Chow mein

Saucy Chow Mein (Fried Noodles)

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Whenever we go to Chinese restaurants or food courts and choose to order fried noodles, I would always go for the saucy ones.  That explains why I tried to replicate or at least do my own spin on chow mein or fried noodles.  I’ve also tried different brands or manufacturers of fresh noodles until I finally found the perfect one.  And how lucky I was there’s a recipe on the packet, written in English that’s barely comprehensible but by no means unimportant, as it became my guideline to my ‘perfect saucy’ chow mein.

Aside from the sauce, there are few key things that I always try to achieve when cooking this:

1.  Fried, browned noodles – They don’t have to be all browned everywhere, but should be browned in certain parts as these add to the final flavor. You would definitely smell that familiar chow mein aroma later on.

2.  Tender, tasty chicken slices – They should be cooked just right, not chewy, not overcooked, but never to have that undercooked taste as well.

3.  Crunchy vegetables – Whatever vegetables you have, they should be cooked al dente.

I was never a fan of ginger and if you hate them as much as I did before, well… I’d say don’t be afraid. A couple of slices will enhance the flavor and won’t ruin it for you. Of course, you can totally omit them, and the sesame oil, and replace with garlic and you’ll end up with saucy pancit canton.

Ingredients:
500g fresh egg noodles
A handful of snow peas, washed and ends trimmed
Bok choy, washed and ends trimmed, cut in half
1 small carrot, thinly sliced or cut into florets
Approx. 250g chicken breast, sliced
A handful of peeled, headless shrimps, cleaned and washed (or boiled thin slices of chicken liver) – optional
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tsp cooking wine
Approx. 1 tsp of salt
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil (for chicken marinade)
1 tbsp cornflour (for chicken marinade)
1 small onion, diced
2 thin slices of ginger, peeled and crushed
1 1/2 (or more) cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp cornflour (to thicken sauce)
1/2 tsp sesame oil

Boil water in a pot while you start to prepare the chicken and marinade.

Marinate chicken with vegetable oil, light and dark soy sauce, cooking wine, salt, sugar and cornflour.

Place vegetables in a bowl.  Blanch for about a minute. Drain and run through cold water to stop the cooking process.  Set aside.

Heat about 2 tbsp of oil in a wok.  Fry noodles for about 2-3 minutes each side or until browned.  Remove and arrange on a serving bowl.

Wipe wok clean with a paper towel. Heat 2 tbsp of oil then saute onion until caramelized.  Add ginger slices and stir-fry until fragrant.  Add chicken and stir-fry over high heat for about 4 minutes or until nicely cooked.  Add shrimps and stir-fry for another minute.

Add blanched vegetables and saute for about a minute. Add stock and oyster sauce and bring to boil.  In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoon of cornflour with approx. 4 tbsp of water.  Pour into wok while stirring and cook for about a minute or until sauce thickens.  Turn off the heat.  Add a tsp of sesame oil and give it a good stir.

Pour sauce and vegetables over fried noodles.  Combine, serve and enjoy.

 

4.5 from 2 reviews
Saucy Chow Mein (Fried Noodles)
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
Ingredients
  • 500g fresh egg noodles
  • A handful of snow peas, washed and ends trimmed
  • Bok choy, washed and ends trimmed, cut in half
  • 1 small carrot, thinly sliced or cut into florets
  • Approx. 250g chicken breast, sliced
  • A handful of peeled, headless shrimps, cleaned and washed (or boiled thin slices of chicken liver) - optional
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 3 tsp cooking wine
  • Approx. 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil (for chicken marinade)
  • 1 tbsp cornflour (for chicken marinade)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 thin slices of ginger, peeled and crushed
  • 1½ (or more) cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp cornflour (to thicken sauce)
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
Instructions
  1. Boil water in a pot while you start to prepare the chicken and marinade.
  2. Marinate chicken with vegetable oil, light and dark soy sauce, cooking wine, salt, sugar and cornflour.
  3. Place vegetables in a bowl. Blanch for about a minute. Drain and run through cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
  4. Heat about 2 tbsp of oil in a wok. Fry noodles for about 2-3 minutes each side or until browned. Remove and arrange on a serving bowl.
  5. Wipe wok clean with a paper towel. Heat 2 tbsp of oil then sauté onion until caramelized. Add ginger slices and stir-fry until fragrant. Add chicken and stir-fry over high heat for about 4 minutes or until nicely cooked. Add shrimps and stir-fry for another minute.
  6. Add blanched vegetables and sauté for about a minute. Add stock and oyster sauce and bring to boil.
  7. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoon of cornflour with approx. 4 tbsp of water. Pour into wok while stirring and cook for about a minute or until sauce thickens. Turn off the heat. Add a tsp of sesame oil and give it a good stir.
  8. Pour sauce and vegetables over fried noodles. Combine, serve and enjoy.
Notes
Prep time included in cook time shown above.

 

This one below is with chicken liver.  Yum.

Or vegetables, chicken and sauce over crispy noodles.  Crunch crunch.  Yum yum.

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Iska
I am not a professional cook. My only claim to having a culinary background is a short stint as my dad’s teen ‘sous chef’ in his carinderia ages ago. Dad ran small eateries since I was a young kid - serving standard ‘turo-turo’ food ranging from the likes of menudo, adobo, pritong isda, dinuguan, binagoongan, bopis, munggo, pinakbet and giniling to merienda fares like goto, ginataan, pancit bihon, halu-halo and saging con yelo.

My father, a farmer in his hometown before working his way to becoming an accountant, definitely influenced my cooking in a lot of ways than I thought. My siblings and I were raised in a backyard full of fruit trees and vegetable garden. We spent weekends and the summer breaks running around with ducks, chickens, goats and pigs. I had wonderful memories of gathering eggs, butchering chickens, selling vegetables and the sweet aroma of preserved fruits. But my love for art led me to a degree in Architecture. Just few months after getting my license, I went abroad and lived independently at age 23. Definitely no maid, no cook, and a totally different food culture. Along the way I met lots of friends and spent what seemed a lifetime learning new tricks and recipes.

Now living in Auckland, I am a work-from-home mum who juggles time between work, fun and family - in pursuit of work-life balance. No matter how busy I am, I love the idea of cooking for my family. My blog chronicles home cooking greatly influenced by life outside my home country from Southeast Asia to Beijing and Auckland. And most of the time, being busy also means easy (sometimes quick), affordable meals.

11 thoughts on “Saucy Chow Mein (Fried Noodles)

  1. me, too. our kind of pancit, very saucy and with crunchy vegs. thanks for the tip on frying the noodles first… ganon pala un :)

    1. I have noticed that the noodles were always fried when we dine out in Chinese restaurants and I always kind of ignore the idea thinking it’s additional oil in the dish. But it just isn’t the same without it! Nakakadagdag talaga ng flavor!

  2. oh yeah!!! loving your method and how everything looks soo good! i love pancit, but my eldest isn’t much of a fan..i hope he’ll like this. :)

    thanks so much for sharing and linking over at Food Friday, Iska
    enjoy the rest of the week!
    maiylah recently posted Rainy Days

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