Well, it’s a cold, rainy, breezy day. Am at work and thinking, ” Haven’t made chow mein for awhile, and it would taste pretty good tonight.” So off I go to the grocery store after work. Pick up the ingredients, pause at the celery and think that I have plenty at home, so don’t get it. There’s no bok choy, so I substitute, napa cabbage figuring that will work.
I get home and have to finish cleaning the kitchen before I cook (not a good start). And then there’s no celery. My husband ate it earlier! That set me off a bit. So I get in the car and head to town. (We live in a rural area, and town is a 5 mile drive). At the store the celery is in such poor shape, I wouldn’t take it if they paid me let alone being asked to pay for it. So I go home and finish the chow mein sans celery. Added another half onion and more cabbage, but it’s not quite the same. But in the end, it tasted pretty good.
Anyway, here’s my chow mein recipe. I got it from a blend of what my mother makes and what my husband’s sister made once when she was out here. I call it chow mein… not sure the Chinese would accept it, but we like it and that’s what we call it.
1 1/2 lbs chicken breast cut up (I’ve used pork loin and round steak also)
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 inch fresh ginger, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, sliced
4-5 carrots, sliced
1 head bok choy, chopped (I’ve used napa cabbage, broccoli, or snow peas)
2 cans bean sprouts
1 can water chestnuts
8 oz. carton mushrooms, sliced
4 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp. cornstarch, heaping
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water (may need more)
2 cups brown rice, cooked in 4 cups water
Dried chow mein noodles, if desired
1. Cut chicken into bite size pieces.
2. Heat 1 Tbsp. Olive oil in large pan on medium high. Add garlic, red pepper, ginger and sesame oil. Sauté 30 seconds or so.
3. Add chicken. Cook until chicken is done and lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
4. Add 2nd tablespoon olive oil. Add onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms and sauté 3-5 minutes.
5. Add broth and heat mixture until it is simmering. Add bean sprouts and water chestnuts. Heat until simmering.
6. Add bok choy and cook until bok choy is almost done.
7. