Chicken Manchurian

Chicken Manchurian
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Chicken Manchurian is everybody’s favorite for a reason

This recipe is not authentic Chinese in any way, but it has become a favorite Desi Chinese dish in the subcontinent. Each region has made it their own, and this version of Chicken Manchurian is what you find in Chinese restaurants across Pakistan. It is a delicious balance of sweet and sour, with tender chicken and crispy vegetables. Every time I make this I am transported to my favorite restaurant in Lahore, and I can hear the sizzling hot plate getting closer. The is Lahore on a plate.

A little preparation goes a long way in Pan Asian cooking

Prepping your ingredients in advance makes the cooking process easier for every dish, but it holds true in Chinese cooking more than ever. marinate your chicken before you turn the stove on. Chop your vegetables and mix the sauce ingredients before you cook the chicken, and this will come together in less than 30 minutes. The only time consuming part of this Chicken Manchurian is pan frying the coated chicken in two batches so a nice golden crust forms. That crust soaks up all the delicious Manchurian sauce and makes every bite delicious.

The balance is in the sauce

The sauce is what gives this it’s quintessential sweet and sour flavor. I know ketchup may seem basic, but it helps make the sauce red. I use low sodium soy sauce because that lets me control the salt level in my food. Using low sodium sauces make a huge difference in the salt level, but they don’t change the flavor. This recipes makes a slightly thicker sauce. Add 1/4 cup water for a thinner consistency. I serve this with steamed basmati or jasmine rice.

Chicken Manchurian

Chicken Manchurian

It's that classic Chicken Manchurian that made it's way to your table, sputtering and sizzling on the hot plate and ready to be devoured. This recipe is easy and has that nostalgic flavor that will take you back to your favorite Chinese restaurant in Lahore.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese, Pakistani
Servings 3


  • Wok


Chicken Marinade

  • 1 pound boneless chicken cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sambal oelek or 1 tsp sriracha
  • 2 tbsp corn starch

For the Sauce

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp sambal oelek
  • 2 tsp soy sauce low sodium
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup water

For the Chicken Manchurian

  • 3 tbsp oil flavorless
  • 1 tbsp ginger crushed
  • 3 green chilli peppers
  • 1 green bell pepper cubed
  • 1/2 onion cubed and separated
  • 1/2 cup carrots sliced into rounds
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions for garnish


  • Mix all the ingredients under chicken marinade and let them sit for ten minutes. Heat the oil in a wok and fry the chicken in 2 batches, spacing each piece of chicken apart. Cook on one side for 3 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for 3 minutes, then remove to a plate. The crust should be golden brown.
  • In a medium bowl mix together all the ingredients listed under sauce. Set aside.
  • In the same wok add the ginger. (There should be oil left over fomr the hcicken, if not add 1 tsp oil) Saute for one minutes, then add the vegetables and green chillies. Saute the vegetables for 2 minutes. Add the sauce and let it come to a boil.
  • Add the cooked chicken into the wok and lower the flame. Let the chicken and vegetables simmer in the sauce for 2-3 minutes. Once the sauce is slightly thicker, with large bubbles forming around the edges, turn off the flame. Garnish with sliced green onions and serve with steamed rice.


Make this less spicy. Classic Manchurian is sweet and sour, but I’ve added my own spicy twist. If you want this to be less spicy omit the green chili peppers and add half the amount of sambal oelek listed. 
Variations. My favorite combination of vegetables is onions, bell peppers and carrots. You can also add broccoli, water chestnuts or different colored bell peppers. 
The sauce. This sauce is a classic Manchurian sauce that is slightly thick. If you want a thinner consistency add and extra 1/4 cup of water to the sauce. 
Keyword Chicken Manchurian, Desi Chinese

Have you tried this desi Chinese classic?

Have you tried this Chicken Manchurian recipe? If you have I’d love to hear how it turned out in the comments below!

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This turns out so good EVERYTIME! Reminds me of Pakistan. Can’t stop making it this winter


Love this recipe because it is quick, easy and is a crowd pleaser! 💯