Chicken, Chinese

One from Column A – Chicken Chow Mein

Okay, don’t shoot me… I grew up eating La Choy Chicken Chow Mein and somewhere deep in the back of my rather large head, I really believe that’s what Chinese food should taste like. I’ve been to Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and rolled around in veritable vats of authentic local food, so it’s not like I don’t know better. …. But when it’s quiet out… and no one is around… it’s that can of silky, bean sprout laden, very non- Chinese cuisine  – that I want.

Granted, even real Chow Mein is just about the mildest of anything Asian you can eat… next to congee. It’s simple flavors, mild to no spice, and just a sea of corn starched sauce en-robing an over abundance of bean sprouts…. with a little chicken.

I decided it was time to try my hand at it.

Plate Fodder Chicken Chow Mein
Serves 4 to 6
For the meat – you’ll need:
3 Chicken Thighs – boned and skinless
8 Large Shrimp – Shell off – tails removed
2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Rice Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Grated Ginger
1 Egg White
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons oil – for frying
  • Cut the Chicken into 1/2″ Strips
  • Butterfly the shrimp
  • Mix the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl and mix in the chicken and shrimp – let sit for 20 to 30 minutes
 Now, the Vegetables:
1 Clove Garlic – Minced
1 Green Bell Pepper – Seeded and julienne
1 Cup Snow Peas – julienne
1 Small Onion Wedged into 8ths
1 Package Bean Sprouts (about 2 1/2 Cups)
1 Cup Cabbage – Julienne
1 Tablespoon Oil
Note – you could add in 1/2 cup each of water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. But, unless you live where you can get them fresh out of the jungle… why bother… canned, neither really have much in the way of flavor. All you’re going to get is texture, and I really don’t care for that bizarre crunch of water chestnuts.
And the Sauce:
2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
2 to 3 Dashes Hot Sauce
1 Tablespoon Honey
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon Grated Ginger
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Rice Wine
  • With your wok on medium high heat, Add the first oil and saute the chicken and shrimp until lightly golden and the coating is a bit crispy – about 5 to 7 minutes
  • Lift out and set aside
  • Add the remaining oil to the wok and toss in the onions, garlic, peppers and snow peas
  • Saute until the onions are translucent – another 5 minutes or so
  • Mix together the sauce and add to the wok with the sprouts and cook until they wilt
  • Add the meat back to the wok and heat through, turning everything in the sauce to coat
  • Cook until the sauce thickens
  • Remove and serve with Rice or Fried Rice Noodles

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