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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Asian Odessey...Chicken Chow Mein

I think I moved to the wrong country...I love Asia. It doesn't matter which country, I'd love to see them all and possibly live there. The living there won't happen but I can still enjoy the food at home.

Some of my friends on Mates Up Over were talking about Chicken Chow Mein and the way their mothers made it, some said they used a soup mix. So, I went to my cook books and have a look to see what I could find. Turns out not only is it the most well known Chinese dish in the West, it's one of the easiest to make too...and no soup mix. :-)

The easiest way to make anything, especially Asian dishes, is to do all the preparation first, so that you can get on with the business of cooking. This is particularly true with stir-fry's because they require the highest heat and fast cooking.

We are fortunate to have a number of very good Asian stores around here, including a large supermarket about 30 minutes away. Most ingredients you can get from the local supermarket but some you really do have to get from an Asian store and unfortunately, sometimes there are no substitutes. 

I added dried shiitake mushrooms to mine because I saw them yesterday at the Asian store and couldn't resist them. Plus, they are a very good source of protein.

Chicken Chow Mein


350g/12oz Chinese egg noodles
225g/8oz skinless boneless chicken breast
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chinese cooking wine or dry sherry
1 tbsp sesame oil
4 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
50g/2oz snow peas (mange-touts), topped and tailed
115g/4oz bean sprouts
handful of dried shiitake mushrooms
4 spring onions, finely chopped
salt and fresh ground black pepper


Put the mushrooms in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water for 20 minutes. Drain and cut off and discard the stems. Cut into strips and set aside.

Cook the noodles in a saucepan of boiling water (about 3 minutes) until tender. Drain, rinse under cold water and drain well. Set aside.

Slice the chicken into fine shreds about 5cm/2" in length. (I used chicken tenderloins because I had them in the freezer and if you slice them on an angle, you get the right length) Place in a bowl and add 2 tsp of the soy sauce, the cooking wine or dry sherry and sesame oil.

Heat half the oil in a wok or large saucepan or high heat. When it starts smoking, add the chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes and set aside.

Wipe the wok clean and heat the rest of the oil. Stir in the garlic, snow peas, bean sprouts and mushrooms, stir-fry for a minute or so and add the noodles.

Continue to stir-fry until the noodles are heated through. Add the remaining soy sauce to taste and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Add the chicken and any juices to the noodle mixture, add the chopped spring onions and give it a final mix.

There you have it. It's actually a quick meal and should take, including preparation, about 30 minutes to make.




  1. Thank you for sharing this review. Indeed, I really loved cooking and this is my greatest hobby everyday. I decide to look more articles that will teach me to cook delicious food. I will try this one because it looks delicious. I hope you will also post a stir fry sauce. Keep sharing!

  2. Thank you. I have 1 or 2 sauces I use. I'll try and get them up soon.