Cantonese-Style Vegetable Chow Mein

Cantonese-Style Vegetable Chow Mein

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 Mein

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.

18 Comments so far

  1. Vegan Dad on June 3rd, 2009

    That is what I am talkin’ about! Thanks for the recipe.

  2. vegan.eating on June 3rd, 2009

    woo! love a good chow mein. i know what i’m making this weekend, thanks!

  3. veggievixen on June 3rd, 2009

    yummm! i love dishes like this. i don’t think i cook asian food enough. at least beyond the soy sauce and ginger stir fry with veggies, or some variation of that.

  4. Hannah on June 4th, 2009

    You’re so right- the crispy noodles were the best part! I haven’t had this dish is so long, but now I’m seriously craving it.

  5. jessy on June 4th, 2009

    i’ve never really had anything Cantonese style – i’ve gotta give your chow mein a try! it looks most stellar, indeed! mmmmmmmm!

  6. Sal on June 5th, 2009

    ooh that sounds awesome. i love when the noodles are crispy!!

  7. dreamin'itvegan on June 8th, 2009

    This looks great! I’ve never really made a chow mein, especially like this!

  8. lisa (show me vegan) on June 9th, 2009

    what a great idea. Thanks for sharing your discovery!

  9. lisaiscooking on June 9th, 2009

    What a beautiful meal! Great idea to bake the noodles. That sounds delicious!

  10. Jen on June 10th, 2009

    This looks much tastier than take-out, in my opinion! It looks like you can still taste the vegetables—not just a bunch of salt and grease :-) Thanks for the recipe.

  11. Philippa O on June 16th, 2009

    ingenious! i’m a huge fan of crispy noodles but always felt so bad for myself after eating the deep fried oil cakes you get at restaurants

  12. Jodye on June 23rd, 2009

    This dish looks great! I’ve never made a chow mein – I must try it!

  13. starfive on March 10th, 2010

    are those noodles wheat or rice based?

  14. chow on March 11th, 2010

    starfive – They’re wheat based.

  15. J. Dion on March 27th, 2010

    So glad to have found you ! The recipes are wonderful. Thank~you !

  16. Christy on April 18th, 2010

    Made this today. It was fantastic. Thanks for sharing the technique!

  17. Trish on May 25th, 2010

    I tried this tonight. It was really good! The sauce was surprisingly delish, especially for being so simple! I used tons of ginger and some frozen veggies. Next time I will spray the baking sheet, the noodles really stuck to the sheet and were difficult to turn over.

  18. Tesla on August 20th, 2012

    This is an awesome recipe. Reminds me (in a good way) of the old Chung King canned meals my mom bought for me when I was 10. The ultimate in comfort food.

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