Chinese Food

Manchurian chicken – How to cook in three steps (with amazing flavor)

The flavors of some Asian dishes are unique and very strong. Discover the secrets of the many flavors in Asian Cuisine – discover how to cook the flavors of Asian dishes, with amazing flavor.

This is my first recipe blog, and it is shaing a new way of cooking. I created this blog as a way to share the recipes that I have made and thought up one day. I hope that you will enjoy the recipes that I have shared here.

Is Manchurian chicken from China? Not really. It’s an Indian-Chinese dish.

This dish was created by Chinese chef Nelson Wang from Kolkata, India.

Manchu chicken has similarities to Chinese sweet and sour pork (Ku lo yuk / 咕噜肉).  It’s fried chicken dipped in a sauce of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar and ketchup.

In this Manchurian Chicken recipe, the sauce is much thicker than in some other recipes because the sauce gives it a richer flavor. Because it is quite dry, however, it remains crisp if eaten immediately after cooking. In any case, it’s up to you whether you make the chicken manchois drier or with more sauce.

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How to prepare Manchurian Chicken

Only three steps are needed to prepare the Manchurian chicken. Saute the chicken first, make the chicken manchoise sauce and pour the sauce over the chicken.

1. Marinate the chicken, then fry it

You can use chicken breast meat or thigh fillet to prepare the Manchurian chicken. I use chicken disc fillets because they have more flavor and don’t get tough, even if they are slightly overcooked.

Chicken marinating

  • Cut the chicken into one-inch pieces. The size should not be too small, as they lose their moisture quickly during baking.  When the meat turns golden, it is already dry.
  • Marinate the chicken with a little salt and black pepper. I’ve seen other recipes that add ginger, garlic, chili and soy sauce to the marinade. While this is possible, it doesn’t seem necessary because the Manchurian chicken sauce has a strong flavor.
  • Marinate the chicken for half an hour, as the chicken pieces are small.

Prepare the dough

After the chicken has marinated for half an hour, add the egg, cornstarch and flour. The egg and flour form a thick paste to cover the chicken pieces.   It forms a crust that protects the chicken from the direct heat of the hot oil during roasting and prevents it from becoming dry.  You can also add a little baking powder to make the crust crispier and fluffier. The quantities of each ingredient are indicated in the recipe below.

Fried chicken

The most convenient way to roast a small amount of food is to use a heavy-bottomed pan or saucepan. I first fill it with a half inch of oil, fresh or used, that I have used to deep fry other foods in a deep fryer.

Then heat the oil. How do I know if the temperature of the oil is suitable for frying? A kitchen thermometer can be used to check the temperature (it should be around 180°C/355°F). In practice, it is not necessary to be very specific. Therefore, the temperature can be estimated by visual inspection.

  • If the oil is smoking, it is too hot. The surface of the chicken will quickly become spotty before the heat penetrates the chicken and cooks it through and through.
  • Dip a wooden spatula or a chopstick into the oil. When you see a steady stream of bubbles rising around the wooden spatula/stick, the oil temperature is ideal for deep frying.
  • Conversely, if there are few or no air bubbles, the oil is too cold.  In this case, the chicken absorbs too much oil and forms a hard, less crispy crust.

When the meat is golden brown, remove and dry on a paper towel.

Note:

  • We use a commercial electric fryer in the restaurant to handle the volume of orders. However, the fryer requires a lot of oil to fill, making it unsuitable for home use.  I have also tried a small electric fryer for home use, but the clean up after frying makes it impractical for a small family.
  • One of the most important things is to resist the urge to fill the pan with too many pieces of chicken, even if you want to finish cooking as quickly as possible. The batter binds the pieces together, preventing them from baking evenly.  So you better be patient and divide the chicken into two or three portions to get it.  After all, it only takes four minutes to bake each serving.
  • Since the bottom of the meat is in contact with the pan, the chicken should be turned frequently to ensure even cooking.  This step is not necessary if you are using an electric fryer, as the meat will stick to the frying basket.

