Chow mein are stir-fried noodles and vegetables, popular in China but also in India, Nepal, United Kingdom, and the US.
- 16 oz. chow mein noodles (or wonton mein, or lo mein)
- 1 small onion , thinly sliced
- 5 scallions , cut into about 1½ inch (4 cm) sticks
- 4 oz. bean sprouts
- 5 oz. bok choy , cut into small pieces
- 5 oz. Chinese cabbage , finely chopped
- 1½ tablespoons black soy sauce
- 1½ tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1½ tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 6 tablespoons corn oil
- Steamer basket
- Pair of Chinese chopsticks
Steaming of the noodles
- Place the steamer basket with holes, over the steamer rack in a wok over high heat.
- Pour in enough water, and start boiling the water.
- Take the steamer rack out of the wok.
- Separate and arrange the noodles in the basket.
- Once boiling, return the steamer basket and noodles to the wok and cover for 10 minutes, over high heat.
- Then quickly immerse the noodles in boiling water for 30 seconds.
- Drain the noodles in a colander and let them rest for 1 minute.
- Using a chopstick, separate the noodles.
- Set aside.
- Heat a large wok over medium to high heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
- As soon as the wok is hot, add 2 tablespoons of corn oil and, when the oil is very hot but has not yet reached its smoking point, start to brown the white pieces of the scallions and the onion for about 1 minute.
- Remove from the wok and set aside in a bowl. Reserve all the green stems of the scallions.
- Heat the wok again and add 2 tablespoons of the corn oil, and, when the oil is very hot but has not yet reached its smoke point, add the noodles.
- Do not flip or move the noodles until, at the bottom of the wok, they are crispy, about 3 minutes.
- Then turn them over using two chopsticks or 2 wooden spoons.
- When turned, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of corn oil along the perimeter of the noodles to help develop a nice crunch.
- Let the noodles cook on this side for about 3 more minutes, pushing and moving them occasionally.
- Letting the noodles cook well and crisp each side is one of the main keys to the success of this dish.
Cooking of the vegetables
- In a saucepan, bring a large amount of water to a boil and immerse the bok choy in it and cook for 10 minutes over high heat. Remove and drain.
- In the same saucepan, bring a large quantity of water to a boil and immerse the Chinese cabbage in it, then cook it for 3 minutes over high heat. Remove and drain.
- In a saucepan, bring a large amount of water to a boil. Put the bean sprouts in it and cook for 40 seconds over high heat. Remove and drain.
- Make room at the bottom of the wok for the bean sprouts, bok choy and Chinese cabbage by spreading the noodles apart.
- Place the bean sprouts, bok choy and Chinese cabbage in the wok, then cover them with noodles.
- Cook the bean sprouts, bok choy and Chinese cabbage under the noodles for 40 seconds.
- Add the scallions (the cooked white pieces + the reserved raw green stems) and the onion, and cook for 2 minutes.
- Continue to separate the noodles using chopsticks or wooden spoons.
- Mix all the sauces and pour them into the wok, mix everything together and cook for a minute.
- Add sesame oil, stir and separate the noodles for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until the sauces have evaporated.
- Serve immediately.
NotesChow mein means “fried noodles”. To the same recipe, it is possible to add chicken, beef, shrimp or tofu. In this case, the ingredient is added to the name of the dish. Example: chicken chow mein or beef chow mein.