The name of chow mein always comes to our mind first whenever we think of Chinese noodles. Chow mein has become the icon of Chinese noodles. It is readily available in every nook and corner of the world and has become one of the most favorite take-out dishes.
The word “chow mein” literarily means “stir-fry noodles”. It is a wonderful dish that hugely penetrated into the American, Indian, Canadian and Caribbean cuisine and native people of these countries modified the recipe according to their likings and preferences.
Chow mein can be cooked with an assortment of fresh vegetables and various types of meats like beef, pork, chicken and various sea foods like prawns can also be added. Chinese chicken noodles are normally cooked with bean sprouts, but vegetables like carrots, shredded cabbage and bell peppers are normally used in the American-Chinese variations of chow mein. So if you like chow mein, you can definitely cook this wonderful recipe for your guests or family members.
Difficulty level: Easy
Servings per recipe: 3-4
Preparation time required: 45-55 minutes
Cooking time required: 10 minutes
1 large wok
1 large pot
1 stirring spoon
1 medium sized bowl
1 sharp knife
8 oz. of Chinese noodles or vermicelli noodles
½ cup of shredded cabbage
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
2-3 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
1 teaspoon of Chinese allspice
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon of cooking sherry
1 tablespoon of cornflour
3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons of light soy sauce
1 red chili, deseeded and thinly sliced
2-3 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon of Chinese dark soy sauce
1 medium-sized carrot, cut into thin sticks
1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
A pinch of sugar
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
2-3 tablespoons of vegetable or peanut oil
Method of Cooking
1. Take out the chicken breasts from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you have planned to cook them. Let the chicken breasts sit at room temperature for 30-40 minutes or until they are completely thawed.
While the chicken is thawing, take a colander and put the red bell pepper, onion, carrot, green onions and the cabbage in that. Transfer the colander to your sink and rinse all the vegetables individually to remove all the dirt and impurities from them. Once done, shake the colander a few times to drain off all the excess dripping water and then transfer the vegetables to your cooking counter.
2. If your chicken breasts are thawed by now, take them and place them on your chopping board. Then slice the chicken breasts thinly with a sharp knife. Once done, transfer the chicken slices to a large bowl and then add the sherry, dark soy sauce, a pinch of salt and the allspice powder to them.
Toss the chicken breast slices with your hands to coat them nicely with the marinade and then insert the bowl into the refrigerator. Let the chicken sit in the marinade for 20-30 minutes.
3. While the chicken is sitting in the marinade, take the rinsed vegetables and chop them one by one. For that, take the bell pepper and discard its core and seeds. Then slice the bell pepper into fairly thin sticks.
Next, take the carrot and scrape off its outer skin. Cut the carrot in quarters and then cut the quarters into thin sticks. Follow that by peeling and slicing the onion. Next, take the cabbage and shred it with a shredder. Then take the green onions and cut them into medium thick slices. Follow that by deseeding and slicing the chili. Finally, take the garlic cloves and cut them into thin slices.
4. Once all the vegetables are chopped, set them aside and then take a pot. Fill the pot halfway up with water and then place it on the stove. Light up the flame and set it on high.
Wait for the water to come to a boil and then add a generous pinch of salt to it as soon as it comes to a rolling boil. Once the water in the pot starts boiling vigorously, throw the Chinese noodles in it and cook them for 4-5 minutes or until they turn al-dente.
5. While the noodles are boiling, take a large wok and place it on the other hob. Turn the knob to light up the flame and to set it on medium. Put 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil into the wok and then let the oil heat up.
While the oil is heating up, take out the marinated chicken from the refrigerator and add 1 heaping tablespoon of cornflour to it. Toss the chicken pieces to nicely combine the cornflour with them.
Once the oil in the wok starts crackling, throw-in the chicken pieces and stir fry them for 2-3 minutes. Once the chicken slices develop a nice golden brown color, flip them to fry the other side for 1-2 minutes more.
6. Once the chicken is nicely cooked, spoon it out of the wok and then throw-in the garlic. Sauté the garlic for 7-8 seconds and then throw-in the onion. Sauté the onion for another 10 seconds and then add-in the carrot sticks, red pepper slices, chili slices and the shredded cabbage.
Stir fry all the vegetables until they turn tender and then add-in a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Stir to mix everything nicely. Then put back the stir fried chicken slices into the wok and cook the mixture on medium heat.
7. If you are ready with the noodles by now, drain off the water from the pot by tipping the noodles into a colander. Then immediately rinse the noodles with cold water to stop the cooking process. Finally, sprinkle a little cooking oil over the noodles to prevent them from sticking with one another.
8. Once done, add the noodles to the stir fried vegetables and chicken slices in the wok. Stir the noodles with the vegetables and then add-in the light soy sauce and the sesame oil. Finally, throw-in the green onion slices and then stir to mix everything nicely. Once everything is added, stir fry the noodles for 1 minute and then turn off the flame. Serve the noodles in individual serving bowls and enjoy the dish warm.