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A picture of chicken manchurian served on a white platter with rice in the background, and topped with whole red chillies and spring onions.

Chicken Manchurian Recipe

Chicken Manchurian is a popular Indo-Chinese recipe made with boneless chicken. Crispy pieces of chicken are added to a spicy and tangy Manchurian sauce, and served with fried rice. It’s a super popular dish at Pakistani and Indian restaurants that specialise in Indo-Chinese cuisine. Read on ahead for my recipe for restaurant style chicken Manchurian.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian, Indo Chinese, Pakistani
Keyword Chicken Manchurian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Marination Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 400 kcal

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 500 grams boneless chicken 2 chicken breasts, cut in small cubes
  • ½ tablespoon garlic paste
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • ½ tablespoon soya sauce
  • 1 egg whisked
  • 4 tablespoon cornflour / cornstarch
  • Oil for frying

For Manchurian sauce / gravy:

  • 2 tablespoons oil use the same oil as was used for frying
  • ½ tablespoon freshly minced garlic can be substituted with garlic paste
  • 4 dried whole red chillies see note 1
  • 1 onion cut into cubes
  • ½ green capsicum / green bell pepper cut into cubes
  • 2 tablespoons soya sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • ½ cup tomato ketchup / tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce or another chili sauce see note 2
  • 1 – 1 /2 cups chicken stock or 1 chicken cube / bullion cube dissolved in same amount of water
  • ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon cornflour / cornstarch dissolved in water
  • 2 spring onions thinly sliced (for garnish)

Instructions

For the chicken:

  1. Place the chicken in a bowl, and add garlic paste, salt, white pepper powder, red chilli flakes and soy sauce. Add the egg and mix well.
  2. Add the cornflour till a thick batter consistency is reached. The recipe states 4 tablespoons of cornflour / cornstarch, but you can add more or less to reach the right consistency.
  3. Marinate the chicken for 30 minutes.
  4. Heat oil for frying in a wok or shallow frying pan.
  5. Add the chicken in batches, and fry till golden brown and crispy. Keep the heat low – medium so that the chicken can cook through from the inside but doesn’t burn from the outside.
  6. Set aside the fried chicken.
  7. The chicken can also be shallow fried, baked in an oven, or made in an air fryer.

For the Manchurian sauce / gravy:

  1. Place the tomato ketchup / tomato sauce, sriracha, soya sauce and vinegar in a small jug or bowl. Stir and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large wok / medium sized pot (or Dutch oven). The same pan can be used that was used for frying the chicken, just remove the oil and leave only 2 tablespoons in the pan.
  3. Once the oil is hot, add the freshly minced garlic and whole red chilies. Saute for a minute, and then add the cubed onions and capsicum.
  4. Sauté for around 2 minutes, and then add the tomato sauce mixture that was kept aside.
  5. Add the chicken stock, along with the red chili flakes, white pepper powder and salt. Add only a little salt as the other ingredients are already quite salty.
  6. Let the mixture come to a boil, and then turn heat to simmer.
  7. Add the cornflour slurry and cook for 2 – 3 minutes till the gravy thickens and turns glossy.
  8. Add the fried chicken to the gravy and mix through. Cook for a few minutes till the chicken is heated through. The gravy will thicken a little more due to the fried chicken batter. If you want, you can add more chicken stock at this stage, and adjust seasonings.
  9. Once the chicken is heated through, turn off the heat. Garnish the chicken Manchurian with sliced spring onions and serve hot with fried rice.

Recipe Notes

  1. In this recipe I use dried whole red chilies. They are added whole in the recipe and add flavor, aroma as well as heat. The variety that I use is the round one which are grown in Pakistan, known as ‘dundicut peppers’ or ‘gol lal mirch’. If the round dried red chilies aren’t available, the flat ones can be used instead.
  2. In Pakistan, I would always use chili garlic sauce to make Indo-Chinese recipes. Chili garlic sauce is a type of spicy tomato ketchup, with garlic and chilies. It can be difficult to find abroad as it is available at Indian or Pakistani grocery stores only so I use Sriracha instead. For this recipe you can use sriracha sauce, chili garlic sauce, chili paste, or sambel olek paste depending on what is available in your country. Adjust quantity based on the spiciness of the sauce / paste being used.