Malaysian lemon chicken

Crispy Lemon Chicken recipe.
Photo credit: Asian Food Network

Recipe courtesy of Michelle Shamila

Crispy Lemon Chicken is one of my family's favourite dishes and they always look forward to having it for dinner.

It's juicy chicken seasoned with black pepper, white vinegar and salt, coated with flour for a satisfying crunch.

Zesty lemon sauce adds a bright and refreshing flavour to this vibrant dish.

Enjoy it with a bowl of rice for a wholesome meal that brings comfort to the whole family.


Serves 3-4 people

  • 600g chicken thighs and drumsticks, bone in, skin on.
  • 400ml vegetable oil for frying

For the marinade:

  • 1 tbsp corn flour 
  • ½ tsp custard powder 
  • 1 whole egg 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • ½ tbsp black pepper 
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar 

For coating the chicken: 

  • 2 tbsp corn flour 
  • 300g plain flour

For the lemon sauce:

  • 3 fresh lemon slices, about 1cm thick
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 5 tbsp honey 
  • 5 tbsp sugar 
  • 3 tbsp white vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp corn flour 
  • 1 tbsp custard powder (mix with water to make a slurry) 
  • 470ml water 
  • 1 tsp salt

For the garnish:

  • 2 lemon slices 
  • 5g white toasted sesame seeds 
  • Half stalk chopped spring onions 


1) Prepare the Chicken

  • Clean the chicken pieces and set aside. Do not cut the chicken up yet.
  • In a deep bowl, add the ingredients for marinade, the corn flour, custard powder, egg, salt, black pepper and white vinegar. 
  • Whisk well to combine.
  • Place the chicken pieces into the bowl and rub the marinade over the chicken. Set aside.

2) Frying the chicken

  • In a pot, heat up the vegetable oil for frying on high heat. The oil should be enough to cover the chicken while frying. Use a deep pot to fry the chicken for better result. When frying, the oil has to cover the chicken fully. 
  • In a separate bowl, create the coating for the chicken by combing the corn flour and plain flour.
  • Dip the marinated chicken into the flour. Dust off the excess flour.
  • Once the oil is hot, place the chicken pieces into the pot, making sure the oil covers the chicken.
  • After a few minutes, turn the heat down to medium to prevent the chicken's skin from browning too fast.
  • Fry the chicken until both sides are cooked. 
  • Once cooked, remove the chicken and place it on a paper towel to drain excess oil.

3) Prepare the lemon sauce

  • In another pan, add the ingredients for the lemon sauce: lemon slices, lemon juice, honey, sugar, white vinegar, corn flour, custard powder, water and salt. Adjust the amount of sugar and honey for the sauce according to your preference.
  • Heat up the pan and stir the ingredients.
  • Once the sauce has thickened to your preferred consistency, turn off the heat.
  • While hot, pour the lemon sauce over the chicken.
  • Garnish with toasted white sesame seeds, chopped spring onions and lemon slices. 
Recipe: Crispy Malaysian lemon chicken on Newshub care of Asian Food Network.
Photo credit: Asian Food Network

4) Plate and serve

Garnish with toasted white sesame seeds, chopped spring onions and lemon slices.

Asian Food Network