Long ago, the restaurant Big Bowl had a signature dish called Crispy Lemon Chicken. I’m pretty sure I ordered it about every time that we went there. Similarly, my wife always ordered the Feel Good Chicken Wonton Soup. While it’s no longer on the menu, here’s an at-home version that I think comes pretty darn close.
While you can absolutely use beef, chicken or pork in this recipe, I’ve chosen to go the vegetarian route and use my Crispy Tofu for this particular stir-fry dish. If you’ve made the tofu ahead of time, this should all come together rather quickly.
I’ve never seen the back-of-house of an Asian restaurant, but I’m guessing there are sacks of cornstarch all over the place. The cornstarch is what helps a sauce thicken down to that almost gravy-like consistency. Nearly every sauce in the Chinese culinary world (at least the Americanized versions) owe their sticky, viscous qualities to that wonderful slurry of cornstarch and water.
So this dish will be no different. Start with a flavorful (chicken or vegetable) stock and give it a healthy amount of fresh squeezed lemon juice. A little garlic and ginger for extra flavor and then honey and brown sugar for some sweetness. Add this to your vegetables in a hot pan and it’ll reduce down to super tasty sauce.
I like to wait and add the crispy tofu pieces at the very end so that the tofu doesn’t get soggy.
- 1 Cup Flavorful Stock
- 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
- 1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
- 2 Teaspoons Ginger
- 2 Teaspoons Garlic
- 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- 1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce
- 1/2 White Onion
- 2 Cups Steamed Broccoli
- 1 Block Crispy Tofu Reference my other recipe
Warm the stock and dissolve the corn starch to make the slurry
Mix in the lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of the ginger, 1 teaspoon of the garlic, brown sugar, honey and soy sauce
In a wok, or large pan, saute the onions in a small amount of oil for about 5 minutes
Add the steamed broccoli, remaining garlic & ginger and saute for another 3-5 minutes
Add the lemon sauce, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to begin reducing it. As it reduces, it will begin to thicken
The sauce will take about 10 minutes to thicken, depending on how quickly you boil it
Just before you pull the dish to plate it, add the tofu to coat it with the sauce.