~ Manchurian with Egg-Pocket Fried Rice ~ 

“As long as there is Pasta and Chinese Food in the world, I’m okay” (Micheal Chang) and true that for me. I have always loved Chinese for as long as I can remember, specifically because the flavours are extremely light on your palate. 

The person who invented Chicken Manchurian is Nelson Wang, who created the dish in 1975 when he was asked to “make something not on the menu”, when catering at the Cricket Club of India. He created the dish by coating chicken pieces in Cornflour mix to deep fry and add to a thick tangy and spicy sauce served with rice. The infusion of Indo-chinese flavours were imbued with a sense of a fresh revelation. The flavours were new and engrossing. It became an instant hit. 

Interestingly, almost all the Chinese food that is consumed in the South East Asia has originated in India due to the contribution of a small group of Chinese people living in China Town in a city called Calcutta (Kolkatta). The amalgamation of Chinese and Indian spices indrotuced a newfangled cuisine, that was both intriguing and creative. This Indianized version of the authentic Chinese Cuisine retained similar cooking equipments and techniques of the Chinese cooking like using a deep skillet or wok to shallow or stir fry the meat. However, the Indian spices have become dominant in spices like ginger, cumin, green peppers, green onions etc. with the use of authentic Chinese sauces like soya sauce or hoisin sauce etc. 

Coming from an Indo-Pak food culture, we like heat and smokyness to our flavours, and if we find the dish a little bland to our liking, well, we just innovate and recreate the dish in our own cultural food frame. If you feed a Chinese an Indian version of their dish, they probably will tell you, that’s not an authentic Chinese dish. Well! ofcourse not, Indo-Pak Cuisine draws in from other food cultures to innovate, it won’t be authentic but it will be one heck of an appetizing dish. It’s amazing how cooking with global flavours gives you control to recreate and innovate with gusto. Last week I was reading Brenda Sutton Rose’s “Dogwood Blues” wherein I came to a paragraph I am confident any Creative Foodie will immediately relate to, let me share it with you, “Jasmine felt a sense of power in cooking. It was she who controlled the ingredients, she who controlled the menus and she who controlled the fragrances that filled her home”. Trust me when I say, I am Jasmine. 

This Manchurian is one of those innovatively recreated dishes. The dish is quick and effortless and cooked in three parts; the frying of chicken coated in Cornflour, the sauce to which the fried chicken will be added to and the egg-fried rice. I felt a little creative that day and decided to serve my rice wrapped with egg. I cooked the egg like an omelette with a thin enough layer so it doesn’t break when I wrap the rice in it like a small egg pocket, must admit, it looked gorgoeus. 

The flavours of the dish are piquant with a little tang and a little heat paired with fresh aromatic flavours of the rice. It is light on your palate and your stomach meaning eating a fair portion of it will assauge your hunger needs and present this to your guests over brunch or dinner and they will award you “Chef”. 

This gorgeous dish will leave you coming back for more. 

Serves 4-6

Ingredients 

Chicken Coating ~ 

800g — Boneless chicken 

1/2 tsp — Salt 

1 tsp — Crushed Black Pepper 

1 tsp — Ginger Paste 

1 tsp — Garlic Paste 

2 — Crushed Green Chillies 

2 tsp — Soya Sauce

2 Eggs — Whites only 

4 tbsp — Corn Flour 

4 tbsp — Flour 

Sauce ~ 

4 tbsp — Oil 

2 tsp — Sesame Oil 

2 tsp — Ginger Chopped 

2 tsp — Ginger Chopped 

2 tsp — Red Chilli Flakes 

2 tsp — White Vinegar 

2 tsp — Chilli Sauce 

2 tsp — Oyster Sauce 

2 tsp — Soya Sauce 

2 tsp — Brown Sugar/Sugar 

1 — Chicken Stock Cube 

1/2 cup — Tomato Ketchup 

2 — Spring onions chopped 

a pinch — Salt 

4 tbsp Cornflour dissolved in water to thicken the sauce

Rice ~ 

1-1/2 cups — Washed and Soaked Rice 

1 – Green Bell Pepper chopped 

2 – Carrots chopped 

2 — Spring onions chopped 

1 tsp – Cumin Seeds 

1 tsp – Salt 

1 tsp – Soya Sauce 

1 – Egg  (use the egg yolks left over from the chicken marinade as well).

Method ~ 

1. Prepare the Chicken – 

  • In a bowl, mix together, ginger garlic paste, crushed green chillies, soya sauce, salt, black pepper, egg whites, corn flour and flour. 
  • Heat oil in a skillet and deep fry the chicken on medium heat until golden and cooked through. 
  • Take out and place on a tissue paper to drain out excess oil. 

2. Prepare the sauce – 

  • In a hot skillet, heat oil with sesame oil. Add chopped ginger and chopped garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes. 
  • Add the red chilli flakes, chopped spring onions, white vinegar, soya sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, tomato ketchup, chicken stock cube, crushed black pepper, chilli sauce and ½ cup of water. Let it come to a boil. 
  • Dissolve corn flour in a little water and pour it into the sauce to thicken it. 
  • Once thickened, turn the heat off and set it aside. 

3. Prepare the Rice –

  • Wash and boil the rice. 
  • In a cooking pot, heat oil and add cumin seeds to it. Fry it for a minute.
  • Add chopped green bell pepper, carrots and fry until they become a little soft. 
  • Whisk the egg and add the yolks remaining from the Chicken mix to the egg (so they don’t go to waste) and add to the greens. 
  • Stir the egg constantly while it fries with the vegetables. 
  • Add the rice, chopped spring onion, salt, black pepper and soya sauce. 
  • Mix to combine. Cover the pot and let it steam for 5 minutes on low heat.
  • Once the dish is ready to serve, add the chicken to the sauce. Serve it with fried rice and any leafy salad. 

Happy Foodieating ~ 

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow so many great flavours going into that dish! nice work (:
  2. I love reading about the history of the culture. The Manchurian looks so good!

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