The Shrimp Chow Mein Noodles served in Hong Kong style are a staple dish in Chinatown. Umami-rich shrimp, Shiitake mushrooms, fresh mung bean sprouts, and scallions are tossed with slightly crispy and chewy pan-fried noodles before being tossed in a hot wok to bring out the true MVP ingredient: that wok hay flavor.
A recipe that has been repeatedly requested!
In this blog, we make a point of tracking and maintaining lists of every dish you request, no matter how common or unusual.
We’ve received many requests for recipes of Asian street food that customers have enjoyed at local stalls and restaurants and want to make at home. One such request inspired this recipe, and we couldn’t be happier.
It’s been a while since we last made a pan-fried noodle dish, but a reader asked for the recipe so that he could stop relying on takeout for his favorite Cantonese Hong Kong chow mein dishes.
Your Wok Must Be Heated!
The fresh ingredients for these Shrimp Chow Mein Noodles come together quickly, but one important point is to remember as you turn to your wok. You’ll need a scorching hot wok to achieve that authentic restaurant-style seared wok hay flavor in the comfort of your kitchen.
- 8 oz. of fresh and thin Hong Kong Style Egg Noodles
- 12 large shrimp (peeled, deveined, and butterflied)
- Vegetable oil
- 1/8 tsp. of salt
- 1 tsp. of cornstarch
- 1½ cups of mung bean sprouts
- 1 tbsp. of hot water
- ¼ tsp. of sugar
- 2 tsp. of soy sauce
- 1 tsp. of dark soy sauce
- ½ tsp. of sesame oil
- 1 tsp. of oyster sauce
- 3 tsp. of Shaoxing wine (divided)
- ⅛ tsp. of white pepper
- 3 pcs. of Shiitake mushrooms (fresh or dried, soak in water if dried)
- 2 tsp. of fresh ginger (finely julienned)
- 2 scallions (finely julienned)
- Prepare the noodles by bringing 2 quarts of water to a boil and cooking them for 1 minute. The noodles must be drained, washed in cold water, and laid out to dry.
- I suggest using frozen shrimp that has been cleaned but has yet to cook. Here’s a recipe for Shrimp Chow Mein made with raw shrimp that I prepared by removing the shells but leaving the tails on. If you don’t like the extra flavor the tails add, feel free to cut them off. I also like to butterfly the shrimp by cutting them about two-thirds of the way through the backs with a sharp knife. In a separate bowl, combine 2 teaspoons of oil, 1/8 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Putting aside.
- The mung bean sprouts need to be rinsed in cold water. Refrigerate them while you drain them in a colander over a bowl, and then throw them into a smoking hot wok to cook.
- In a small bowl, combine the sugar and hot water, and stir in the soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, 2 teaspoons of Shaoxing wine, and the white pepper until the sugar is dissolved. Put it aside.
- Put 2 tablespoons of oil into your wok and heat it over medium-high heat.
- As you spread the noodles out in a single layer, tilt the wok in a circular motion to evenly disperse the oil and crisp the bottom layer of noodles. Let the noodles cook for 1–2 minutes, adjusting the heat if necessary (lower if the noodles are scorching, higher to brown them lightly). At this point, the wok must not be smoking.
- To make the noodles’ other “side” crisp, toss them over and add another tablespoon of oil around the rim of the wok. Don’t worry if you can’t flip the noodles all at once; a light, even crispiness is all needed at this point. Flip the noodles again after 90 seconds, and you should see some areas where they have become crispier and some areas where they have begun to brown lightly. After another 2 minutes, toss the noodles and remove them to a serving dish.
- Put 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok and heat it over medium-high heat to coat the pan. First, stir-fry the mushrooms for one minute, then move them to one side of the pan and reduce the heat to medium.
- Another half tablespoon of oil, plus the julienned ginger, to the center of the wok. The ginger needs about 15 seconds to caramelize. You should then add the shrimp and stir-fry for 15 seconds. Splash in 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine and crank up the heat to high. To get the shrimp to an 80% doneness, stir-fry for another 45 seconds.
- Throw in the noodles, and then cover them with the soy sauce concoction. For 30–45 seconds, using a lifting motion, stir-fry the noodles until the sauce is evenly distributed.
- Stir-fry the mixture for one more minute after adding the scallions and mung bean sprouts. Right now, you want to crank up the heat in your wok so you can get that signature wok hay flavor. Put the noodles in a serving bowl.
- If you like spicy things, try serving this Hong Kong-style shrimp chow mein with some of your favorite homemade hot chili oil or Chiu Chow chili oil.