Thursday, September 16, 2004

Fried Chow Mien

Fried or not, chow mien is already greasy, the noodles I bought anyway. However I wanted to try this recipe the way our favorite Cantonese restaurant cooked it. You will be surprised that you only need 4 tablespoons of olive oil to fry about ½ kilo of noodles because the noodles have “built-in”(for lack of a better description) oil in them already.

We stopped going to this restaurant about 7 months or so ago. Our family was trying to cut back on greasy foods and much as my children love Chinese food, they were very patient and cooperative enough. One thing I make sure when I plan our meals is that I don’t make them feel deprived just because I am watching my diet. I always try to incorporate vegetables in every meal.

I basically eat anything but the amount is a lot lesser than what I used to eat. I do not put my children into an “eating regiment”. I just remind them that they are only supposed to eat so much. Over time, they got used to it.

These are the things I put in my chow mien: (I'd like to say this is a meal in itself already)

5 tbsp of olive oil (4 for frying and 1 for sautéing)
½ kilo of chow mien noodles (thin ones)
400 gms of shelled prawns
1 onion
¼ medium cabbage, sliced
1 medium carrot, sliced
200 gms green beans
200 gms of snow peas
3 tbsps of cornstarch dissolved in 2 cups water
1 chicken bouillon
lots of chopped garlic

Heat 4 tbsp of olive oil in a pan. Put chow mien in and fry for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally or “flipping” the noodles on its side every once in a while making sure that all the noodles get crispy. Put in a plate ready to be mixed with the cooked vegetables.

In the same pan, cook the prawns (no need for oil) for about 3 minutes. Set aside including the juice extracted from the prawns. The juice helps in making your chow mien tasty.

Still in the same pan, heat the remaining oil and put the onions. Cook for about a quarter or half a minute. Add the carrots and the cabbage, chicken bouillon and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the green beans and cook for a minute. Add the snow peas, cook for half a minute and then pour in the dissolved cornstarch and the cooked prawns (together with the juice) constantly stirring to make sure that cornstarch is mixed consistently with the vegetables. Turn off stovetop as soon as the mixture boils and mix the garlic in. You probably noticed that I am a garlic addict. I really am. I love the taste it gives to my food and I love the fact that garlic is a powerful anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Studies have also shown that garlic lowers the cholesterol and the blood pressure. True or not, I just love garlic.
Mix the noodles and the cooked vegetables. Serve with calamansi or lemon and maybe soy sauce on the side.

Just a simple tip. The amount of water is very important because you want to eat your noodles crispy but you don’t want them dry either.

No comments: