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Quick Chicken Manchurian

Chicken Manchurian served in a black bowl with white rice.
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How about skipping a takeaway and making a lovely Indo-Chinese Chicken Manchurian instead? We promise you three things – it will taste better than any take-out dish, it will be a lot healthier (and lower in calories) and you will make it quicker than the delivery driver would have knocked on your door! Coated chicken covered in spicy sweet and sour sauce goes perfectly well with both noodles and fluffy white rice!

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What is Chicken Manchurian?

A Chinese recipe, that is extremely popular in the Indian subcontinent. Often described as an Indo-Chinese dish, Chicken Manchurian features a sweet, salty, sour and umami sauce and crispy fried chicken.

Chicken manchurian in a glossy shiny sauce in a frying pan.

Ingredients

It may look like a long list of ingredients, but once you look at it, you will probably see that you have the majority of the ingredients at home already.

For The Chicken:

  • chicken breast: use skinless boneless chicken in this recipe. You are also welcome to replace chicken breast with thighs, but keep in mind that thighs take longer to cook.
  • cornflour (cornstarch) and plain flour: is a perfect combination to ensure a crispy coating for the chicken. If you are looking to make a gluten-free meal, substitute the plain flour with an equal amount of extra corn flour.
  • oil for frying: we recommend odourless oil, such as sunflower or vegetable oil.
ingredients for the dish on a large wooden board.

For Manchurian Sauce:

  • chilli flakes: substitute with half a fresh chilli if you wish. If you don’t like your food too spicy, don’t add the seeds of the chilli.
  • root ginger: use ginger paste if that’s easier for you.
  • garlic clove: use garlic paste if you have some handy.
  • red onion: or brown onion, or even a shallot.
  • tomato paste: rich concentrated paste that typically comes in a tube.
  • sriracha or other chilli sauce of your preference.
  • soy sauce: we used dark soy sauce. If you want a gluten-free meal, make sure you use a GF soy sauce, like Tamari.
  • rice vinegar: substitute with white wine or apple cider vinegar.
  • brown sugar: light or brown sugar will work just fine.
  • cornflour (cornstarch): acts as a thickening agent for the sauce.
  • chicken stock: can be replaced with vegetable stock.
  • spring onions: used to garnish. Can be replaced with chives or some coriander.

Method

STEP 1: Cook Crispy Chicken

Place the flour, cornflour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and mix. Cut the skinless boneless chicken breasts into cubes, about 1.5cm.

Add the chicken cubes to the coating and mix well, ensuring every piece of chicken is coated.

Chicken pieces covered in cornflour and flour mixture.

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the chicken, shaking off any excess coating, and fry for approx 10 minutes, string often to ensure even browning on all sides. If you are making a large quantity, work in batches or fry at the same time in a couple of large frying pans.

Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pan, and place it on a paper towel-lined plate for any excess oil to be absorbed. Set it aside for later.

How To Make The Manchurian Sauce?

To the emptied pan, add the chilli flakes, finely chopped red onion, garlic and ginger. Sautee on medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, sriracha, soy sauce, vinegar and brown sugar to the pan and stir for a minute. Then add the stock and bring it to a rapid boil.

In the meantime, mix the cornflour with two tablespoons of water and add it to the stock. Stirring, simmer the sauce for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens.

Assemble, Garnish and Serve

Once the sauce is thickened, add the chicken back to the pan and stir to coat and warm through for a minute. Garnish with spring onion. Serve with rice!

Indo-Chinese Chicken served in a black bowl with rice and spring onion on top.

Recipe FAQs

Can I Make Manchurian Dish With Something Else Other Than The Chicken Breast?

Absolutely! You can use skinless boneless chicken thighs instead. Thinly sliced beef strips work great in this recipe too.
If you want to make a vegetarian meal, why not make Paneer Manchurian, using a delicious Indian Paneer Cheese instead? For a vegan option, use small cauliflower florets. Par-boil them first, then dip them in cornflour and fry in oil to crisp up. Then add to the sauce just like you would with chicken. If you are cooking for vegans or vegetarians, make sure to use dairy-free vegetable stock too.

