My husband loves chow mein and I often wake up in the morning and find empty Panda Express containers in the trash, so I decided to make my own cheaper, tastier and healthier version. Here it is!
TIME: 30 minutes
1 tablespoon high heat oil for sauteeing
12 ounce bag of chow mein noodles from the asian section of the market
1 cup half moon sliced yellow onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup sliced green or napa cabbage
1 cup julienned carrot
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup snow peas
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon Mirin (optional)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
YIELDS: 8 cups
I included these pictures of the ingredients if they are unfamiliar to any of my readers. I chose to use dry chow mein noodles from the Asian section of the supermarket, not the pasta section where you find italian noodles. If you want to make this dish even faster or easier, you can usually go to the vegetarian refrigerated section of the market where they sell tofu, or sometimes the produce department and buy precooked chow mein noodles. If you buy the precooked noodles, I think all you have to do is heat them up.
I also chose to use hot pepper sesame seed oil in my sauce just because we like spice in my house, but that is completely optional for you and is not by any means a requirement. You can use any sesame oil you want. Mirin is also completely optional but adds a nice flavor.
Make sure you slice all your vegetables before you start cooking because the cooking goes pretty fast. Before starting the veggies you also want to go ahead and cook the noodles if you use the dry noodles. Follow the instructions carefully because they are nothing like other pasta noodles. You must first bring the water to a boil and add noodles. Allow the noodles to begin to boil over and add a cup of cold water. Allow the water to begin to boil over again and remove from heat, draining immediately and rinsing under cold water to prevent them from further cooking. The process takes about six to seven minutes and requires you to watch it carefully. This is how the noodles I used were prepared but make sure you follow the instructions carefully on what ever packet you use.
Once your noodles are fully cooked and cooled, heat the oil in a pan at medium high and add onion and garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent and starting to brown but not overly cooked. Add the rest of the veggies and continue to saute for about 5 more minutes until the are cooked but still firm.
In a small bowl mix together the soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, and sesame oil and whisk well. Add the noodles to the veggies and top with the sauce mix. Stir well so the sauce gets on all the noodles and the veggies are mixed in well.
Garnish with pepper flakes or green onions if you choose!