I grew up eating Cantonese-style chow mein, where the noodles are pan-fried to be crispy and served at the bottom of the veggies. Today, most Chinese restaurants deep fry the noodles which I don’t care for at all.
Which leaves me with only one choice if I want the crispy goodness – make it at home. But I’ve always resisted cooking it at home because of the mess to pan-fry the noodles. That is until I discovered that the noodles can be baked in the oven to get the crispiness without the mess or oil. Woo hoo!
Cantonese-Style Vegetable Chow Main
Serves 1 as a meal or 2 as part of a meal
3 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked in water until soft, then sliced
2 garlic cloves, smashed, coarsely chopped
1/4″ piece fresh ginger, minced
2 ounces sliced water chestnuts
6 stalks yu choy or bok choy or other green vegetable, trimmed and sliced
2-3 ounces snow peas
1 cup bean sprouts
6 ounces noodles (I used O’Hana Organic Chow Mein Style Noodles)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 stalk green onion, chopped for garnish
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce or to taste
Salt to taste
Corn starch dissolved in water
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat water in a medium size pot to boil. Add noodles for 1 minute. Drain and toss with 1 teaspoon oil. Spread noodles out onto a baking sheet.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, flip over, bake for 8-10 minutes on the other side until crispy. Pull apart the noodles and place on serving plate. Another option is to set aside the noodles and add to the wok at the end so it’s mixed with the cooked vegetables instead of being at the bottom.
Heat a wok to hot. Add a teaspoon of oil and heat to hot, then add the mushrooms, garlic and ginger, stir-fry for about a minute. Add the yu choy, snow peas and bean sprouts – always add in the order of the quickest cooking last, cook until crispy-tender.
Add the water, soy sauce and salt, seasoning to taste (If you like your chow mein with sauce, add most of the water and more if you really like a lot of sauce. I prefer a lot less sauce, so I only used about half of the 1/3 cup water).
To thicken the sauce, slowly add the corn starch mixture and stir to desired thickness. Serve on top of the noodles and garnish with the green onions.