Gluten Free Lemon Chicken Chinese-Style

Gluten Free Lemon Chicken Chinese-Style

Bite-sized, pan fried gluten free lemon chicken with an easy tart and sweet sauce that will make it easy to ditch the take out!

Gluten Free Lemon Chicken

This recipe for Gluten Free Lemon Chicken has been here on the blog, in one form or another, since almost the very beginning (2009!). It was a great, simple gluten free chicken dinner recipe then, and it’s great now. It just got a makeover.

Gluten Free Lemon Chicken

I changed up the method a little bit, but the ingredients are mostly the same. It’s bright, and lemony and delicious. Oh, and apparently commenters said that it was too light on the sauce, so I bumped that up.

Gluten Free Lemon Chicken

 I hadn’t made this dish in a while (always writing a cookbook and trying to bigger-and-better-deal myself, I guess), and I’m so glad that I revisited it, even just so I could snap a few new photos. But there’s no way I’d get rid of the original photo, you know? It’s my roots.

who needs take-out?

Fancy, right?! Every once in a while, I’ll see that old-school photo show up on Pinterest, and I’m not nearly as embarrassed as I guess I should be. We all have to start somewhere. :)

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 4 servings


For the sauce
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice from 2 lemons)

1/4 cup gluten free tamari or soy sauce

1/4 cup (55 g) packed light brown sugar

Zest from 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2/3 cup low sodium chicken stock

2 tablespoons (18 g) cornstarch

For the chicken
1 egg (any size), beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Cornstarch, for dredging (about 3/4 cup)

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt (optional)

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch square pieces

1/4 – 1/2 cup neutral oil, for frying (canola works well)


  • In a heavy-bottom, medium-size saucepan, place the lemon juice, tamari or soy sauce, brown sugar, lemon zest and ground ginger, and whisk to combine well. Pour about half of the chicken stock into a small bowl, whisk the 2 tablespoons cornstarch into the stock until it is smooth and pour into the saucepan. Pour the remaining chicken stock into the saucepan as well, and whisk to combine well. Set the saucepan aside.

  • Place the egg and water mixture in a medium bowl. Place the cornstarch for dredging in a separate, medium bowl. Add the garlic salt to the cornstarch, and whisk to combine. Dredge the chicken pieces through the egg wash, then dip in the cornstarch to coat lightly. Shake off any excess. I like to dredge all of the chicken at once before I begin to cook it, so I place the coated chicken on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper along the way.

  • In a wok or a large, heavy-bottom sauté pan, place about 1/4-inch of frying oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chicken in batches and fry until crisp – for about 2-3 minutes total, turning once. Do not crowd the pan. The chicken will not brown, but it will crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add more oil as necessary.

  • To make the sauce, place the saucepan with the lemon/soy mixture over medium heat, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, whisking constantly until thickened (about 3 minutes). Toss the chicken in the sauce, and serve immediately over rice.


Comments are closed.

  • Cynthia
    October 8, 2011 at 3:02 PM

    Just printed this out and I am excitied to try it tonight. I have been drooling over your receipes for many months and I am going to try this one tonight. I am the only GF person in my house (gluten sensitivity = contributes to my migraines) and I appreciate it when I can find a meal we can all eat..at least DH and I…hoping the kids go for it too! Thank you for a great site. I will report back my results!

    • Nicole
      October 8, 2011 at 8:05 PM

      Sounds good, Cynthia! This is a big hit in my house, across the board – from grown ups to kids.
      xoxo Nicole

      • Cynthia
        October 9, 2011 at 8:38 AM

        Thanks Nicole…made it last night..took a while had no idea how to cut the ginger or garlic…hehehe. Had to watch an instructional video. :-) Spent hubby to Target mid cooking…no grater or juicer thingy…! DH loved it as did one of my 3 boys. I really liked it too but wonder if I over did the ginger. Will for sure make it again (heck I have all the kitchen tools now) but cut out the ginger.

        • Nicole
          October 9, 2011 at 3:39 PM

          Hi, Cynthia,
          Sounds like you’re really expanding your horizons. That’s great! Ginger can be off-putting if you use too much. I love it, but my son doesn’t so I tend to use very little — but prefer to use more.
          xoxo Nicole

  • Steve
    October 1, 2011 at 1:51 AM

    I tried this recipe tonight, or at least the version in your book. It was not very good at all. The sauce is more of a juice, especially if you use 2 lemons zest & juice like the book says. And you made no mention of adding any starch to thicken it, but I tried that anyway. It turned out way too lemony, almost tart. And it really would be better if the sauce were cooked for a while on it’s own, to thicken while the chicken is cooked.

