Chow Mein is a Chinese term for noodles stir-fried with anything – meat, vegetables etc. The noodles used can be egg noodles, bean noodles – either fried or steamed or cooked in boiling water. Various different combinations of vegetables, sprouts, meat and sauces can be added to this to customise your chow mein the way you want it. This is especially the fun part of making chow mein noodles at home. As you would know, I am a person who get easily bored with anything, especially cooking food at home. Sometimes I will get all crazed about Chinese food and it will be only that for a whole week or so and then I will get so bored of it that I will not make anything even remotely Chinese for a few months. Well, yes, if you get an overdose of anything, anyone will get bored of it.
So, how I make this noodle dish different each time is by changing the sauces I use or using a different kind of noodle to make chow mein etc. Most of the time, till I finish making it, I will have very less idea of what this is going to be as I keep adding sauces and other ingredients as and when I cook. This recipe is probably the base Chow Mein recipe to which I make modifications most of the time. Be bold, if you got a new Asian sauce from your Asian grocery store, try it in this, you can’t go too wrong with it!
Vegetable Chow Mein – The Recipe
- Chinese Egg Noodles – 1 pack
- Vegetable Oil – 1 tsp
- Chilli Oil – 1 tsp
- Sliced Onions (1 medium sized onion) - 1 cup
- Minced Garlic – 2 tbsp
- Green and Red Bell Pepper (1 pepper each), sliced thinly – 2 cups
- Cabbage, thinly sliced – 2 cups
- Tofu, cut in cubes – 1 pack
- Soy Sauce – 3 tbsp
- Chilli Garlic Sauce – 2 tbsp
- Black Bean Garlic Sauce – 3 tbsp
- SriRacha, hot sauce – 2 tsp
- Eggs – 4
- Butter – 1 tsp
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Scallions – 2, for garnish
Chop all the vegetables and keep all the sauces ready, near the stove. Cook the noodles as per package instructions, drain and keep aside.
Heat the butter in a pan, beat the eggs and pour it into the pan. Scramble the eggs and keep aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a wok, add the chilli oil to it. Add the onions and garlic and stir fry. Add the rest of the vegetables and stir fry in high heat. Add the other sauces too and mix well. Add the cooked and drained noodles and the scrambled eggs and stir fry till the sauce and vegetables are mixed well with the noodles.
Check for salt, add some if needed. Usually the soy sauce takes care of it, but some need the extra salt. Cut the scallions and garnish the noodles with it. Serve hot!