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Chicken manchurian closeup with parsley as a garnish
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5 from 10 votes

Chicken Manchurian

A flavorful and delicious Hakka, Indian Chinese chicken Manchurian recipe made with crispy boneless fried chicken tossed in a spicy, savory and sweet sticky sauce. Can be served as a appetizer or eaten as a main with rice or hakka noodles!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course, Takeout
Cuisine: Chinese, Hakka, Indian, Indo-Chinese
Servings: 3
Calories: 1054kcal
Author: Joyce Lee

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs boneless chicken (Preferably dark meat)
  • ½ red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic-ginger-onion mix (reserved from marinade)

Chicken Manchurian Marinade

  • ½ small onion
  • 3-4 slices ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon chilli powder (*See Note 1)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • 10 tablespoons corn starch or potato starch (mix this in with the chicken after you are done marinating, right before deep frying)

Chicken Manchurian Sauce

Garnish

  • cilantro (Optional)

Instructions

Marinating the Chicken

  • With a food processor, blitz the ginger, garlic, and half a small onion until it is a fine paste. Reserve 2 tablespoons of this for browning the onions and red peppers later.
  • Cut up the chicken into small bite-sized 1 inch pieces and marinate it in a bowl with the ginger-garlic-onion paste, soy sauce, chilli powder, black pepper, and water. (Do not add the corn starch yet. We will add that right before we deep fry the chicken.) Marinate in the fridge for 1 hour or overnight.

Preparation

  • Finely dice the red peppers and set them aside with the reserved ginger-garlic-onion mix.
  • If you are garnishing with cilantro, finely chop some and set it aside for the end.

Preparing the Chicken Manchurian Sauce

  • Chop up the chillis in the slices (keep the seeds) and add them to a small bowl.
  • Mix the tomato paste, oyster sauce, sugar, dark soy, regular soy, rice vinegar, and chilli powder together and mix well until it is combined.
  • Add water into the sauce and mixl everything until it's combined well.
  • In a small bowl, mix 2 teaspoons of corn starch with 4 teaspoons of cold water, then add it to the sauce and stir to combine. Set the sauce aside for later.

Deep Frying the Chicken

  • Add in the corn starch to the chicken and mix until everything is well combined
  • In a wok, frying pan or deep fryer heat the oil to 350F (177C).
  • When the oil is hot, add the chicken into the oil one at a time. Fry it in small batches being careful not to overcrowd the oil, which can drop the oil temperature
  • Fry the chicken for about 5-6 minutes and set them aside on a plate with a paper towel or newspaper to absorb some of the oil.
  • Once all the chicken has finished deep-frying, add them all back into the deep fryer at the same time and fry it for 30 seconds. This will re-heat the chicken and the double frying will make the chicken crispier.
  • Remove the chicken from the deep fryer and set it aside for later.

Putting It Together

  • In a wok or frying pan, set the stove to medium to medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil
  • When the oil is hot, add in the 2 tablespoons of ginger-garlic-onion mix that was reserved from preparation and cook it until it is toasty and brown. Approximately 2 minutes. Careful not to burn it.
  • Add in the finely diced red peppers and cook them for 2 minutes.
  • Give the sauce a quick stir (the corn starch likes to settle at the bottom) and add it to the wok
  • Keep stirring the sauce until it thickens.
  • Once the sauce has thickened, turn off the heat on the stove and add the deep-fried chicken into the pan and mix it together with the sauce until the chicken is well coated.
  • If you are using cilantro as a garnish, toss it in now.
  • Enjoy with a bowl of rice!

Notes

  1. The chilli powder at local grocery stores usually are a blend of cumin and other spices - this is not the type of chilli you would use for this recipe. That type of chilli powder has a more tex-mex kind of flavor. Indian chilli powders are just pure chilli peppers blended into a fine powder with no extra spices, so this gives just heat. When you are looking for chilli powder, make sure there are no other extra spices in the ingredient list - it should only be chillis. If you cannot find this, you can substitute it 1:1 with cayenne pepper.
  2. Oyster sauce gives the sauce extra umami flavor and a hit of sweet saltiness. I highly recommend using this ingredient, but if you cannot find it you can substitute it with half the amount of soy sauce with a pinch of sugar.
  3. Dark soy sauce is used to give the chicken a darker color. If you cannot find it, you can substitute it with soy sauce instead.

Nutrition

Calories: 1054kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 152g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 435mg | Sodium: 4243mg | Potassium: 3287mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 4076IU | Vitamin C: 95mg | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 7mg