Through trial and error (and perusing online recipes) I’ve come up with a chow mein that I can make in 30 minutes. I’m sure there are recipes out there more authentic, but it is healthy, flavorful and … most important … quick. To make it even more quickly, use the pre-cut veggies that come in bags at the grocery store.
The flavor is mild; it can easily be spiced up with red pepper flakes or whatever hot sauce you enjoy. The amount of veggies is flexible; up to 4 cups could be added if you like a bigger veggie-to-noodle ratio. Usual candidates for this dish are onions, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, and bell peppers. But you can put in any type of veggie you prefer, as long as you separate the harder veggies from the softer ones and cook the harder ones first (and longer), as indicated. Adding protein is optional.
Serves 3 to 4
6 oz uncooked rice or Chinese noodles
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tblsp olive oil, divided
1/2 lb deveined, peeled raw shrimp or chicken breast (optional)
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp hoisin sauce
2 – 3 cups veggies — rinsed, cored, chopped
For rice noodles: Bring teapot full of water to boil; place noodles in large bowl and cover with boiling water, let sit about 15 minutes, or until al dente. Drain in colander. Use scissors to cut cooled rice noodles in half.
For Chinese noodles: Follow package directions to cook to al dente, and rinse in colander. Use scissors to cut cooled noodles in half.
If using : cut up chicken breast into bite-sized pieces or rinse shrimp.
Mix sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar and hoisin sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
Add 1 tblsp olive oil to a large wok or frying pan and heat until hot (but not smoking) over med high heat. Add the hardest veggies (such as broccoli, carrots) and cook about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until veggies begin to soften. Add in softer veggies (such as onions, mushrooms, sugar snap peas) and garlic, cook til beginning to soften, stirring frequently, about 3-4 more minutes.
Dump veggies in a large bowl if using protein. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to wok/pan, add chicken or shrimp, cook til chicken is browned/ or shrimp is turning pink. Add noodles and veggies, pour in sauce mixture and toss with serving forks over medium high heat until noodles are completely covered and all is heated through.