Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cantonese Chow Mein...


Cantonese Chow Mein is synonymous with Cantonese cuisine. This is a classic noodle dish of Hong Kong and Guangzhou with the fried noodles being the base for a mélange of stir-fried toppings; when properly cooked their crispness resists softening, even under the multi-toppings and its sauce. Although the the yin yang of crisp and soft is alluring, my family ultimately prefers slightly crisp noodles with it mainly soft- lo-mein style. Both styles are discussed here. Truly a beautiful customizable dish- one that you can add any combination of your favourite ingredients, and perfect for using leftovers laying around in the fridge. This is also a fabulous recipe to try a new ingredient or two with the family!


Cantonese Chow Mein
Makes 6 servings

Flavouring Sauce (double the ingredients for a saucier dish):
1 tsp. salt
1-1/2 Tbsp. chicken bouillon seasoning
3 tsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tsp.
 sesame oil 
1 cup water

Filling:
1 pkg. (1 lb.) fresh egg noodles 
1/4 cup oil plus 1 Tbsp. oil, divided
broccoli, cut into florets
2 celery, sliced on an angle
1 carrot, cut into thin wide sticks 
2 garlic cloves, minced
10 medium shrimps, shelled, deveined, rinsed and patted dry
1 green onion, cut into pieces
1/2 lb. chicken breast or thighs, sliced, marinade with a little salt, ground white pepper and Chinese cooking wine 
8 dried shiitake mushrooms (rehydrated in water to cover for two hours or use fresh)
2 Tbsp. Chinese cooking wine 
1/2 lb. Chinese barbecue pork (char siu), thinly sliced 
1/2 coloured or green pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup sliced bamboo shoot (buy in a can, drain and rinse well) 
2 Tbsp. cornstarch mixed in 1/4 cup water

I had some leftover cooked basa fish pieces, so I used this instead of BBQ pork.

Mix sauce ingredients together.

Plunge egg noodles into boiling water for 30 seconds, then remove and set aside. Heat your skillet or wok at high heat; add 1/4 cup oil to coat evenly. Fry the noodles for about three minutes, and shake it back and forth, until the noodles turn golden brown. Flip and repeat. The outer noodles should be golden, inner ones are soft. Remove noodles and arrange in centre of a large plate. TIP: Ideally, a large non-stick wok should be used for frying noodles.


My family prefers a "lo mein-style" soft noodles over extra crispy. So I lightly crisped only one side on the noodles cooked for two minutes, and kept it mostly soft.


Blanch broccoli, celery and carrots in same skillet/wok, covered with boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove and drain. 


Heat 1/2 Tbsp. oil in skillet/wok, add 1/2 garlic and shrimps and cook until done. Remove onto plate. Then heat remaining oil and stir-fry garlic, green onions, chicken and shiitake mushrooms until chicken is almost cooked. 

Add the peppers, bamboo shoots and blanched vegetables and stir fry for two minutes. Add the shrimps, pork and flavouring sauce; cover and let steam for one to two minutes. Stir in the cornstarch mixture to thicken the sauce.




Uncover and toss. Add a bit more water if you want more sauce. Pour the meat and veggie mixture over the noodles.


Gorgeous, healthy, a true meal-in-one!

A version on another night consisted of beef and baby yu choy...

Try these other ingredients that are popular in chow mein: snow peas, bak choy, baby corn, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, scallop and sliced pork. Be creative and try a new ingredient with your family!




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