Delicious Chicken Steamed in Fresh Lemon Juice Recipe

Are you tired of the same old chicken recipes? Do you want to spice up your cooking game and impress your guests at the next dinner party? Look no further than my Chicken Steamed With Fresh Lemons recipe, also known as Sai Ling Mung Ching Gai in Cantonese.

As someone who loves throwing parties, I understand the importance of a delicious and impressive meal. This recipe may look simple at first glance, but don’t be deceived. The combination of fresh lemons, ginger juice, and other authentic Asian ingredients make this dish burst with flavor.

Not only is this recipe tasty, but it’s also a healthier alternative to traditional fried chicken dishes. By steaming the chicken instead of frying it, you can cut back on unnecessary calories without sacrificing taste.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, my Chicken Steamed With Fresh Lemons recipe is easy to follow and is sure to wow your guests. So let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Chicken Steamed With Fresh Lemons (Sai Ling Mung Ching Gai)
Chicken Steamed With Fresh Lemons (Sai Ling Mung Ching Gai)

Are you tired of the same old boring chicken dishes? Look no further because this recipe for Chicken Steamed with Fresh Lemons is here to save the day! Trust me, once you try this dish, it will become a staple in your recipe book.

Why will you love this recipe? First of all, it is incredibly easy to make. With just a handful of ingredients and simple instructions, even novice cooks can whip up a delicious and impressive meal in no time. Not to mention, it is a healthy option for those who are trying to watch their calorie intake.

Another reason you’ll love this recipe is because of its unique flavor profile. The combination of fresh lemon juice, ginger juice, oyster sauce, and sherry wine creates a tangy, savory and slightly sweet taste that will leave your taste buds tingling with joy. And don’t forget about the addition of red bell peppers which add crunch and color to the dish.

Chicken Steamed with Fresh Lemons also offers endless possibilities for customization. You can switch out the red bell peppers for another vegetable if you prefer or add extra spices to make it spicier. The beauty of this recipe is that you can experiment with different variations to find what works for you.

Last but not least, this dish makes an excellent centerpiece for any dinner party or special occasion. It is both visually stunning and delicious, meaning your guests will be impressed and satisfied all at once. So go ahead, give this recipe a try – I promise you won’t regret it!

Ingredient List

 The zesty aroma of fresh lemons elevates this steamed chicken dish to another level.
The zesty aroma of fresh lemons elevates this steamed chicken dish to another level.

Here are the ingredients you will need for this sai ling mung ching gai recipe:

  • 1 lb chicken cutlet, cleaned and dried, and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (you can squeeze a lemon or use reconstituted lemon juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sherry wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger juice (you can squeeze fresh ginger or use store-bought ginger juice)
  • 2 fresh lemons, sliced

You can find all the ingredients in an Asian supermarket or online. If you already have a complete Asian cookbook at home, chances are you already have everything you need for this dish.

The Recipe How-To

 Cooking chicken in a bamboo steamer ensures a tender and juicy outcome every time.
Cooking chicken in a bamboo steamer ensures a tender and juicy outcome every time.

Now comes the exciting part – the recipe itself! Follow my instructions closely, and you’ll have a mouthwatering chicken steamed with fresh lemons that will leave your guests asking for more.


  • 1 lb of chicken cutlets, cleaned and dried, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon of sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of sherry wine
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger juice (made by squeezing grated ginger)
  • The juice from one freshly squeezed lemon, or use reconstituted lemon juice


  1. Marinate the chicken. In a mixing bowl, combine the cubed chicken with the white pepper and cornstarch. Mix well, then add the sugar, salt, oyster sauce, light soy sauce, sherry wine, ginger juice, and lemon juice. Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly distributed.

  2. Set up a steaming apparatus. Fill a wok or pot with water to about an inch below the steaming rack. Bring to a boil over high heat.

  3. Assemble the dish for steaming. Place the marinated chicken in a shallow dish that fits inside your steamer basket.

  4. Steam the chicken for at least 15 minutes or until they are cooked through completely.

  5. Take the dish out of the steamer basket carefully using a pair of tongs or oven mitts.

  6. Serve hot with some sliced red bell peppers and garnish it with some chopped scallions for added flavor and color!

Make sure to try this delicious lemon chicken recipe from The Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Soloman to have an authentic taste experience like never before!

Substitutions and Variations

 This colorful dish is a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds.
This colorful dish is a feast for both the eyes and the taste buds.

Are you looking to switch things up with this recipe? There are a variety of substitutions and variations you can make to customize this dish to your preferences.

