Savoury Lemon Curd

While watching some cooking show or another (we’re obsessed, and very much deprived of enough cooking shows here in HK!) some chef or contestant or another served up lemon curd roasted chicken. Interest piqued, I immediately got to work to create something similar.

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Lemon and chicken, in the same sentence, to me immediately brings to mind that kind of “international Chinese” cuisine…you know what I mean. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve demolished a fair amount of lemon chicken in my life but that wasn’t what I was after here.

Nor did I want a true lemon curd…TOO SWEET! Soy was too predictable and wandering into the dreaded anglo, take-out territory… To enrich this savoury curd with umami, naturally (or bizarrely – up to you, which!) it was fish sauce that came to my mind. A little (optional) orange juice, at the recommendation of Mr. dB, really sets this apart.

I’ve just realised this one needs its own little photo shoot! Watch this space…

Tips and Tricks:

As I wanted to seriously tone down the sweetness of this condiment, I decided to use coconut sugar. That’s not to say you can’t use white or a brown sugar if that’s what you’ve got to hand!

Separate your eggs before you add them into the saucepan – make sure you grab all of that albumen – the stringy connector from the yolk to the egg white, or you’ll end up with a couple of pieces of scrambled egg in places.

Looking for a simple dinner option with a complex flavour?

Savoury Lemon Curd

This tangy curd is bursting to the brim with a deep, rich umami-ness coupled with a subtle but dark caramel flavour. This pairs beautifully with chicken or cauliflower.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Cooling Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Condiment, Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine: British
Keyword: Condiment, Curd, Lemon, Lemon Curd, Sauce, Sweet and Sour, Umami


  • Saucepan (ideally with a thick-bottom, but not essential – I've made mine in a frying pan before!)
  • Wooden spoon / baking spatula
  • Balloon whisk
  • Sieve
  • Clean jar


  • 4 Egg yolks From large eggs. Don't discard the whites, you can freeze them in ice cube trays for your next baking adventure.
  • 1/3 Cup Coconut sugar Or brown/cane will also do; as we're going for a savoury feel, white sugar can be used just note that the final product will be a lot sweeter.
  • 2 Lemons Zested and juiced.
  • 1 Tbsp. Fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. Butter (salted or unsalted, both work) Cut into small chunks.
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Black peppercorns Or 1 teaspoon of coarse black pepper.


  • 1 Lemongrass stalk Finely chopped.
  • 1 Tbsp. Orange juice, fresh if you have it Optional but recommended for a beautiful, floral aroma; if you happen to have some in the fridge, bust it out!



  • It's far easier to start with everything ready and raring to go. Separate your eggs and freeze your whites or set aside for another recipe.
  • Zest the lemons, squeeze and set aside 3 tablespoons of fresh juice. If using orange juice, use just 2 tablespoons of lemon and one of OJ.
  • Chop your butter (and lemongrass is using) and set aside – if your kitchen is really warm, you can put the butter in the fridge until you need it.

The cook:

  • Place your egg yolks, sugar, zest, lemon juice and fish sauce into a cold saucepan and place over low heat. You don't want to use excess heat or you'll end up with sugar scrambled egg!
  • Keeping the mixture moving constantly, cook until it is beginning to get nice and thick; around 5 minutes.
  • Take the mixture off of the heat and add the butter, pepper and lemongrass if you're using it. Whisk in the butter until you have a beautifully smooth curd.
  • Allow the mixture to cool slightly while the flavours infuse, then strain and thoroughly cool in a clean container or jam jar.
  • This curd will keep well in the refrigerator for at least one week and so can be prepped in advance to jazz up your next chicken or cauliflower dish!

We would love to hear what you think of our dish.

Please leave a comment below, or if you’ve given this or another dish a whirl, please tag us on FacebookInstagram or Pinterest so we can see your hard work!

Author: thedbkitchen

Niche-free recipes, created out of a pure love of food, by home cook Carmel de Bedin (that’s me!). Genuine, accessible dishes tried and taste-tested by a couple of food nerds who truly love a good meal.

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