Mushroom Manchurian is an Indo-Chinese appetizer made by tossing crisp batter fried mushrooms in a thick & delicious umami tasting Manchurian sauce. In this post I share an easy recipe to make restaurant style Mushroom Manchurian at home. Serve it as an appetizer or a side with Fried Rice or with Noodles. It also goes well with steamed rice if you opt to make extra sauce.
Manchurian is a type of Indian Chinese dish invented by Nelson Wang, an Indian restaurateur of Chinese origin. Though the dish bears very little resemblance to the Manchu cuisine, he just made something toothsome and called it Manchurian.
The first dish was made with Chicken and as time passed by this became one of the most popular Indo-Chinese dishes in India. A lot of variations are seen today made with mutton, fish, eggs and even vegetarian versions exist.
About Mushroom Manchurian
To make Mushroom Manchurian, sliced mushrooms are dipped in a thick batter & deep fried until crisp and golden. In another pan, aromatics like garlic ginger and spring onions are fried in a wok briefly, to which later bell peppers are added. Once they are softened soya sauce, tomato ketchup and vinegar are added.
A corn flour slurry is stirred into this to make a thick aromatic sauce. When the sauce thickens, the fried mushrooms are added.
As is the Manchurian sauce is pure umami and adding mushrooms to this makes this dish super umami. Now you know what I am speaking about!
When I first posted this recipe, I shared the deep fried version. I moved over to the air fryer so I am updating this with air fried version too. You can find the instructions in the recipe card below.
In any case you don’t like the frying step at all, feel free to make Mushroom Manchurian with pan fried mushrooms, just like the way I made these Chilli Mushrooms. The only change is that your mushrooms won’t be crispy but the taste will still be good.
How to Make Mushroom Manchurian (Stepwise Photos)
1. Ensure the mushrooms are at room temperature before using them in the recipe. Using cold mushrooms (from fridge) to fry will result in splashes of hot oil. So rinse them and pat dry with a kitchen tissue. Slice them when you are about to fry.
2. Pour ¼ to ½ cup oil to a deep pan or kadai and heat it on a medium flame.
3. Add 3 tablespoons white cornflour (corn starch), ¼ cup all-purpose flour (or wheat flour), ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper and ½ teaspoon red chili powder to a mixing bowl.
4. Pour ¼ cup water & begin to make a batter that is of thick pouring consistency. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time and make the batter. Check my video for batter consistency.
5. This is the consistency of the batter. It must not be too thick nor too thin.
6. Add the sliced mushrooms to the batter.
7. Mix well and coat them with batter.
8. Check if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small amount of batter to the hot oil. The batter must rise and not sink.
9. When the oil is hot enough drop the mushrooms one after the other.
10. Fry them on a medium high heat until crisp and golden.
11. Remove them to a kitchen tissue. Set this aside.
12. Make a slurry of the cornflour and water. Mix 1 teaspoon cornstarch with ½ cup water in a small bowl. The slurry should be lump-free. Set this aside.
Make Mushroom Manchurian
13. Add 1 tbsp oil to a pan and heat it on a high flame. Add ½ to ¾ teaspoon chopped ginger and ½ to ¾ teaspoon chopped garlic. Fry for a minute without burning.
14. Add ¼ cup spring onion whites and fry for a minute.
15. Add ¼ to ½ cup chopped capsicums and fry for 2 mins.
16. Pour 1 ½ tablespoons soya sauce. Do use naturally brewed or organic soya sauce.
17. Add 2 tablespoons tomato sauce/ ketchup. You can use more or less than mentioned to suit your taste.
18. Pour the cornflour mixture we made earlier. Mix well and boil on a medium heat.
19. Add ¾ to 1 teaspoon sugar, very little salt salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Check the taste if needed add vinegar to make it slight tangy. If needed you can also add 2 to 3 tbsps more water to bring it to a pouring yet thick consistency.