    • Nicole
      October 1, 2011 at 10:49 AM

      Hi, Steve,
      Sorry it didn’t match your individual tastes. It’s a staple in my house, and in others’, so feel free to tweak it however you like.

  • […] Lemon Chicken, steamed rice and broccoli   This one was planned for Sunday dinner because the recipe mentioned […]

  • Krista
    May 26, 2011 at 1:37 PM

    Hi Nicole,
    I made this last night for dinner and it was amazing! Thanks so much for posting a great recipe!

    • Nicole
      May 26, 2011 at 2:18 PM

      Hi, Krista,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  • Em
    August 18, 2010 at 6:59 AM

    This was absolutely fantastic!

    • Nicole
      August 23, 2010 at 3:58 PM

      Hi, Em,
      What exactly is wrong with my children that they don’t really like it? They’re so very wrong. :)

  • June 30, 2010 at 5:14 PM

    Hi Nicole,

    Thank you so much for posting your recipes. I’m on a gluten elimination diet and your blog has been a life-saver!

    I made this last night, doubling the sauce as suggested, and added a secret ingredient – crushed mint leaves. I love lemon and mint flavors together (got the idea from drinking tea) and it turned out very tasty.

    Thanks again!

    • Nicole
      July 1, 2010 at 2:36 PM

      Hi, Brenda,
      That sounds wonderful, with mint. It’s the middle of the summer here in NY, and mint grows abundant in my garden, so I will have to try that! Thank you so much for posting, and I’m so glad the blog has been helpful to you. That really is gratifying for me. Enjoy!

  • Christina
    October 11, 2009 at 11:24 PM

    Hi, Nicole,
    I can see why everyone raves over this recipe: I just fed it to my family and they loved it. This recipe is a gift that we will be enjoying for years to come. We like things pretty saucy, so I will triple the sauce next time. I think my breasts must have been larger than the ones you use because even with doubling the recipe, there was not quite enough sauce. Perhaps you use organic. One other thing I did was add one teaspoon of hotpepper seeds.

    Since I just cleaned the last of the peppers out of my garden, I made a crispy pepper, carrot, and onion stir fry to go alongside the chicken and rice. And I put a bowl of pineapple on the table. Super Yummy!

    Thank you for being the first one to teach me that I could still cook like myself after celiac. I have an outstanding sweet and sour pork recipe if you would like to have it.

  • Jessica
    October 2, 2009 at 7:00 PM

    This turned out wonderfully….my husband did not even know if was GF and loved it…..unfortunately I am not a huge lemon fan on chicken meats etc; – so I really did not care for it, but it did turn out as expected and everyone who likes lemon chicken loved it!

  • Nicole
    July 24, 2009 at 8:34 PM

    Hi, Linda,
    I’m so happy it went over so well. Even your picky kid, huh? That’s a home run! Thanks for posting.

  • July 24, 2009 at 12:34 PM

    Made this last night and WOW! This was absolutely delightful. This is now one of my favourite gluten free recipes. I loved it, my hubby loved it, even my picky kid who hates everything enjoyed this, so that was an extra bonus.

  • Nicole
    July 10, 2009 at 12:29 PM

    Hi, Brittany,
    Hooray for take-in! That’s great. Gluten free does not have to a burden!

  • Brittany
    July 10, 2009 at 1:33 AM

    I made this tonight and it was perfect! I had it alongside some stir fried veggies too. I know my husband has really missed chinese food since his diagnosis so it was a real treat for him.

  • Nicole
    June 29, 2009 at 3:19 PM

    Hi, Lindsey,
    I’m so glad you like it! I wish my children would tolerate green onions. That sounds wonderful.

  • Lindsey Y.
    June 29, 2009 at 2:49 PM

    Made this for dinner the other night – so good! Denise is right, this is way better than take-out. It seems less greasy and the flavor is perfect. It actually tastes just as good the next day as leftovers.

    I had it alongside white rice with soy sauce and green onions.

  • Nicole
    June 26, 2009 at 2:25 PM

    Hi, Denise,
    That’s a good idea, to double the sauce. You can add some to the rice when you serve it, too. Thanks for posting!

  • Denise T.
    June 26, 2009 at 4:12 AM

    Super yum! The only slight change I would make is to double the sauce but this was excellent! Way better than getting take-out!

Where should I send your free guide?

By entering your email, you're agreeing to our Privacy Policy. We respect your email privacy, and will never share your information.