Is Manchurian Chicken Gluten-Free?

It can be, but you will need to adjust the recipe. First, replace the plain flour with more corn flour for the coating of the chicken. Second, make sure to use gluten-free soy sauce (Tamari). Check the stock you are using as well – it is surprising how many stock cubes aren’t gluten-free.

What Vegetables Can I Add to The Manchurian Sauce?

Chop up some pepper, and a small carrot or even add sweet potato cubes.

Chicken Manchurian on a concrete surface in a dark bowl with brown rim.

What To Serve Chicken Manchurian With?

As with many other Asian-cuisine meals, fluffy boiled white rice is our first choice to serve with this delicious Chicken Manchurian. But if you’re looking for something a little bit extra special, serve the Manchurian Chicken with egg-fried rice or noodles. This way, we have the best of two worlds – Indian and Chinese Cuisines.

For a vegetable side, we recommend some Chargrilled Bak Choi or some simple Tenderstem Broccoli.

Other Delicious Chicken Recipes

Everybody likes an easy weeknight chicken dinner, right? Some of our favourite meals, that come together in no time, include:

Recipe Card

Chicken Manchurian served in a black bowl with white rice.

Quick Chicken Manchurian

How about skipping a takeaway and making a lovely Indo-Chinese Chicken Manchurian instead? We promise you three things – it will taste better than any take out dish, it will be a lot healthier (and lower in calories) and you will make it quicker than the delivery driver would have knocked on your door! Coated chicken covered in spicy sweet and sour sauce goes perfectly well with both noodles and fluffy white rice!
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indo-Chinese
Servings 2 portions
Calories 306 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For The Chicken:

  • 300 g chicken breast
  • tbsp cornflour
  • tbsp plain flour
  • oil for frying

For Manchurian Sauce:

  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 10 g root ginger finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp sriracha or other chilli sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 level tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 200 ml chicken stock hot
  • 1 spring onions sliced on the diagonal

Instructions
 

  • Place the flour, cornflour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and mix.
  • Add the chicken cubes and mix well insuring every piece of chicken is coated in the mixture.
  • Heat 3-4 tbsp of oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the chicken, shaking off any excess coating, and fry for approx 10 minutes, string often to ensure even browning on all sides. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pan and set aside for later.
  • To the emptied pan, add the chilli flakes, red onion, garlic and ginger. Sautee on medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, sriracha, soy sauce, vinegar and brown sugar to the pan and stir for a minute. Then add the stock and bring it to the boil.
  • In the meantime, mix the cornflour with two tablespoons of water and add it to the stock. Stirring, simmer the sauce for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens.
  • Once the sauce is thickened. Add the chicken back to the pan and stir to coat and warm through for a minute. Garnish with spring onion. Serve with rice!

Notes

Serve it with rice or noodles. 

Nutrition

Calories: 306kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 37gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 1068mgPotassium: 912mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 390IUVitamin C: 15mgCalcium: 41mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Chicken Manchurian, Chinese Fakeaway, Fakeaway Chicken, Fakeaway Recipe, Indo-Chinese Chicken Recipe, Manchurian Chicken
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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6 Replies to “Quick Chicken Manchurian”

  1. 5 stars
    This sauce is amazing. I could eat it straight off the spoon! Such a delicious recipe. Will definitely make again.

    1. Thanks so much for the feedback, Beth! So glad you liked it! 💗

  2. Amanda Wren-Grimwood says: Reply

    5 stars
    We made this last night and it didn’t disappoint. It was so easy to make and the sauce was the perfect balance of sweet and spicy too.

    1. So glad, Amanda! Thanks 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Drooling over chicken Manchurian here. I love the flavors. Thanks for sharing.

  4. 5 stars
    What a great recipe! I like this chicken manchurian because it’s very easy to prepare.

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