Sinatra Meets China’s Most Desired Cuisine: Chicken Manchow Soup!

Sinatra meets China's most desired cuisine: chicken manchow soup!

Chinese food is a favourite of mine, and when we tried out this chicken manchow soup at home, and went wild with it! This recipe is relatively simple to make, but it requires some patience.

Heat a pan and add oil.

Heat a pan and add oil. The pan should be hot enough to cook the food but not so hot that it burns. Use a cooking oil suitable for high temperatures (e.g., canola or peanut).

Add garlic and onions, ginger, chillies and capsicum.

This is only a tiny taste of the full recipe. For the full recipe, please see the manchow soup recipe below.

Heat some oil in a large wok or saucepan and add ginger and garlic to fry. Add onions, capsicum and chillies and saute until they turn pink or translucent (about 2 minutes).

Saute this till onions turn pink or translucent.

Now, add the chopped onions to the pan.

  • Start by heating your pan on a low flame, then gradually increase the heat as you go along.
  • Never overcook or burn your onions; they should be pink and translucent when done (about 10 minutes).
  • Don’t use water to saute your onions—you want them to caramelize in their juices instead of watered down. The same goes for oil—if you use too much, it will get soggy! Don’t even think about adding salt to your onions; they already have enough flavour on their own!

Add the tomatoes, green chillies and salt.

Now it’s time to add the tomatoes, green chillies and salt. Cook this at high flame until tomatoes are mushy and half did. Take it off the heat and allow it to cool a little before adding chicken broth or stock.

Cook this at high flame until tomatoes are mushy and half did.

Take a deep breath. You’re almost done! Now, turn the flame to medium-high, add the tomatoes, and cook until they are mushy and half did. The consistency of your sauce should be thick but not watery. If it looks too watery, just turn off your stove and let it cool down for 10 minutes before proceeding with step #6.

Take it off the heat and allow it to cool a little before adding chicken broth or stock to chicken manchow soup.

Now that your ingredients have been cooked, take it off the heat and allow it to cool a little before adding chicken broth or stock. The reason for this is that if you were to add the stock while everything was too hot, the soup would burn on contact, and the broth would be cloudy in appearance.

What we like to do is let my mixture cool until it’s just warm; then, we add in my chicken broth or stock (about 1/4 cup).

Blend this mixture in a mixer/blender till smooth.

Next, blend the mixture until it is smooth. Some people prefer to use a mixer or blender instead of a hand whisk. If you do so, be sure to mix gently so as not to over-mix and make too thick a gravy.

Strain the mixture through a muslin cloth and discard the solids.

The muslin cloth that came with your blender should be made of 100% cotton, and it’s important not to let any impurities or bits of chicken get through. If your puree is grainy, try using a fine mesh strainer instead.

Return the strained puree back to the pan. If you wish, you can add some more water here if you find it too thick for your liking. We prefer to add more water as there is always cream added later on!

Add the puree back to the pan. If you wish, you can add some more water here if you find it too thick for your liking. I prefer to add more water as there is always cream added later on!

Conclusion

Once you have the base ready, it’s time to add some flavours to your chicken manchow soup!

This is where we love adding my own twist on things with herbs and spices. Some of my favourite combinations are cilantro/mint chutney, Kasturi methi (dried fenugreek leaves), and curry leaves – all added together in equal parts. Boil the soup now till it reaches a creamy consistency, and add water if needed (we usually do this step twice). Once done, pour some cream into each bowl where you have already put noodles before serving hot!

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