Chicken Manchurian recipe – Delicious fried chicken in slightly sweet, hot & sour Manchurian sauce. Chicken Manchurian is an Indo chinese food that is much popular in the Indian subcontinent. The vegetarian versions like Gobi manchurian, Veg manchurian & Paneer manchurian are also popular & are loved by many.
Chicken Manchurian is not an authentic Chinese dish. But is a fusion food from the Indian Chinese cuisine which is developed with the adaptation of Chinese seasoning & cooking methods to suit Indian taste buds.
Chilli chicken and chicken manchurian are 2 dishes that are made similarly but they taste very different. I had chicken Manchurian in a couple of fine dining Indochinese restaurants and had absolutely loved it.
In the regular restaurants it is usually made with cubed chicken in a much similar way like the chilli chicken. Just the flavor of soya sauce is much more intense in Manchurian.
However the ones I had tasted was made with minced chicken balls which were crisp fried & then tossed in Manchurian sauce. It just tasted awesome & very unique.
After several experiments I got hold on the recipe and loved the way it turned out similar to the restaurant chicken Manchurian except for the color.
Usually manchurian dishes look darker in color due to the liberal use of soya sauce. Since I prefer to minimize it mine turned out pretty bright in color.
If you do not prefer to make the chicken balls, you can just make the recipe with diced or cubed chicken. The recipe will remain the same & will still taste awesome & delicious.
Tips to make chicken Manchurian
- Most often I marinate the chicken before frying as it helps to tenderize the chicken. You can also skip this step but for best flavor & texture setting aside for at least 45 mins is recommended. It helps in tenderizing & enhancing the flavor.
- Usually chicken stock is used to make the chicken Manchurian sauce but I have used water as I did not have it in hand. However you can just replace the water & use chicken stock.
- I have deep fried the chicken. However you can also grill it and then add it to the Manchurian sauce.
- You can also whip up an entire meal in the same pan. Just set aside the chicken manchurian and retain some sauce in the pan. Add cooked noodles or rice and stir fry for a minute. You meal is ready in minutes.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- 250 grams chicken breast boneless, (cubed or minced)
- ½ egg white (1 egg white for ½ kg chicken)
- 1/8 tsp pepper coarsely crushed
- 1 tsp soya sauce (Prefer naturally brewed)
- 2 pinches chili powder (optional, for color)
- 2 tbsp corn starch (white corn flour)
- 1 ½ tbsp all-purpose flour or maida (or rice flour)
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste or minced
- salt little
- oil as needed for frying
for manchurian sauce
- 1 tbsp garlic chopped finely
- ½ tbsp ginger chopped finely
- 1 medium onion chopped finely or 2 tbsps spring onion whites
- 1 tbsp soya sauce (use more for intense flavor)
- 2 tbsp red chili sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato sauce optional
- 1 tsp vinegar (add more if needed)
- 1 cup water or chicken stock
- 2 tsp corn starch (white corn flour) (3 tsps for gravy)
- 3 tbsp water to mix with flour
- salt little
- ½ to 1 tsp sugar
- ¾ cup capsicum or bell peppers cubed
- 2 tbsps scallions or spring onions greens
How to make the recipe
Preparation for chicken manchurian
- Mix chicken with soya sauce, salt, ginger garlic paste, red chili powder (optional) and pepper powder.
- Add egg white and flour. Mix well. Set aside for at least 1 hour.
- If you have used chicken cubes then skip this step. If you have used the mince divide the mixture to 12 portions. Make balls. If you don’t get round balls, that’s just fine.
- Heat oil until hot enough to fry. Test by sliding a small portion of the batter to the hot oil. It has to rise without browning. This is the right temperature.
- Deep fry chicken on a medium flame until golden & crisp. When the chicken is done cooking bubbles will begin to reduce. Remove the fried chicken to a kitchen towel. Please make sure the chicken is cooked completely inside before you add it to the sauce.
Making manchurian sauce
- Stir in the corn flour with 3 tbsp water in a small bowl. To another small bowl, add vinegar,soya sauce, tomato sauce (optional) and red chilli sauce. Mix all of these and set aside.
- Transfer the oil to a bowl and retain only half a tbsp. Fry ginger garlic until aromatic. Fry onions or scallion whites until transparent.
- Add bell peppers and fry for 2 minutes. Pour the sauces.
- When they begin to bubble, Stir the corn flour mixture & pour it along with 1 cup water or stock.
- The sauce begins to bubble and thickens. Taste the sauce and add in more salt or any sauces you desire. Turn off the heat. Then add fried chicken & spring onions.
- Stir and coat the chicken with the sauces. If you have made to chicken balls then cook for 2 mins.
- Garnish with spring onions and serve chicken manchurian as a appetizer.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
If you are a beginner or new to Indian cooking, I highly suggest you to check the supporting step by step photos for best results. Step by step photos with description available below after the recipe card.
Preparation for chicken manchurian
1. Make sure there is no excess moisture in the chicken before you use it. You can either use cubed chicken or chicken mince (keema).
I prefer to chop finely and then use. Add soya sauce, ginger garlic, salt , red chili powder (optional) and pepper to a mixing bowl. Mix well. For Chinese recipes, generally no chili powder is used. But i prefer to use to get a a good color which otherwise is got by food colors in restaurants.
2. Add egg white, rice flour and corn flour. 1 egg white works good for half a kg chicken. I used only half of 1 egg white since i used only 250 grams chicken. Do not add more egg otherwise the mixture will turn soggy.
3. Mix everything well and set aside for at least 1 hour. You can also skip this.
4. Heat oil in a pan for deep frying. Check if the oil is hot enough by sliding in a small portion of batter. It must rise without browning. If using cubed chicken then slide the batter coated pieces to the hot oil. Fry on a medium heat until the chicken is golden and crisp. When the chicken is cooked fully bubbles will reduce.
If using minced chicken. Take small portions of the mixture and make balls. Fry them in hot oil. You may not get round balls, that is just fine. In case you want to make perfect round balls, then you need to reduce egg or add more flour. But that alters the texture of the ball.
Egg is used to lock the meat juices and prevents the meat balls from turning dry. A reduction of egg may turn the balls dry and hard.
5. We need to stir often while frying to cook the meat evenly.
6. Transfer all the balls to a kitchen towel. Switch off the stove.
7. Add 2 tsp corn flour to a bowl and mix with ¼ cup water. Stir and set aside.
8. Add vinegar, soya sauce, sugar and red chili sauce to a bowl. You can also add little tomato sauce if you prefer. Set this aside as well.
How to make chicken manchurian
9. We can use the same pan further. Transfer the hot oil to a cup, keep only ½ tbsp oil. Fry chopped garlic ginger till you begin to smell good.
10. Add onions and spring onion whites and saute till they turn transparent.
11. Add bell peppers, these are optional. If you do not have skip them. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
12. Pour the sauces. Stir and mix.
13. When the sauces begin to bubble, Stir the corn flour mixture and then pour it to the pan.
14. Pour 1 ¼ cup water and begin to cook. Taste the sauce and adjust salt & spice. This has to be slightly sweet, sour and hot.
15. When the sauce begins to bubble, add the fried chicken and spring onions. Toss well to coat them in sauce. If you have made the chicken balls then simmer for 2 minutes, this helps the balls to absorb the flavors. If the sauce becomes very thick, you can add one to 2 tbsp water and stir.
This recipe yields a semi dry chicken manchurian. If you like to have more gravy, just add 1 tsp more of cornflour and ½ cup more water.