Firstly, if you’re not a fan of red bell peppers, feel free to substitute them with a vegetable of your choice. Broccoli or snow peas would work well here too; just be sure to cut them into bite-sized pieces.

If you don’t have cornstarch on hand, arrowroot powder can be used as a substitute. Keep in mind that arrowroot powder has less thickening power per tablespoon than cornstarch, so you may need to use a bit more to achieve the same consistency.

For those who prefer a spicier flavor, try adding some crushed red pepper flakes or diced chili peppers to the marinade. This will give the chicken an extra kick that will pleasantly surprise your taste buds.

If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, tofu can be substituted for the chicken. Be sure to use firm tofu and press it beforehand to remove any excess water. It might also be worth marinating the tofu for longer since it doesn’t naturally absorb the flavors as readily as meat does.

Lastly, consider adding some fresh herbs like cilantro, basil or mint as a garnish or serving it with rice or noodles for a fuller meal.

These substitutions and variations will allow you to make this dish your own and enjoy it exactly how you like it. With so many possibilities, get creative and have fun in the kitchen!

Serving and Pairing

 Infuse your home with the fragrant scent of lemons while cooking this dish.
Infuse your home with the fragrant scent of lemons while cooking this dish.

This chicken steamed with fresh lemons, or Sai Ling Mung Ching Gai, is an entree that practically begs to be served with rice. You can’t go wrong with a bowl of fluffy white rice to soak up the luscious sauce and juices that simmer inside of the tender chicken.

But if you want to get creative with your pairings, try serving this dish with some stir-fried veggies on the side made of crisp red bell peppers and any other colorful vegetable like snow peas or broccoli. These veggies bring a satisfying crunch to complement the moist and tender chicken.

A light and refreshing green salad with cucumbers, radishes, and even more lemony goodness from a drizzle of freshly squeezed lemon juice would balance out the dish’s richness. Simple, but it makes a perfect addition!

For those who crave something more substantial than vegetables, consider pairing the dish with a steaming hot bowl of pork fried rice. The rice already has egg mixed in for you, so it gives you an additional source of protein to balance out the meal.

Finally, tea is your best friend for pairing options when it comes to Asian-inspired dishes like this one. It enhances the citrus notes of this flavorful dish while offering a complementary yet calming aroma. Green tea would make an excellent choice; however, black tea or even light herbal blend will also work in harmony with this delightful meal.

The simple yet elegant flavors shine through working together wonderfully in this perfected recipe. So no matter what you decide to serve Sai Ling Mung Ching Gai alongside it will only enhance its overall deliciousness!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The simplicity of this recipe makes it a perfect choice for a quick and healthy dinner.
The simplicity of this recipe makes it a perfect choice for a quick and healthy dinner.

Planning ahead is the key to a successful party, and this Chicken Steamed with Fresh Lemons recipe is perfect for just that. You can make it ahead and store it easily. This dish tastes even better when reheated, so don’t worry about cooking it fresh when your guests arrive.

To make-ahead, cook the chicken as directed in the recipe and let it cool completely. Then, transfer it to a container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, reheat the chicken by steaming for 5-10 minutes.

For storing leftovers, let the cooked chicken cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw frozen chicken overnight in the fridge before reheating by steaming.

To reheat the leftover chicken, place it back in a steamer basket and steam until heated through. Do NOT microwave as this will make your delicious chicken tough and rubbery.

Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or meal prepping for the week ahead, this Chicken Steamed with Fresh Lemons recipe offers flexibility and convenience without sacrificing flavor.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Don't underestimate the power of lemon! It packs a punch in terms of flavor and health benefits.
Don’t underestimate the power of lemon! It packs a punch in terms of flavor and health benefits.

To guarantee a flavor-packed, show-stopping dish, I’ve compiled a few tips to help you perfect your Chicken Steamed with Fresh Lemons (Sai Ling Mung Ching Gai) recipe.

First and foremost, always ensure that your chicken is correctly cleaned, dried and cut into 1-inch cubes prior to cooking. This will help to ensure even cooking and prevent overcooking.

In addition to that, when squeezing the lemon juice, use fresh lemons instead of reconstituted lemon juice whenever possible. Fresh lemons have more natural sweetness and acidity, adding a bright and tasty flavor to the chicken.

To further enhance the flavors of the dish, add some chopped red bell peppers during the last few minutes of steaming for a pop of color and a sweet crunch.

When it comes to cooking sauces, be sure to use oyster sauce and light soy sauce instead of regular soy sauce for a more well-rounded taste. Also, do not be afraid to add more or less as needed based on your personal preferences.

