Noodles are life. I don’t think there’s anyone out there who’ll want to even debate that. They’re the best form of carbs, with optimum levels surface area to coat themselves in your sauce or oil of choice. Whether it’s twisty fuesli smothered in a cheesy sauce, a slippery ramen noodle drowned in a spicy broth, an oily egg noodle wrapped around a semi-crunchy sugar snap pea. or the perfect bowl of chow mein, there’s no comfort food more comforting than a bowl of noodles.
What’s interesting to me is how popular chow mein is in Pakistan. Not a lot of foreign cuisine has infiltrated the middle-class kitchen in Pakistan, with only a bit of American and Chinese being exceptions.Perhaps that’s where my love for Asian food stems from, and why chow mein is one of my favorite comfort-food dishes. I must admit though, I’m pretty confident that the breed of “Chinese” food known to Pakistan is a mutant version quite unlike anything you’ll find in China, and the only similarity might just be the MSG.
Chow mein isn’t a fancy dish and requires pretty much zero expertise, especially if you’re not making the noodles from scratch. It is, however, a very popular and universally loved dish, which is no surprise considering how quick and easy it is.
Chow mein is simply beautiful when some thinly sliced cabbage is involved, however I usually omit the cabbage because I can never find a wedge small enough for a single use and never know what to do with an entire head.
While you can totally get away with “winging it” when it comes to chow mein, I’m going to share the recipe for how I usually make mine. Barring the fact that the star ingredient is high-carb egg noodles, this dish is quite packed with protein and vegetables.To be completely fair though, I can give up all things in life except carbs, so can we just call this an extremely balanced meal with all food groups? Thank you.
Recipe (serves 2)
Easy Breezy Chow Mein Recipe for the Noodleholics’ Party
- 8 pieces Baby Corn
- 1 cup Bean sprouts
- 4 Dried red chillies
- 150 grams Asparagus
- 4 stalks scallions
- 4 Pak Choy
- 1 Red Capsicum
- 1/2 cup Tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
- 3 TbspWhite rice vinegar
- 1/2 tsp White pepper
- 1/2 tsp Black pepper
- 4 tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1/2 tsp Garlic Paste
- 1/4 cup tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp coconut sugar
- 400 grams Angus beef strips
- 250 grams Medium Egg Noodles
- 1 tsp sesame seeds (for garnish)
- Marinate the Angus beef in Tamari, black pepper, coconut sugar, white rice vinegar and 1 tsp sesame oil. Leave in the fridge for a few hours to overnight for best flavors.
- Cut all the vegetables in small, equally sized strips.
- Boil egg noodles to al dente. Check for doneness and make sure you don't overboil the noodles because they will continue to cook when mixed in the wok. You want the noodles to have a bit of a bite and there's nothing as awful as a mushy chow mein.
- Drain water, toss with 1 tsp sesame oil and set aside.
- In a hot wok, stir fry the marinated beef, garlic, whole red chilies and all the vegetables.
- Mix in the egg noodles, toss everything up together and prepare to serve.
- Garnish with freshly cut scallions and sesame seeds.