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Ning Meng Chi (Lemon Chicken)

Prep Time:


Cook Time:









By Florence Lin


  • 2 whole chicken breasts or a 3‐pound chicken 

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons salt 

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce 

  • 1 cup chicken broth 

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch 

  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/4 teaspoon sugar 

  • 1/2 cup flour 

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 

  • 1/2 cup water 

  • 2 cups peanut or corn oil for frying 

  • 1 scallion, split and cut into 2‐inch pieces 

  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced

  • 4 or 5 lettuce leaves.


We work with chefs from all around the world, which is why we include both imperial (cups/ounces) and metric (grams) measurements. To achieve best results, we highly recommend that you utilize a kitchen scale and follow the metric measurements when possible.


Cut chicken breasts in half or, if the whole chicken is used, cut into quarters. Bone the pieces, leaving the skin intact. Toss pieces with one teaspoon salt and the soy sauce. Let marinate 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend one tablespoon of the chicken broth with one tablespoon cornstarch to make a smooth paste. Add remaining broth, one teaspoon salt and three tablespoons sugar and blend well. Reserve.

Make the batter by combining the flour, remaining two tablespoons cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, remaining one‐quarter teaspoon salt, remaining one‐quarter teaspoon sugar and the water in a large bowl. Blend well with a wire whisk. Set aside.

Heat oil in a wok or a deep‐fat fryer to 365 degrees. While the oil is heating, remove one tablespoon of the oil and add it to the batter. Blend well and then coat the chicken pieces with the batter. Fry two pieces at a time for about six to eight minutes or until the pieces are golden. Keep warm in the oven while frying remaining pieces.

Drain all but two tablespoons of the frying oil from the wok and place over moderate heat. Add the scallion and cook, stirring occasionally, for one minute. Add lemon slices and stir‐fry 30 seconds. Stir the reserved chickenbroth mixture well to blend and add to the wok. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and forms a clear glaze. Keep hot.

Take chicken pieces out of the oven and cut into 34‐by‐2‐inch pieces. Arrange lettuce leaves on a platter and place chicken pieces on top. Pour hot sauce over it or serve sauce on the side.


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