The flavours in this chow mein recipe comes close to one of my favourites. The best chow mein I’ve tasted is from Sam’s Congee or that one Soy Bean place in Heritage Court (now a memory). The portion size from both restaurants are very small. And notice how at both places, they have star dishes and chow mein is just a side, $2.75 snack? To give the light that this noodle dish truly deserves, this dish will become the main course.
Why this recipe works:
- No wok needed to create this Hong Kong-style classic! As long as you follow the steps and use a large, flat surface pan. But, if you do have access to a wok and a gas stove, I’m sure this dish would be 10x better.
- Soaking the chow mein for a minute is enough to soften the noodles. The noodles will cook further on the high heat of the pan!
- Use chopsticks or tongs to manage the noodles – not a spatula! You don’t want to break up those long golden strands.
- The vegetables add crunch and colour. You can opt to exclude carrots (or include other veggies like broccoli stems, bell peppers or bok choy), but I highly recommend beansprouts!
- Make it vegetarian, or add meat. The additions in this chow mein is up to you!
- The ends of the beansprouts are pinched on either end to help with texture. It takes 5 minutes longer to remove, but the end bite is worth it!
- Traditionally, lard is added to chow mein to give it that signature, shiny, oily texture. A good alternative is green onion oil because of it’s fragrance and added flavour. If you are using lard, add a tablespoon at the last step.
- Cooking the noodles on high heat gives it that chewy texture. If you are using the full bag (454g) of chow mein, I highly recommend cooking it in two parts to allow for maximum texture.
- Get that true Hong Kong dining vibe. Drizzle with sriracha & sprinkle sesame seeds to serve!
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Preparation time: 10 minutes
454g Fresh Chow Mein Egg Noodles
100g Beansprouts, ends trimmed
100g Carrot, shredded
2 Shallots (small), sliced
1 tbsp Garlic, minced
2½ Green Onion Stalks, cut into inches
5 tbsp Neutral Oil (divided)
1 tsp Sugar
1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
2 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
2 tsp Oyster Sauce
1 tsp Chicken Powder
Green Onion Oil
½ Green Onion stalk, sliced
¼ tsp Salt
¼ tsp MSG
1 tbsp Neutral Oil
Make: Noodle Prep
- Combine all sauce ingredients. Set aside.
- Separate green onion into white & green parts. Trim the beansprouts by pinching off the ends (optional). Cut carrot into slices, and into strips, to the width of beansprout/noodle.
- Pour boiling water into a large bowl. Add chow mein noodles and soak for 1-2 minutes, continually loosening the noodles in the water with chopsticks. Drain the noodles as best you can. Transfer the noodles to a large plate t`o dry out. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, or until noodle becomes slightly sticky to the touch.
Make: Green Onion Oil Topping
- Add chopped green onion, MSG & salt into a bowl (that can withstand hot oil).
- Heat up oil in pan on medium-high until shimmering.
- Pour hot oil directly into bowl, and mix.
- On medium heat, add ½ tablespoon of Neutral Oil to a pan. Once hot, add shallots, white parts of green onion and garlic. Toss and sit until aromatic (2 minutes).
- Add carrots (if using), toss for 1-2 minutes.
- Add bean sprouts, toss for another 2 minutes or until the beansprout bends slightly. Transfer vegetables & aromatics to a bowl until noodles cook.
- Divide noodles in two bundles, and prepare to cook with chopsticks or tongs. On medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add first noodle portion, and spread out so the noodles cover most of the pan. Allow to sit for 30 seconds, and flip to cook for another 30 seconds. You’ll know it’s ready once there are some strand of the noodle turns lighter in colour & the texture will change. Transfer noodles to a plate, add another two tablespoons of oil to the pan and cook the other portion of noodles with the same method.
- Add all noodles back to the pan. Loosen with chopsticks, and toss continually for 3 minutes to allow even heat and oil distribution. Once there is no oil remaining at the bottom of the pan, add the sauce mixture in 5+ increments. In between adding sauce, loosen and toss the noodles continually. Repeat until all sauce is used.
- Add the cooked vegetables and aromatics to the pan. Add white ends of green onion. Add green onion oil. Toss all together until combined (1-2 minutes). Turn off the heat.
- To serve, drizzle sriracha and sprinkle sesame seeds.