It is always hard to replicate the flavours of a foreign cuisine at home. I have always struggled with Chinese dishes and was almost about to give up when I came across a recipe for Manchow soup. This is a great dish and I found it very versatile as it can be used as the base for veg ball manchurian dish or you can add fried paneer and capsicum to make it a chilli paneer dish. It would go perfectly with fried noodles to make it American chopsuey or can be eaten with fried rice as well. Just adjust the consistency.
Here is my version of Manchow soup.
¼ head cabbage
8-10 french beans
1 large onion
8-10 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger
1 Green chilli
2 tbsp oil
3-4 cups water or vegetable stock
1 tbsp chilli sauce
2 tbsp dark soya sauce
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp vinegar
4-5 tbsp cornflour
Salt and Pepper to taste
The first step is to prep the vegetables. Some people like to chop them into tiny bits. However, it is easier to shred them in a food processor. It will give better texture and the process itself is very fast. So shred the carrot, cabbage and capsicum to get about 2 cups of vegetables. Chop or julienne the french beans. Keep aside.
Chop the onion, garlic and ginger as well as the green chillies.
Heat oil in a large pan and saute the onions, garlic and ginger followed by the rest of the vegetables.
Add the water or if you prefer, vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer on low.
Add soya sauce, ketchup and chilli sauce.
Add salt and pepper.
Mix cornflour in a few spoonfuls of water and add to the soup. Let the soup thicken. Keep stirring continuously when adding cornflour to avoid forming lumps.
Add vinegar and let the soup simmer for 10-15 mins.
Serve hot with croutons and cream.