Nov 22, 2010

Chicken Chow mein / Stir fried chicken noodles

              I think I had become verbose about my love for Chinese dishes some recipes back. May be it's time for a wind up. Don't ask me for compensations if you are bored to death.. because it's a weakness in me that whenever I ponder about Chinese food, I become a lot more talkative about its deliciousness..., its vibrant flavours.. and its yum yum texture. I think the habit goes a long way back to my secondary school days when I was a boarding student at Thrissur, the cultural capital of Kerala. On the very few occasions our matron allowed us to go to the city, me and my friends used to visit a chinese restaurant in town which was called 'Ming Palace'. I had believed then that it was run by real Chinese people coz the waiters had chinky eyes and they never spoke malayalam. When we spoke to them in malayalam, they used to look at us as if they had a bone in their throat. So we dropped our mother tongue at MP's door and were relieved at finding  they understood English...

               There were a lot of dishes we were too much fond of at MP but Chowmein and American Chopseuy were my favourites. For Chinese people, they served the food with chopsticks  and for us they gave spoons and forks. It was sheer curiosity which prompted us to ask for chopsticks one day while dining at MP. They gave it to us with a queer look. We didn't understand what it meant until we started eating with the chopsticks.. After several attempts, the chopsticks came off easily and the food remained in the plate very adamantly. Seeing the delicious hot food and feeling its invigorating smell, our gastric juices had already started boiling vehemently in our stomach and we gave up our attempts at using chopsticks and asked for the spoon and fork again. It was one of my friends who commented, " Well, If curiosity didn't kill the cats, it would certainly have starved them" :)

              Home made noodles were never like the restaurant ones. They were mostly made with the ready to cook noodles available in market with taste makers provided with it. I must admit I was fond of it too but lately I have avoided making it because I am scared of Ajinomoto. Ajinomoto which is also called 'Mono Sodium Glutamate', had never been in good terms with me ever since I found out its health issues. We avoid each other like plague..  :) If you ask me, "Then, how about restaurant food?"  Well, I always like to think positive. Like..... the restaurant cook is too kind and never add Ajinomoto in the food he gives me ;) So I started experimenting with the plain noodles at home and was quite taken by surprise as it turned out to be almost the same taste as that of the restaurant ones (without adding MSG!). So may be, my optimism have some hope after all...

             'Chow mein' is the Chinese name for stir fried noodles. You can replace the chicken with beef or canned tuna, or any kind of mushrooms if you are a vegetarian. Here is the recipe..

Things you need:  

250 g wonton noodles / spagetti / any other type of plain noodles
4 cups of water
1 cup of shredded cabbage
1/2 cup of carrot cut into thin long strips
1/2 cup of  bell pepper, cut lengthwise
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 onion sliced
1 stalk of celery
2 stalks of green onions
2 eggs
250 g of boneless chicken cut into small pieces
2 tsp of black pepper powder
2 tsp of soy sauce
2 tsp of oyster sauce
Salt to taste
6 tbsp of cooking oil


          Boil the noodles as per instruction on package in 4 cups of water until well cooked and tender. Drain on a mesh and immediately pour cold water over it to stop the cooking and add a teaspoon of oil to avoid  sticking. Heat a large wok and add 4 to 5 tablespoons of oil. Add the garlic and saute. Then add the onions and saute until transparent. It need not turn golden. Then add the carrots, cabbage, bell peppers and celery one by one and saute in medium heat. Add adequate salt and pepper powder. Meanwhile you can cook the chicken in another pan with 1 tablespoon of oil and adding adequate salt and pepper powder. Cook the chicken until all the water in the chicken dries up. Add this to the vegetable mixture and mix well. In the same pan heat a little oil and scramble the eggs in it adding adequate salt and a little pepper powder. Add this to the veg-chicken mixture. Finally add the cooked noodles along with soy sauce and oyster sauce and mix well by tossing on medium heat. Garnish with green onions and serve hot.



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