As a family, we always looked forward to the Cantonese dish of Seafood Pan Fried Noodles on Sundays for dim sum.
This staple dish, sometimes called Seafood Chow Mein, was a favorite of my parents and sisters. Once we had finished our first round of dim sum, my parents would summon the waiter and order a side of Beef Chow Fun and a side of Seafood Pan Fried Noodles.
The only thing I could make out over the din was someone shouting, “hoi seen chow meen!” in a clear Cantonese accent, which translates to “seafood fried noodles.” Mandarin speakers will recognize the term “hi xin cho mian.”
When my two daughters were younger, the whole family would get together for holidays and birthdays at a dim sum restaurant. They would eagerly search the table for chow mein as the last of the dim sum dishes were devoured.
This traditional seafood noodle dish can be found on most Cantonese restaurants’ menus, especially those specializing in dim sum. If you can’t get your hands on good Cantonese food because you don’t live near Chinatown, follow our recipe for seafood pan-fried noodles and make them home!
Pan-fried noodles are a type of food.
The wide variety of available noodles can be overwhelming, and we get that. Chow mein noodles, also known as pan-fried noodles, are yellow in color because eggs are used in their preparation. These noodles are also typically quite thin and may be referred to as “Hong Kong pan-fried noodles” or “Hong-Kong Style Egg Noodles.”
They can be purchased either fresh or dried.
Other egg-based noodles, such as the thicker lo mein noodles or anything labeled “wonton noodles,” should not be mistaken for these. Thin wonton noodles, yellow egg noodles, resemble pan-fried noodles but are instead used in soups.
Different kinds of noodles are better suited for various tasks. When prepared properly, pan-fried noodles require only a brief time in the boiling water before being drained and tossed in the pan to crisp up.
WHERE CAN I GET PAN-FRIED NOODLES
You can get dry or fresh noodles in the style of Hong Kong for pan frying at your neighborhood Asian market.
You can buy dried noodles online, but we advise using fresh ones for the best results.
- 4 oz. of scallops (rinsed)
- 6 oz. of large shrimp (peeled and deveined)
- 6 oz. of fresh squid (cleaned)
- 1½ cups of hot chicken stock
- ½ teaspoonsp. of sesame oil
- 1½ tsp. of salt
- ¼ tsp. of sugar
- 2 tsp. of oyster sauce
- white pepper (to taste)
- 3 tbsp. of cornstarch (combined with 3 tablespoons water)
- 4 oz. of choy sum (yu choy) (115g)
- 8 oz. of fresh Hong Kong-style pan-fried noodles or 4 bundles dried noodles
- 4 tbsp. of vegetable oil divided
- 3 thin slices of ginger
- 1 clove of garlic (minced)
- 1 white part of scallion (cut at an angle into 1-inch pieces)
- ¼ cup of sliced carrot
- ¼ cup of beech or straw mushrooms
- 1 tbsp. of rice wine
Bring to room temperature and then prepare the fish, sauce, and fruits:
- We used shrimp, scallops, and cleaned, pre-cut, frozen squid in this dish. Similarly, fresh squid can be cooked. To do this, open the cleaned squid lengthwise and lightly score it in a diamond pattern. Check out our Stir Fried Squid with Pickled Vegetables to see how we did it.
- Sauce time! Combine hot chicken stock with sesame oil, sugar, oyster sauce, and white pepper. Putting aside. Create a slurry out of the cornstarch and water and set it aside.
- Choy sum should have its stems and leaves trimmed, then washed thoroughly in cold water and set aside. When these are served at Chinese restaurants, they will be left whole.
Pan-fry the noodles:
- To begin, get some water boiling in a large pot or wok. New noodles should be blanched for 30 to 60 seconds. If you’re using dried noodles, cook them according to the package’s instructions, but stop cooking them before they become too mushy. Drain the noodles thoroughly in a colander after placing them in a cold water bath to halt the cooking process.
- The next step is to preheat a wok or a nonstick frying pan over high heat. Put in a tablespoon of oil and spread it around to cover the pan. In a shallow pan, fry the noodles in a single layer for 3–5 minutes or until they have a crisp exterior.
- A spatula will come in handy for separating the noodles. Verify the doneness of the noodles by peeking under the pan. Flip the noodles over with a spatula. If you can’t flip the whole thing simultaneously, do it in stages.
- To get the noodles evenly browned on both sides, add another tablespoon of vegetable oil to the sides of the pan and crisp the other side. The noodles should be moved to a serving dish.
Pre-cook Seafood and Choy Sum
- In a wok, bring 6 cups of water (or the water you used to boil the noodles) to a boil and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Just boil the choy sum for 30 seconds. A Chinese spider or strainer can collect the excess water before being set around the noodles.
- Next, blanch the seafood by slowly stirring it in water until it becomes opaque (about 20 seconds). Move to a serving dish. Since the seafood will be cooked again in the stir-fry, you only need to cook it until it’s 70% done.
Prepare the Meal:
- First, heat a dry wok over low heat. Prepare your wok by coating the outside with 1 tablespoon of oil. Just add the ginger and let it cook for 10 to 20 seconds.
- Put the heat on high and add the garlic, scallions, carrots, and mushrooms. Then, throw in the seafood, starting with the shrimp and ending with the squid. Add the wine after ten seconds of stir-frying.
- Then, pour the sauce concoction and lower the heat to a simmer. Ensure the cornstarch slurry is thoroughly mixed, then slowly pour in three-quarters of it while stirring the wok’s contents. Prepare for only 15 seconds. A spoonful of the sauce should coat the back of the spoon. The sauce’s thickness can be adjusted by adding more cornstarch slurry.
- Toss the noodles with the sauce and serve at once. Garnish with a generous drizzle of spicy chili oil.