Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chow Mein

The name "Chow Mein" means "Stir-fried noodle). It's kind of a deceptive name, because the noodles must be boiled and dried first. The "Frugal Gourmet" used to actually blow his with an electric fan to dry them. :) I just boil them as directed on the package, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, and let stand in the collander for a few minutes. I like to buy a chinese brand of noodle because the flavor and texture are better, but you could use plain old spaghetti noodles. That's good too. Here is how I make chow mein. It probably is different from how the chinese make it, but it tastes good to me. :P


Cut up the following ingredients in strips:
--1 chicken breast
--1 bell pepper
--about 1/2 head of cabbage (nappa cabbage tastes good) You could substitute broccoli, but if you use broccoli, add it to the pan last, and only cook it until it is slightly tender.
--1 onion
--Crush and chop: 3-4 cloves of garlic

Mix the following to make a cooking sauce:
--1/4 to 1/3 cup of soy sauce (less if it is dark)
--3 TB hot chili garlic sauce (or hot chili bean) This can be bought in chinese grocery stores, and some supermarkets.
--About 3 TB water
--1 tsp corn starch.

Mix the following:
About 1/4 C of light soy sauce
About 2 TB sesame oil

Heat your wok until it is HOT. Add about 1/4 C vegetable oil. Add onions and bell peppers and stir fry for just a couple of minutes. Add the chicken. Stir fry until the chicken is no longer pink. Add the cabbage, and stir fry until it wilts. Add garlic, and cook another minute. Reduce heat to medium, and add the cooking sauce, and cook until it slightly thickens. Pour this vegetable/meat mixture in to a bowl and set aside.

Rinse out the wok. (Some chinese cooks say not to do this, but I don't like burned soy sauce) Re-heat the wok until HOT. Add about another 1/4 cup of vegetable oil. Add noodles. Stir fry for a couple of minutes. Add "Cooking sauce 2" to the noodles, and stir until well coated.

Return vegetable/meat mixture to the wok. Stir fry until the meat/vegetable mixture is well distributed. Serve!


Stick said...

So, how is this different from Lo Mein?

Delirious said...

Stick, Lo Mein is what it is called by the Cantonese. In Hong Kong, Chow Mein is actually deep fried noodles. You know the "La Choy" noodles that are crispy? That is how they make Chow Mein in Hong Kong. If you don't want your noodles deep fried, you must say Lo Mein. But in mainland China and Taiwan, "Chow Mein" is this recipe. But this is a good thing to know if you are eating at a restaurant run by people from Hong Kong.