20. When the sauce turns thick, turn off the heat. Allow it to cool down a bit for a minute or 2, then add the fried mushrooms.
Garnish mushroom manchurian with spring onions and serve hot.
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 200 grams button mushrooms (1 & ¼ cup sliced)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour (or wheat flour )
- 3 tablespoons white corn flour ( corn starch)
- ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder (optional)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup water (more to adjust the consistency)
- Oil for frying
For the sauce
- 1 tablespoon oil (any)
- ½ to ¾ tablespoon garlic (minced)
- ½ to ¾ tablespoon ginger (minced)
- ¼ cup spring onion whites, chopped
- ¼ to ½ cup capsicum chopped / bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon corn flour (corn starch or arrowroot powder)
- ½ cup water (you may need little more, use as needed)
- 1 ½ tablespoons soya sauce (use naturally brewed or organic)
- 2 tablespoons tomato sauce or ketchup
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon vinegar (optional, if needed)
- salt as needed (use only if needed)
- 2 tablespoons Spring onion greens
- Ensure mushrooms are at room temperature before using them in this recipe. Using too cold mushrooms to fry will result in splashes of oil.
- Add corn flour, all-purpose flour, salt, pepper and chilli powder to a bowl.
- Pour ¼ cup water and mix to make a free flowing batter. Add more water, a few tablespoons as needed to adjust the consistency. The consistency has to be moderately thick, not too thick or too runny. (check video)
- On a medium flame, heat oil in a deep pan for deep frying. You will need about ¼ to ½ cup oil depending on the size of your pan.
- Rinse the mushrooms and pat dry with a paper napkin. There should be no traces of moisture. Slice them slightly thick.
- Check if the oil is hot enough by gently dropping a small portion of batter to the hot oil. If the temperature of oil is right, the batter will come up without browning. If the batter does not rise then it means oil is not ready yet.
- Add the sliced mushrooms to the batter only when the oil is almost hot. Coat them well.
- Gently slide the mushroom slices one after the other to the oil. Deep fry on a medium high heat without disturbing them for a few minutes.
- Stir often and fry until golden and crisp. Remove them to a steel colander.
- To Air Fry: Make the batter thicker than we make for the deep frying version. This helps the batter to stay on the mushrooms without dripping a lot.
- Cut each button mushroom to 2 parts. Dip each portion in the batter, lift and place it in the powdered cornflakes (slightly coarse, read notes). Coat each mushroom well.
- Place the mushrooms directly ¾ inch apart in the basket. Air fry at 360 C or 180 C for 8 to 9 mins, shake a bit and continue to air fry for another 5 to 6 mins. Adjust the timing depending on the air fryer.
How to Make Mushroom Manchurian
- Add 1 tsp corn flour to a bowl and pour half cup of water. Mix and make a lump free slurry. Keep this aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wide pan. Regulate the flame to high.
- Add ginger and garlic. Saute for a min.
- Add spring onion whites and fry for a min or two.
- Next add capsicum and saute for another minute.
- Pour soya sauce and tomato sauce. Stir the corn flour slurry once and pour it to the pan.
- Stir well and cook to make a sauce. Add more water if required.
- Reduce the flame to medium and add sugar, little salt. Stir and check the taste of the sauce.
- Add pepper and vinegar if needed.
- Allow the sauce to turn thick. Turn off the flame. Allow to cool it a bit. Do not add hot mushrooms to the manchurian sauce.
- Add the fried mushrooms and coat them well in the sauce
- Garnish with spring onion greens.
- Serve mushroom manchurian hot as a appetizer or with noodles or fried rice.
- For the air fryer version bread crumbs and corn flakes both work. But I chose to use cornflakes for the color. Just pulse 1 cup of corn flakes in a grinder to a coarse semolina like texture. Use it.
- The timings I mentioned are for large button mushrooms air fried in a XXL air fryer. If you use a smaller air fryer or if the mushrooms are smaller, they get done faster.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
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I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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