Lemon Chicken: A Malaysian Dish

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Lemon Chicken is a popular dish in Malaysia, known for its tangy and savoury flavours. It is a fusion of Chinese and Malay cuisines, showcasing the diverse culinary influences in the country. The dish is made with chicken pieces that are marinated, fried, and then coated in a zesty lemon sauce. It is often served with rice or noodles and is a favourite among locals and tourists alike.

History of Lemon Chicken in Malaysia

Lemon Chicken has its roots in Chinese cuisine, where it is known as “Ningmeng Ji” (柠檬鸡). Chinese immigrants brought the dish to Malaysia, where it was embraced and adapted to suit local tastes. The Malaysian version of Lemon Chicken incorporates ingredients commonly used in Malay cuisine, such as lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Over time, the dish has become a staple in Malaysian Chinese restaurants and is enjoyed by people of all ethnicities.

Preparation and Ingredients

The key to a delicious Lemon Chicken lies in the marinade and sauce. The chicken is typically marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and corn-starch. This not only adds flavour to the chicken but also helps to tenderize it. After marinating, the chicken is deep-fried until golden brown and crispy.

The lemon sauce is made by combining lemon juice, sugar, and corn-starch. The sauce is then heated until it thickens and becomes glossy. Some variations of the sauce may include honey, ginger, or garlic for added flavour. The fried chicken is then tossed in the sauce, ensuring that each piece is coated evenly.

Source: RasaMalaysia

Serving and Pairing

Lemon Chicken is best served hot, with the sauce drizzled over the chicken. It is commonly paired with steamed rice or noodles, which help to balance the tangy and savoury flavours of the dish. The dish can also be garnished with sliced lemons, spring onions, or sesame seeds for added texture and visual appeal.


Lemon Chicken is a beloved dish in Malaysia, showcasing the country’s rich culinary heritage. Its tangy and savoury flavours make it a hit among locals and tourists alike. Whether enjoyed in a restaurant or made at home, Lemon Chicken is sure to satisfy your taste buds.


Article curated by Suwaytha Gopal

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