Thursday, November 12, 2015

Pan Fried Noodles with Chicken (Gai See Chow Mein)

This is delish! My mom makes this with some sliced roast pork and those crunchy skinny yellow noodles... This is a rough adaptation because I have neither the roast pork or the right noodles. 

Don't let the long list of ingredients or steps deter you! This meal is worth it and can actually be prepared in 30 minutes with no additional prep time!! I have adjusted the steps below with the order that I 

Some changes....
I didn't use a wok - I used my largest pot. 
I used noodles from Wegman's (Assi Pasta, Oriental Style Noodle), but egg noodles or even spaghetti would work. 
I used petite baby bok choy but the Shanghai bok choy, American broccoli or Chinese broccoli (gai lan) would be tasty. Just go with whatever veg looks better at the store that day!
I didn't use the oyster sauce because I didn't have any. 
I didn't use the sugar because I didn't think my dinner needed sugar. 
I added carrots and bean sprouts because...why not!?

Now that I've made this meal a couple times I've tried to be more efficient with NOT using all the dishes, pots, and pans in the kitchen. Here are the tips...
Cut the veggies before the chicken (this reduces a cutting board AND a knife!)
Use the same large pot for everything (cooking the noodles, frying the noodles, cooking the chicken, and making the sauce)
Share the serving plate with someone you love and no extra plate dishes!
Measure all the dry things before the wet things (aka corn starch before sesame oil and soy sauce) 

Pan Fried Noodles with Chicken (Gai See Chow Mein)
Adapted from The Woks of Life
serves 2

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts 
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 bundles of dried Hong Kong style egg noodles or 10 oz. fresh HK Style noodles (OR any noodles)
1 small bunch of choy sum or baby bok choy (about 2-3 cups), washed and cut into strips
1-2 handfuls of baby carrots cut into match sticks
1 cup chicken stock 
1 tablespoon oyster sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Pinch of sugar (optional)
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground white pepper
2 cloves garlic powder
2 tablespoons cornstarch + 2 tablespoons water 
3 tablespoons oil 
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (any Chinese cooking wine)
1 - 2 handfuls Bean Sprouts
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While you wait...
    • Wash and slice your veggies.
    • Slice your chicken into thin strips. In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, oil, cornstarch with the sliced chicken. Set aside.
    • In a small pot on the stove, combine the oyster sauce, garlic powder, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, salt, white pepper, and chicken stock. Leave it alone while it comes to a simmer.
    • In a small bowl, mix the 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water into a slurry and set aside.
  • Once water is boiling, add the noodles. (For fresh noodles, boil for 30 seconds to a minute. For dried noodles, boil for 4-6 minutes). Do not overcook them! Drain, rinse with cold water, set aside. 
  • Heat your large pot over high heat and add 2 tablespoons oil, making sure to swirl it around to coat the sides. Spread out your noodles in an even layer and fry for about 3 minutes, or until golden and crisp. 
  • Flip the noodles over and fry the other side (you can add a bit more oil if necessary).
    • Theoretically the noodles should not stick, I have yet to have success and end up scraping it off the bottom. It is still crispy and good, just not as pretty! When the noodles are golden on both sides, transfer the noodles to a large round plate. 
  • In the same large pot, add another tablespoon of oil. Sear the chicken breast and carrot sticks.
  • Once browned, add the shaoxing wine to deglaze the pan. Pour in your sauce.
  • Let the liquid come to a boil and add your green vegetables. 
  • Stir and cook for about a minute. 
  • Stir up your slurry mixture again, since the cornstarch probably settled to the bottom of the bowl. 
  • Once the liquid is boiling, add about 2/3 of the cornstarch and stir the mixture to thicken. Add more slurry until the sauce thickens enough to coat a spoon. How thick you like your sauce it is also about personal preference. Allow to bubble up for another 30 seconds or so. 
  • Pour the entire mixture over the noodles and serve immediately. Serve with hot chili oil or Sriracha on the side if you like!

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