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Manchurian Balls

luckyfatima Dec 24, 2009 07:25 AM

Chinese restaurants in my locale often cater to non-Chinese vegetarian customers. Among their veg. offereings I noticed a dish called Manchurian balls, which is white flour, possibly bound with egg, mixed with finely chopped vegetables like carrots and cabbage. It is formed into a golf ball size and deep fried. It is served in "Manchurian" sauce, which is a reddish brown sauce. I am wondering if this is based on some authentic food of any of the Chinese cuisines, or if this is an Indian Chinese food, or if this is something common in restaurants which serve vegetarian customers...perhaps it is in the US, too but I just never noticed it before or it is not a typical offering in my parts. Whatever it is, it is tasty. Anyone heard of this and know more about it?

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  1. luckyfatima RE: luckyfatima Dec 24, 2009 07:53 AM

    Okay, some googling led me to conclude that this is definately an Indian-Chinese dish, based on the recipe sources.

    3 Replies
    1. re: luckyfatima
      ossauiraty RE: luckyfatima Dec 25, 2009 07:31 AM

      Yes, I believe that it is an Indian-Chinese dish. I had it at a restaurant near my house that specializes in that type of food. It is now one of my favorite dishes! AMAZING! It is called Vegetable Manchurians on the menu.

      1. re: luckyfatima
        Paulustrious RE: luckyfatima Dec 25, 2009 11:05 AM

        Here in Toronto Manchurian is applied to a brown / red sauce or marinade frequently seen in Hakka cooking. There are a lot of Hakka restaurants in this part of the world as a search of the Ontario board will show.

        1. re: Paulustrious
          luckyfatima RE: Paulustrious Dec 25, 2009 07:23 PM

          The Chinese people who first brought Chinese food to North America were of the same ethnic groups who brought Chinese food to India, and Hakka are among them. So there is that same type of backbone to the food despite the Indianization. I wouldn't be surprised if this "Manchurian" dish weren't based on a Hakka or Cantonese dish.

      2. c
        cimui RE: luckyfatima Dec 25, 2009 09:46 AM

        Very interesting! This is the first I'd heard of it. My mom (Taiwanese) has made us vegetable fritters that sound a lot like the "balls" used in this dish, but the sauce is definitely new to me. It sounds like it might taste remotely similar to tamarind chutney. Do you like the dish? (If it comes with your recommendation, I'll give it a try.)

        1 Reply
        1. re: cimui
          luckyfatima RE: cimui Dec 25, 2009 07:23 PM

          I do like the dish a lot. It is well worth a try.

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