2. Preparation of sauces and vegetables

  • The main ingredients of Manchurian chicken sauce are ginger, garlic, chili, tomato ketchup, light soy sauce and vinegar.
  • Chopped ginger and garlic are good, but most Indian families should always have ginger and garlic paste on hand.
  • For the chili, I use store-bought chili sauce. You can use chili powder, chili flakes, chopped fresh green chilies or a combination of both. You can adjust the heating level accordingly.
  • Tomato ketchup and light soy sauce are almost essential in this recipe. You can add a little dark soy sauce to make the color darker.
  • Vinegar is optional, but it’s a great addition to the sauce. Add a little sugar to balance the acidity of the vinegar.  To prepare pork in sweet and sour Chinese cuisine, plum sauce is used instead of vinegar. I think the vinegar (and green chillies for spice) is the main difference between the Chinese version and the Manchurian chicken sauce.

I prefer to mix these ingredients ahead of time rather than adding them to the wok, as wok cooking is a quick and continuous process.

Vegetables

The common vegetables for Manchurian chicken are peppers, onions and shallots. I have also seen some recipes with the addition of carrot pieces.

The choice of vegetables is another big difference between Manchu Chicken and Sweet and Sour Chinese Pork/chicken, where pineapple and cucumber are the most popular vegetables in the recipe.

Cut the peppers and onions into large pieces, the same size as the chicken. However, you can chop the onions much finer if you want to sauté and roast them longer with the ginger and garlic.

Cut the shallots into small rings and separate the green from the white part.  Just before serving, sprinkle the green rings over the dish as a garnish, and the white part can be roasted with ginger and garlic. Since I’m using onions in this recipe, the white part becomes redundant, so I’ll save it for another recipe.

3. Pour the sauce over the chicken

After you stir-fry the ginger, garlic and vegetables, add the spices we put in the wok to make a sauce.  Put the fried chicken back into the wok and pour the sauce and vegetables over the meat. Now don’t saute the chicken for too long.  If you do this, the chicken won’t be crispy when you serve it.

Of course, this is my interpretation of Manchurian chicken, perhaps influenced by traditional Chinese cuisine, which is quite dry.  If you prefer a salty sauce, you can add more water when making the sauce and bind the sauce with cornstarch.  You should do a taste test to determine if you need to add more salt and other seasonings if the sauce has become more. Of course, the chicken will not be as crispy if it is soaked in a large amount of sauce.

Now it’s your turn to try it at home.  Most ingredients are pretty common in a standard kitchen pantry, and this is a quick and easy recipe. Have fun!

Other Manchurian Chicken Recipes

Sweet and sour pork is a traditional Chinese dish that can be used universally. Pieces of pork are dipped in a thick spoonful of sauce that constantly goes back and forth between sweet and sour. It has some similarities to the Manchurian chicken.

This Vietnamese chicken cutlet, fried with lemongrass, is guaranteed to please everyone present. The almost universal appeal of the scent of lemongrass will appeal to everyone in your family.

Cooking time
20 minutes

Cooking time
15 minutes

Total time
35 minutes

Ingredients

For chicken (A)

  • 500 g beef fillet cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For test (B)

Other (C)

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1.5 bell peppers (a mixture of red, green and yellow) cut into pieces (approximately 150 g)
  • 2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped (approximately 150 g)
  • 2 Stängel Frühlingszwiebeln, fein in Ringe geschnitten, zum Garnieren
  • 4 tablespoons water

Sauce (D)

Instructions

  1. Cut the chicken into one-inch pieces.
  2. Marinate the chicken with salt and black pepper for half an hour.
  3. Add the egg, cornstarch, plain flour and baking powder to the chicken. Mix well.
  4. Heat oil in a 2 cm deep pan.
  5. Fry the chicken in small portions. Turn the chicken frequently so it cooks evenly.  When the meat is golden brown, remove and dry on a paper towel.
  6. Fry the ginger and garlic in the oil until fragrant.
  7. Add the onions and peppers and sauté for half a minute.
  8. Add the sauce (D) and a little water if you want a juicier taste.
  9. Put the fried chicken back into the wok and pour the sauce and vegetables over the meat.
  10. Garnish with stilts and serve.

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Performance information:

Performance:

3

Section:

1

Quantity per serving :

Calories : 527Total fat: 29 gSaturated fat: 8 gTrans fat: 0 gSaturated fat: 21 gCholesterol: 275 mgSodium: 1600 mgCarbons: 24 gFibre: 2 gSugar: 12 gProtein: 44 g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 10/7/2021.

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