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Ayam Saus Lemon (Chicken in Lemon Sauce)

Posting Date: 10/05/20

Ayam Saus Lemon (Chicken in Lemon Sauce)

Ayam Saus Lemon (Chicken in Lemon Sauce) was influenced by Chinese food and could be found in Chinese restaurants in Indonesia. This is one of the dishes I like to order whenever I go to one of the Chinese restaurants in Indonesia that has this dish in the menu. It tastes lemony and slightly sweet and salty. The lemon flavor brings freshness to the dish. This dish is similar to the Lemon Chicken you find in Chinese restaurants in US. Originally, the dish is not served with lemon zest but I like to add them to add freshness. The recipe uses fresh lemon juice, so I might as well use the zest of the lemon before juicing it. Nothing is wasted.

The recipe serves 3-4 people.


  • 2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite size
  • For chicken marinade: 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • For chicken marinade: 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • For chicken marinade: juice from 1 lime
  • For chicken marinade: 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • For chicken marinade: 1 teaspoon salt
  • For frying chicken: vegetable oil
  • For chicken batter: 2 large eggs, beaten
  • For chicken batter: 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • For chicken batter: 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • For chicken batter: pinch of salt
  • For chicken batter: pinch of black pepper
  • For chicken batter: 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • For lemon sauce: 250 ml water
  • For lemon sauce: 3 tablespoons juice from fresh lemon. If you prefer to add lemon zest, zest the lemon first and set it aside before juicing the lemon.
  • For lemon sauce: 1/2" fresh ginger, minced
  • For lemon sauce: 2.5 tablespoons sugar or to taste
  • For lemon sauce: 1 tablespoon honey
  • For lemon sauce: 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • For lemon sauce thickener: 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • For lemon sauce thickner: 2 tablespoons water
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest. Since the sauce uses fresh lemon juice, zest the lemon first before juicing it.


  1. Place diced chicken into a ziploc bag. Add garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, salt, and pepper into the ziploc bag. Press the bag to get the air out. Seal the bag and move around the chicken in the bag so that it is coated with the marinade. Leave the bag in the fridge and let the chicken marinate for 30 min.
  2. After 30 min, pour enough vegetable oil in a frying pan. Heat it over medium high heat. Make sure the vegetable oil is hot before proceeding to the next step.
  3. Beat the eggs in a bowl. Place all purpose flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and baking powder on a plate and mix to combine.
  4. Take the chicken out of the bag. Dip it into the beaten egg. Let the excess egg drip before putting it into the flour mixture. Coat the chicken with the flour. Shake the chicken to get rid off the excess flour before gently dropping the chicken in the vegetable oil. You will have to fry the chicken in batches so that the oil temperature doesn't drop causing the chicken to become greasy and soggy. Fry the chicken until the bottom side is golden brown. Turn it over and fry it until all sides are golden brown. Remove the chicken using slotted spoon to remove excess oil. Place the chicken on a plate lined with paper towel. Move the chicken to the cooling rack so that it can cool down and won't become soggy. Repeat this step until all diced chicken has been fried.
  5. Place all the lemon sauce ingredients (water, lemon juice, ginger, sugar, honey, and salt), except lemon sauce thickener ingredients (cornstarch and 1 tablespoon water), and into a pot. Heat it over medium high heat. Once the liquid has come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium heat and taste it. Add more sugar or salt if needed. Whisk the lemon sauce thickener ingredients (cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water) in a small bowl. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the pot and whisk the liquid in the pot. Once the sauce starts to thicken, add the chicken into the pot. Coat the chicken with lemon sauce. Sprinkle sesame seeds and gently stir to mix. Remove the pot from the heat. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle lemon zest on top.
  6. Serve it right away.

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