Enjoy this Easy Asian Lemon Chicken in just 25 minutes! Store bought popcorn chicken covered in a homemade sweet and sour glaze!
A DELICIOUS ASIAN INSPIRED CHICKEN RECIPE
This Easy Asian Lemon Chicken recipe is a delicious and simple meal that is perfect for those busy nights when you don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen but still want to provide a tasty dinner for your family. It’s made with just a few ingredients, all of which are easy to find at any grocery store. Plus, it takes only about 15 minutes of prep time (including air frying the chicken) and about 10 minutes of cook time – so you’ll have dinner on the table in no time! The ease of this recipe will make it a regular rotation on your dinner menu.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
This dish is fantastic over a bed of white rice, but it’s also incredible with some Fried Rice.
This Asian chicken is not too sweet, not too salty, and not too sour. It’s the perfect combo of those three and it’s very, very flavorful.
Yes! If you want to give this chicken dish some kick, you can add more chili flakes, or add your favorite hot sauce like sriracha.
Choose your favorite cooked popcorn chicken. I like Walmart’s Great Value or the Just Bare nuggets in the green bag (they are a bit more expensive but really good!). Or make your own! Try using lightly fried chicken instead of the traditional breaded kind. Simply season bite-sized chicken pieces with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Coat them with cornstarch and fry in a deep skillet with ½ inch of oil over medium heat until they turn a delicious golden brown and reach an internal temperature of 165°F. Drain them on paper towels and repeat the process until all the chicken is cooked. Now, you’re ready to continue with the rest of the recipe as instructed.
Feel free to jazz it up by adding some fried shallots or sesame seeds.
Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or you can freeze it for up to 3 months in a freezer safe container.
For reheating leftovers, opt for using a skillet and add a small amount of water or chicken stock to loosen up the sauce. Additionally, you can also microwave it but it might change the texture a bit.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)
- frozen popcorn chicken – one 24 ounce bag equals 1 1/2 pounds. They can be prepared in the air fryer (follow directions on the back of the bag).
- green onions – thinly sliced, green part and white part need to be separated.
- minced garlic- freshly minced is what is preferred but you can use jarred garlic if needed. It just won’t be as flavorful
- minced fresh ginger root– you MUST use fresh ginger, you can not use ginger powder and get the same flavor. You can mince it by hand or make this easy by using the squeeze bottle of minced ginger in the refrigerated section from the store to save time but do not use powder.
- chili flakes – I don’t like a lot of spice so I did not fine this spicy at all but it’s optional if you can’t handle any spice at all.
- granulated sugar – You can use honey in place of the sugar. Instead of sugar, use ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of honey in place of the sugar. This will change up the flavor profile.
- lemon juice – it has to be fresh squeezed. Please, please, please do not use the squeezer bottle stuff here. It really throws off the other flavors. The lemon flavors really brighten up the other flavors but if you just don’t like lemon, leave it out and substitute with chicken broth or orange juice.
- salt and pepper – I give measured amounts below, but as always, use the amounts you prefer and always go by taste.
- water and cornstarch – this will make a cornstarch slurry that will thicken up the glaze.
HOW TO MAKE ASIAN LEMON CHICKEN
Prepare the popcorn chicken in the oven or the air fryer per the directions on the back of the bag and set aside. Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok or skillet over medium heat.
Once the oil is hot, add the white part of the green onion, garlic, ginger, and, if you like it spicy, add the chili flakes. Stir continuously and cook for about 30 seconds until it becomes fragrant (we don’t want to burn the garlic). Add water, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to the mix. Whisk everything together.
Bring the mixture to a simmer. When it starts simmering, gradually pour in the cornstarch slurry while whisking constantly. Keep whisking until the sauce thickens up. Now, add the cooked popcorn chicken and toss it in the sauce until the chicken is fully coated and heated through.
To serve, garnish with the remaining green part of the green onion.
CRAVING MORE RECIPES?
Asian Lemon Chicken
- 24 ounce bag frozen popcorn chicken (equals 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced (green parts and white parts separated)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
- ¾ cup water
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- Prepare the popcorn chicken in the oven or the air fryer per the directions on the back of the bag and set aside.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok or skillet over medium heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add the white part of the green onion, garlic, ginger, and, if you like it spicy, add the chili flakes. Stir continuously and cook for about 30 seconds until it becomes fragrant (we don’t want to burn the garlic).
- Add water, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to the mix. Whisk everything together.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer. When it starts simmering, gradually pour in the cornstarch slurry while whisking constantly. Keep whisking until the sauce thickens up.
- Now, add the cooked popcorn chicken and toss it in the sauce until the chicken is fully coated and heated through.
- To serve, garnish with the remaining green part of the green onion.
- Please refer to my FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
- Fresh ginger is a must. You can get fresh ginger root from the store to mince by hand or grab a tube of the fresh ginger in the refrigerated section in the produce section. Do not use dried ginger.
- Only use freshly squeezed lemon juice – not the bottled juice.
- Refrigerate leftovers in a container for up to 3 days. Or freeze them for up to 3 months in a freezer safe container.
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.