NYT Classics

Chicken Manchurian

4 servings


45 minutes

total time


1 egg

4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon garlic paste or freshly grated garlic

1 teaspoon black pepper

Fine sea salt

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3 whole dried dundicut chiles or bird’s-eye chiles

1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup chile-garlic sauce

2 tablespoons light soy sauce (or regular soy sauce)

1 cup chicken stock (optional)

1 bell pepper, halved, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch pieces

3 spring onions or 1 medium scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced

Cooked white rice or fried rice, for serving


Velvet the chicken: In a medium bowl, whisk the egg. Continue whisking and gradually add 4 tablespoons of cornstarch until there are no lumps. Stir in garlic, black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the chicken pieces and stir until well coated. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.

In a large wok or deep, high-sided skillet, heat oil on medium for 45 seconds. Add chicken (in batches, if necessary to avoid crowding) and cook until it starts turning white, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the pieces and continue cooking until the chicken starts to turn golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken and set aside.

Add dried chiles and cook on medium for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together ketchup, chile-garlic sauce, soy sauce, ½ teaspoon salt and, if using, chicken stock (if not using chicken stock, stir in 1 cup water). Add to mixture in pan along with bell pepper and stir to combine.

Separately, mix the remaining 1 teaspoon cornstarch with 1/4 cup water until smooth. Stir it into the wok and simmer until the sauce thickens and starts to turn glossy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add chicken and stir to combine. Top with spring onions. Serve with rice.


Serving Size




Total Fat

25 g

Saturated Fat

3 g

Unsaturated Fat

20 g

Trans Fat

0 g




994 mg

Total Carbohydrate

37 g

Dietary Fiber

2 g

Total Sugars

11 g


44 g

4 servings


45 minutes

total time
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