AMERICAN CHICKEN CHOW MEIN WITH FRIED NOODLES
The only time I’ve ever had chicken chow mein was as a takeout dish, and I can’t say that the first time was a pleasant one. I had no idea what that was.
In the name, “chow mein,” I was expecting noodles to be a part of the dish. I was hoping for a dish similar to this, consisting of pan-fried noodles with chicken. Soggy vegetables and flavorless chicken with dried-out fried noodles on top: this was not what I was expecting.
The classic chicken chow mein dish has been requested a few times, and thanks to my dad’s expertise in Americanized takeout cooking, it was a simple addition to the menu. This time around, I felt more comfortable with it after a second go-round. It’s straightforward and gratifying when done correctly.
This one’s for you, classic Americanized chicken chow mein fans.
- 8 oz. of fresh Chinese wide egg noodles
- 2 cups of Peanut or Canola oil
- 1 large chicken breast, cut into thin pieces
- 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
REST OF THE RECIPE:
- 5 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 3 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 cups of roughly chopped napa cabbage
- 2 cups of baby bok choy
- 1 1/4 cups of chicken stock
- 1 cup of bean sprouts
- 2/3 cup of bamboo shoots
- 2/3 cup of water chestnuts
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 3/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
- In a medium-sized pot, bring the oil to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Drop the noodles one handful at a time into the hot oil, breaking them up with your fingers as you do so. To prevent the noodles from sticking together, split them up with a long fork or a pair of heatproof chopsticks. Cook till golden brown. The noodles may need to be flipped or moved to ensure even browning. Allow to cool in a paper towel-lined colander. Set aside all of the noodles once they’ve been cooked using this method.
- In a medium bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, and marinade the chicken. Wait to add the remaining ingredients before setting aside.
- Place a wok over high heat when you’re ready to cook. Toss in a tablespoon of olive oil and cook the chicken. Set aside after being removed from the wok. Stir-fry the onions and garlic for 30 seconds in the wok. Celery and mushrooms should be added at this point. Another minute or so of cooking is all that is necessary.
- Chop the bok choy and napa cabbage into small pieces, and add to the pan with the bamboo stalks. Add the seared chicken, chicken stock, salt, sugar, pepper, and bean sprouts to the stir-fry after about 30 seconds. When the mixture reaches a boil, remove it from the heat.
- Slowly add the corn starch slurry when the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon. Adding more chicken stock and re-seasoning will give you more sauce. Serve with rice. Enjoy a hearty helping of fried noodles on top of your entrée. You can’t beat a home delivery meal, can you?