Turkey Manchurian? No it’s not a ‘thing’ but I made it one. Here’s the story behind the recipe …
Food memories are powerful. I think it has to do with the fact that they combine all your senses – tastes, smell, visuals, an amazing meal is usually a combination of all three. One meal that always sticks out for me (even 25 years later), is the first time I had Indo-Chinese. I was about 11 or 12 years old, we were visiting family in Chandigarh, and my uncle took us out for a fancy dinner. We drove up a mountain, rode a gondola, and finally ended up at this amazing restaurant where I tried the flavours of masala fried rice, hakka noodles, and manchurian for the first time.
Indo-Chinese (Hakka Chinese) style cooking took a long time making its way to Canada. In fact, it’s only been about 8 or 10 years since little restaurants cooking in this unique fusion style started popping up in my area. We have some great options here in Surrey, but nothing quite like the ‘Chinese food’ you get back home.
Over the last couple of years I’ve started trying to recreate Indo Chinese flavours in my kitchen, and although my noodles could use some work, I think I’ve nailed my manchurian sauce. Most recently I made Turkey Manchurian, which turned out pretty amazing! (Recipe listed below, and in the video)
I’ve been cooking with turkey for a little over a year now, and trying to make it a part of more of our meals. Initially, it was hard for me to think of turkey as more than a ‘Thanksgiving meat’ but it’s actually become a regular on my grocery list now. The thing with the turkey is, you just need to try it a few times and figure out the cooking time of different cuts – a meat thermometer helps with this. Once you’ve got that down you can pretty much make anything you would have made with chicken, with turkey instead. It’s an easy, healthy swap for your family meals. In my Turkey Manchurian it added a bit more of a ‘meaty’ flavour than chicken normally does, and fried beautifully. In fact, I kind of want to try a fried turkey next Thanksgiving … but, that’s a chat for another day. Let’s get on with that recipe!
Turkey Manchurian Recipe:
For the Turkey:
Turkey breast (about 1 lb) – cut into bite size pieces
All-purpose flour – 6 tbs
Corn Starch – 4 tbs
Water – ¾ cup to 1 cup
Black pepper – ¼ tsp
Salt – ¼ tsp
Oil (to shallow fry)
For the Manchurian Sauce:
Oil – 2 tbs
Garlic – 4-6 large cloves finely minced
Onion – approx ¾ cup finely chopped
Red chillies – 2 sliced thinly (save some for garnish)
Ketchup – 3 tbs
Red chili sauce – 1-2 tbs (depending on how spicy you like your manchurian)
Soy sauce – 5 tsp
White vinegar – 3 tsp
Water – 1 cup
Cornstarch – 2 tsp
Green onions – half a cup thinly sliced, for garnish
- Make batter with the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, salt, black pepper, and water. Make sure to mix until there are no lumps. Coat turkey pieces well with batter and prepare your oil for frying.
- Heat oil in a pan and fry until turkey pieces are golden brown.
- Remove turkey from the oil and let drain on a paper towel lined plate.
- Heat a small amount of oil in a medium non-stick pan. Add onions, garlic and red chillies, and cook until light brown and translucent (about 3-4 minutes).
- Add ketchup and red chili sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add soy sauce and vinegar – mix well.
- In a separate bowl mix together corn starch and water to create a slurry. Add to the sauce and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
- Add the fried turkey to the sauce and stir to coat.
- Garnish and serve. Enjoy!
***This post is sponsored by Canadian Turkey, but as always, opinions are all my own!***