Iftar hacks: Want to make restaurant-style chow mein at home? Here’s the secret

I often hear people complaining about being unable to imitate restaurant-style chow mein at home


Muhammad Yousuf Bawany June 06, 2016

We all love Chinese food and more often than not, we rely on restaurants to satisfy our cravings. My experience with Chinese food is never complete without a serving of chicken chow mein — it’s one of the first things I order at a restaurant, but sadly it is a dish that most restaurants don’t get right.

Nonetheless, I often hear people complaining about being unable to imitate restaurant-style chow mein at home. Well, here’s the secret: cooks everything separately and assemble the chow mein towards the end. This not only keeps all the ingredients from turning into mush, but also gives a distinct flavour to every bite.

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Here’s how you can prepare a plate of piping hot stir fried noodles in the confines of your own kitchen.

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Serving: 3 to 4 people



Ingredients

–        300gms egg noodles (or rice noodles, depending on your preference)

–        150gms boneless chicken (cut into 1cm strips)

–        Two medium-sized carrots (julienne cut)

–        ½ green bell pepper (julienne cut. If red and yellow bell peppers aren’t available, use 1 green bell pepper)

–        red bell pepper (julienne cut)

–        yellow bell pepper (julienne cut)

–        125gms cabbage (thinly sliced)

–        2 spring onions (one inch pieces)

–        1 medium onion (thickly sliced)

–        6 to 7 garlic cloves (crushed)

–        4 tablespoons sesame oil (use vegetable oil if sesame is not available)

–        6 tablespoons soy sauce

–        6 to 8 tablespoons chili sauce (to taste)

–        2+1 teaspoon salt (2 teaspoons required while boiling noodles)

–        ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes

–        teaspoon black pepper

–        teaspoon white vinegar

–        ½ teaspoon chinese salt (Ajino Moto or MSG; optional)

–        A pinch of sesame seeds (for garnish)



Method

–        Boil noodles as per the instructions on the box; add two teaspoons of salt during the process.

–        Drain the water and let the noodles cool.

–        In a wok, stir fry all the bell peppers in ½ teaspoon sesame oil for two minutes; take them out in a bowl once done.

–        Next, stir fry the cabbage in ½ teaspoon sesame oil for two minutes; set it aside once done.

–        Stir fry the thickly sliced onion in ½ teaspoon sesame oil for two minutes; set it aside once done.

–        Stir fry the carrots in ½ teaspoon sesame oil for two minutes; set it aside once done.

–        In a sauce pan, add all the remaining sesame oil along with soy sauce, chili sauce, black pepper, Chinese salt, salt, chili flakes, and half of the garlic; cook for 3 minutes till the consistency is thick.

–        Once all vegetables have been separately stir fried, add half of the remaining sesame oil and the garlic in a wok.

–        After a minute, add the chicken and cook for 4 to 5 minutes (or till the chicken is tender) with the lid on.

–        Add in the noodles to the chicken and stir fry for 2 minutes.

–        Add in the stir fried vegetables one by one and mix well.

–        Add the sauce to the noodles and cook for 2 minutes.

–        Finally, add in the spring onions and turn the heat off.

Garnish with sesame seeds and serve immediately!

Muhammad Yousuf Bawany

Published in The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2016.

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COMMENTS (4)

Annette | 5 years ago | Reply @Truth: I tried it too; I think there was a typo error last time it was published (instead of 4 to 5 minutes, it read 45 minutes). 45 minutes for the chicken to become tender didn't make sense so I cooked till it was tender. For me, it turned great as I was hearling praises from my husband and kids afterwards; absolutely loved it.
Truth | 5 years ago | Reply I tried the recipe last time it was published with no good results. I guess author might have made some changes. My wife would know better.
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