Finally, remember that steaming fresh lemon slices alongside your chicken will create an incredibly fragrant aroma and visually appealing look, making it an impressive dish for any dinner party.

By following these tips and tricks, you will have no problem achieving professional-level quality results every time you prepare this delicious Chicken Steamed with Fresh Lemons (Sai Ling Mung Ching Gai) recipe.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you are looking for a healthy, delicious and easy-to-make dish that will impress your guests, then Chicken Steamed With Fresh Lemons (Sai Ling Mung Ching Gai) is the perfect recipe for you. This dish combines the freshness and tanginess of lemons with the savory and juicy flavor of chicken to create a truly mouth-watering meal.

By following the step-by-step instructions in this article, using the proper substitutions and variations, and taking advantage of the helpful tips provided, you can guarantee perfect results every time. Moreover, you can easily prepare this dish ahead of time, store it properly, and reheat it when needed.

Finally, I must encourage you to explore other amazing recipes in the Complete Asian Cookbook. With ingredients like red bell peppers, cornstarch, white pepper, sugar, salt, oyster sauce, light soy sauce, sherry wine, ginger juice and fresh lemon juice at your disposal – imagine what kind of incredible dishes you can create! So go out there and be adventurous with your cooking. Your taste buds will thank you!

Chicken Steamed With Fresh Lemons (Sai Ling Mung Ching Gai)

Chicken Steamed With Fresh Lemons (Sai Ling Mung Ching Gai) Recipe

This recipe is from Eileen Yin-Fei Lo's "Chinese Chicken Cookbook". There are quite a few chicken plus lemon dishes already on Recipezaar, including Italian (chicken piccata), Indian and Thai. This recipe is quite different, since it is steamed (actually, double steamed, which makes for a very intense, clear broth) ... the ingredient list is imposing, but the process is really easy ... and the flavor is fabulous -- very different from the usual, thickly coated restaurant dish. As Eileen says in her introduction, the translation of the sai ling mung refers to "foreign lemons" because this is designed to use western-style lemons. Added comment (Oct 2008): Thanks to all the reviewers for their comments and photos. First, many of the recipes from Eileen Yin-Fei Lo's book are her remembrances of her family's (especially her aunt's) home cooking in rural China, very traditional ... so modern taste would definitely think about adding to the spectrum of spices used in this recipe. I think she would approve of changes to reflect individual palates. Second, looking at the sodium content of the analysis, I agree that getting 32% of your RDA in one dish is a bit much ... you could reduce the amount of soy sauce, but if you do, you might want to increase either the wine or oyster sauce (or just add water) to maintain the liquid volume ... I'd think first of reducing the 1/2 tsp salt directly and then reducing the soy if I needed more salt removed ....
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Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Calories 212.5 kcal


  • 1 lb chicken cutlet, cleaned, dried, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (can squeeze from lemon below or use reconstituted lemon juice)
  • 1/2 fresh lemon, cut into 4 pieces (can be squeezed for juice)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ginger juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons shaoxing wine or 1 1/2 tablespoons sherry wine
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce (regular)
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons red bell peppers, minced, for garnish


  • Mix all the ingredients except the chicken and the red bell pepper (garnish) into a bowl, mix well.
  • Add the chicken, mix to coat and allow to marinate for 20 minutes.
  • Put the chicken and marinade into a steamproof dish (see note below).
  • Place the dish in a steamer and steam for 10 minutes.
  • Turn the chicken over and steam for another 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Remove the chicken from the steamer.
  • Sprinkle the red bell pepper over the chicken.
  • Serve over cooked rice, with a slice/wedge of lemon.
  • (Note re steamproof dishes)-- You may want to"temper" any dish that is not known to be"steamproof" or"ovenproof"-- here's how (steps 11-14).
  • Put 5-6 cups of cold water in a wok, place a cake rack in the wok and place the dish to be tempered on the rack.
  • Make certain the water covers the dish completely.
  • Cover with the wok cover and bring the water to a boil.
  • Allow the water to boil for at least 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the wok and water come to room termperature.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 146gCalories: 212.5kcalCarbohydrates: 8.6gProtein: 26.9gFat: 7.7gSaturated Fat: 1.4gCholesterol: 65.8mgSodium: 779.6mgFiber: 0.8gSugar: 3g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Asian, Beginner Cook, Cantonese, Chicken, Chicken Breast, Chinese, Easy, Inexpensive, Meat, Poultry, Steam
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