Noodles in any shape or form are my weakness. They are why I would fail the Atkins diet so miserably. Well that and the fact that I eat rice almost everyday. Chinese stir-fried noodles are one of my favorite dishes because it's delicious and a cinch to make. Like fried rice, it's usually something I can make when I have nothing planned, throw some ingredients together, and it comes out so good every time that I can almost eat the whole pan myself. This is one of the dishes I cooked for Chinese New Year. It's traditional to eat noodle dishes for New Years and birthdays because the long strands symbolize long life. So don't cut your noodles! Slurp, slurp away to your heart's content!
In Chinese restaurants, this dish is usually called chicken, beef, happy family, etc. etc. chow mein, which is the Cantonese translation of pan fried noodles. In Mandarin we call it chao mian, which means the same thing. The dish is made with wheat or egg noodles. I like to use egg noodles because they have a chewier texture and have a pleasant yellow color. If you use rice noodles, it's called chow fun/chao feng. There's a lot of flexibility with this dish. You can use whatever protein and veggies you feel like. Chicken, shrimp, pork, BBQ pork, beef, tofu or a combination would work. You should cut your meat or tofu into strips so they're easier to eat with the noodles but you don't need to cut the shrimp, just peel and devein. I used some Chinese BBQ pork I made the day before. For the vegetables, it's best to use ones that can be julienned or cut into strips. So peas would not be a good idea but you can use carrots, cabbage, snow pea pods, celery, red bell pepper, baby bok choy, sprouts, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, the list can go on and on. I cook things in three stages. First the meat, then the veggies (adding meat to the veggies towards the end), then the noodles and then add everything together in the end to heat through and mix evenly. For a pound of noodles I use a pound of protein and this should serve about 4.
- If you're starting with raw meat, use the marinade I included.
- If you're starting with cooked meats, then add the ginger slices to the oil when you're cooking the veggies in step 2
- If you're using mushrooms, you'll need to cook those first before adding the rest of the vegetables, cook them until they release their juices and the juices evaporate before adding the rest of the ingredients. Otherwise the rest of the veggies will get soggy.
- Mix the oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sugar together in a little bowl before you add it to the noodles so you can add the seasoning in one step. Add more seasoning later if you need to.
Chinese Stir-Fried Noodles
1 16oz package of egg noodles fresh or dried
1 lb protein (chicken, beef, pork, BBQ pork, tofu, or shrimp) cut into strips (don't need to cut the shrimp)
I used about 2 cups of Chinese BBQ pork cut into sticks
Your choice of vegetables cut into strips or julienne and you can use however much you feel like
(Carrots, celery, snow peas, celery, baby bok choy, etc.)
I used 2 carrots (julienned) and 8oz. mushrooms (because I was a little short on veggies)
4 green onions, sliced in half lengthwise then cut into 2 inch lengths
3 - 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 slices ginger
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
2 Tbsp oyster sauce (more if needed)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
Marinade for stir-fried meat
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice wine
1/2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 tsp white pepper
If you're starting with raw meat (chicken, pork, beef, shrimp), use mix the strips of meat with the marinade until all the pieces are all coated. Set aside for 10 - 15 minutes.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles according to package intructions. Stop cooking the noodles when there's still a good chew. Drain, rinse in cold water, drain again, and set aside.
Now cook your protein. Heat a tablespoon of oil over high heat in a wok or skillet. First add the ginger slices and let it perfume the oil. Add the meat and stir fry until it's almost cooked through. We'll finish cooking it with the veggies. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
In the cleared pan, heat about 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of oil (depends on how much veggies you have) over medium high heat and stir fry the green onions, garlic, and the vegetables you're using. Season with a little salt, and stir fry until the vegetables are cooked but still crisp/crunchy and definitely not mushy. This shouldn't take too long. At this point, add the meat from step 1 back in to finish cooking with the veggies OR add your chopped precooked meat like Chinese BBQ pork to heat through. Set aside in a bowl.
In the cleared skillet heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium high heat and add your noodles. Toss them around, get them well coated in the oil, and break up any clumps. If it's too sticky and clumpy, go ahead and add more oil. Pan fry the noodles, stirring and flipping them frequently until some of the noodles get a nice a crunchy golden brown exterior. Then season with the oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. Toss the noodles freuqntly and make sure everything is evenly coated with the sauce. Taste and see if it needs additional seasoning. You may wish to add more oyster sauce, soy sauce, salt, or sugar. When the noodles are seasoned to your liking, add the proteins and vegetables and any liquid that may have accumulated in the bowl back into the skillet, toss until everything is evenly distributed into the noodles.