Chow Mein Recipe

Is migration a blessing or a curse? Let’s make a bowl of Chow mein and see how the world has changed since the first!

Although we like to think that our life and culture is stable, and tend to think like it never has been migration but the mingling of cultures in human history happened more often than not.

How has migration changed the world?

The map of Europe was redrawn in the past couple of thousands years, probably more times than we have records of it. Sometimes it meant that not only a neighboring country took control of the pastures, rivers and hills for a couple of years but that a completely new type of gene pool was injected in the middle of the continent.

Persians from the Middle East and Hungarians from the borders of Asia both brought something completely new to Europe as much as Europeans brought something completely different to the Americas.

Most of the time these migrations weren’t the kind of gap years university scholarships or economic migrants as of today, rather the more inconvenient conqueror types who cared not for the culture of previous civilizations but for expanding their own.

How has Chinese migrated?

Although the Chinese people have long history of migrating overseas -in search for trade opportunities or better life, depending on the dynasty they lived with – they were always ready to lose some of their identity for their chosen country.

Much like people who choose to live in another country lose the roots that held them to their native lands, the dishes that are prepared far from their cultural cradle change to the requirements of the new world.

This is why we can’t find Spaghetti Bolognese in Italy, Arany Galuska is called Monkey bread and Chinese food in the States faintly reminds us to Italian sometimes.

What is Chow Mein?

Chow Mein simply means stir-fried noodle where chow means sauteed or stir-fried while Mein meaning noodles. If the stir-fried noodles are only topped with vegetables then it’s a Vegetarian Chow Mein but adding some sort of meat like chicken, pork, beef or shrimp is also a very popular option.

To make matters more complicated, there is two types of Chow Mein in the States, one is the steamed Chow Mein with a round softer texture while the other one is the flat crispy – Hong Kong style Chow Mein is crispier, dryer.

It appears that the East Coast’s favorite is the crispy, flat style Chow Mein and some places like to take crispiness to the next level by deep frying the noodles. The soft Chow Mein here gets a different name called Lo Mein.

The West Coast doesn’t complicate matters that much. They just stick to Chow Mein as the softer noodle and called the crispier ones Hong Kong style Chow Mein.

Which is the best Chow Mein?

So, it seems that if someone never wants to eat the same dish ever again, it is enough to visit various restaurants and asking for the same Chow Mein dish over and over again to get something totally different time after time.

To make Chow Mein in the coziness of our kitchen, we don’t need many ingredients to have at hand and quicker than a home order arrives, we are able to whip up one in no time. The bad news is that we still have to decide which version of Chow Mein we like.

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 1½ tablespoon / 25ml Soy sauce
  • 1½ tablespoon / 25ml Chinese cooking wine
  • ½ teaspoon / 2.5ml Roasted sesame seed oil
  • 1½ tablespoon / 25ml Oyster sauce or Hoisin sauce
  • Black or white pepper to taste (optional)

Chow mein

  • ½ cup / 150ml Cooking oil
  • 2 cloves / 5g Garlic (sliced or diced)
  • 7 oz / 200g Meat (Chicken, pork, beef…)
  • 1 / 100g Carrot (shredded)
  • 4 cups / 500g Cabbage (shredded)
  • 1 cup / 50g Green onion (sliced)
  • ¼ cup / 60ml Water or stock (1 cup in case of crispy chow mein)
  • 7 oz / 200g Chow Mein noodles

How to make Chow Mein

Sauce

  1. Measure soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine, roasted sesame seed oil and oyster or Hoisin sauce into a bowl and mix everything together. Add black ground black or white pepper too if desired.Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom

Chow Mein – soft noodles

  1. Heat oil in a skillet, add the sliced or diced garlic and saute until the garlic starts to smell, for about a minute.Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  2. Add the meat and sear both sides of it until golden brown spots start to appear for about 3 minutes each side.Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  3. Remove the garlic and meat then mix in the shredded carrots and cabbage.Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  4. Stir fry until the cabbage collapses about a quarter of its size, for about 5 minutes.Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  5. Add back the chicken and garlic then add in the sliced green onion too.Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  6. Mix in the sauce.Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  7. Bring a pot of water to boil then add the Chow Mein noodles. Follow the instuctions on the packaging but generally it takes about 3 minutes to get the pasta done.Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  8. Mix in the drained noodles then serve.Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom

Enjoy!

Chow Mein – crispy noodles

  1. Heat oil in a skillet, add the sliced or diced garlic and saute until the garlic starts to smell, for about a minute.Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  2. Add the meat and sear both sides of it until golden brown spots start to appear for about 3 minutes each side.Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  3. Remove the garlic and meat then mix in the shredded carrots and cabbage.Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  4. Stir fry until the cabbage collapses about a quarter of its size, for about 5 minutes.Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  5. Add back the chicken and garlic then add in the sliced green onion too.Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  6. Mix in the sauce and pour in a cup of water or stock too. Dissolve a tablespoon of cornstarch in the water beforehand if thick sauce is desired.Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  7. Heat oil in a skillet and deep fry the Chow Mein noodles until golden brown. Don’t need to use too much oil for this but make sure to flip the noodles halfway through the frying so both sides get fried properly. Also we can spray the noodles with oil and bake them in the oven but that takes an eternity while frying them takes about 1 minutes per side.Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  8. Let the fried Chow Mein noodles to drip of excess oil. Top it up with the cabbage and chicken then spoon sauce on top as desired.Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom

Enjoy!

 

 

Print
5 from 3 votes

Chow Mein Recipe

Is migration a blessing or a curse? Let's make a bowl of Chow mein and see how the world has changed since the first!
Course Low Carb Meal, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Dairy free, Gluten free, Japanese, Low carb recipe, Sugar free recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 524kcal
Author SunCakeMom

Ingredients

Sauce
  • tablespoon Soy sauce
  • tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
  • ½ teaspoon Roasted sesame seed oil
  • tablespoon Oyster sauce or Hoisin sauce
  • Black or white pepper to taste optional
Chow mein
  • ½ cup Cooking oil
  • 2 cloves Garlic sliced or diced
  • 7 oz Meat Chicken, pork, beef...
  • 1 Carrot shredded
  • 4 cups Cabbage shredded
  • 1 cup Green onion sliced
  • ¼ cup Water or stock 1 cup in case of crispy chow mein
  • 7 oz Chow Mein noodles

Instructions

Sauce

  • Measure soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine, roasted sesame seed oil and oyster or Hoisin sauce into a bowl and mix everything together. Add black ground black or white pepper too if desired.
    Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom

Chow Mein - soft noodles

  • Heat oil in a skillet, add the sliced or diced garlic and saute until the garlic starts to smell, for about a minute.
    Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  • Add the meat and sear both sides of it until golden brown spots start to appear for about 3 minutes each side.
    Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  • Remove the garlic and meat then mix in the shredded carrots and cabbage.
    Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  • Stir fry until the cabbage collapses about a quarter of its size, for about 5 minutes.
    Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  • Add back the chicken and garlic then add in the sliced green onion too.
    Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  • Mix in the sauce.
    Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  • Bring a pot of water to boil then add the Chow Mein noodles. Follow the instuctions on the packaging but generally it takes about 3 minutes to get the pasta done.
    Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  • Mix in the drained noodles then serve.

Chow Mein - crispy noodles

  • Heat oil in a skillet, add the sliced or diced garlic and saute until the garlic starts to smell, for about a minute.
    Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  • Add the meat and sear both sides of it until golden brown spots start to appear for about 3 minutes each side.
    Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  • Remove the garlic and meat then mix in the shredded carrots and cabbage.
    Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  • Stir fry until the cabbage collapses about a quarter of its size, for about 5 minutes.
    Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  • Add back the chicken and garlic then add in the sliced green onion too.
    Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  • Mix in the sauce and pour in a cup of water or stock too. Dissolve a tablespoon of cornstarch in the water beforehand if thick sauce is desired.
    Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  • Heat oil in a skillet and deep fry the Chow Mein noodles until golden brown. Don't need to use too much oil for this but make sure to flip the noodles halfway through the frying so both sides get fried properly. Also we can spray the noodles with oil and bake them in the oven but that takes an eternity while frying them takes about 1 minutes per side.
    Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom
  • Let the fried Chow Mein noodles to drip of excess oil. Top it up with the cabbage and chicken then spoon sauce on top as desired.
    Chow Mein Recipe - SunCakeMom

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 524kcal (26%) | Carbohydrates: 52g (17%) | Protein: 20g (40%) | Fat: 26g (40%) | Saturated Fat: 4g (25%) | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 32mg (11%) | Sodium: 886mg (39%) | Potassium: 448mg (13%) | Fiber: 6g (25%) | Sugar: 6g (7%) | Vitamin A: 2881IU (58%) | Vitamin C: 32mg (39%) | Calcium: 59mg (6%) | Iron: 3mg (17%)

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