Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Simple Chinese Fried Noodles/Chow Mein 家常炒面

You can probably tell by now that I love single dish meals. Chinese Fried Noodles (家常炒面) - yet another family classic that we must serve once in a while.

You can make use of any ingredients available in your refrigerator as this dish goes well with seafood, meat or poultry. Just be creative! 

I have some prawns and pork slices today. Mixed Fried Noodles that is!

Ingredients (enough for 2 pax) :

  • 2 pcs of dried egg noodles (That's what I have at home although I prefer using traditional fresh hokkien yellow noodles available from markets/supermarkets. Trust me, that's way better than dried noodles and you do not have to blanch them beforehand)
  • 8 pcs small to medium sized prawns (pre-marinate with a pinch of salt and sugar)
  • pork slices enough for 2 pax (pre-marinate with a pinch of salt, few drops of light soy sauce and sesame oil) 
  • 3 pcs dried mushrooms (soak to soften and sliced to thin pieces)
  • 1 cup of crunchy vegetables (chopped)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 small shallots or onions (finely chopped)
  • 1 stalk of spring onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 pc red chilli  (optional)(sliced)
  • few drops of dark soy sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp of your favorite chilli paste if you prefer your noodles to be spicy

(tsp = teaspoon; tbsp = tablespoon)    

Tip : If you are using dried egg noodles, you need to follow through these steps : 
  • Boil water.
  • When water hits boiling point, toss in dried egg noodles and let them boil till soften. Pay close attention not to over blanch as the noodle will turn too soggy for stir frying if over blanched.
  • To prevent the yellow noodles from sticking together when stir frying, it is essential to run through noodles in running water or cold water after blanched and add sesame oil to noodles. Toss them thoroughly before stir frying. 

Method :

This step applies only if you are using dried egg noodles. Follow the above mentioned steps on boiling, running through cold water, and tossing with sesame oil to prevent noodles from sticking together when stir frying. 

Meanwhile, combine 1.5 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tbsp corn starch and few drops of dark soy sauce in a separate bowl and mix well (regardless which type of noodles you are using). You need this sauce mix to stir fry your noodles.
Heat cooking oil in a skillet/wok and lightly stir fry finely chopped onions and garlic at medium heat.
Toss in marinated pork slices and turn to high heat.
Add half the sauce mix into skillet/wok and give the pork slices a quick stir fry. 
Add prawns and quick stir fry.
Add mushrooms and quick stir fry.
Add noodles when all the ingredients are about 70% cooked. Pour in the other half of sauce mix. Stir fry noodles. Add chilli paste now if you prefer your noodles spicy. Ensure noodles are evenly coated with the sauce and chilli paste.

Finally, turn to low heat and add all greens, cut chiliies and 1 tsp of sesame oil. Toss all ingredients evenly for another minute and transfer to plates when ready.
Using crunchy vegetables instead of soft green leaves will give your fried noodles a lot more textures when eating. You may add or substitute with bean sprouts (towgay) if desired.


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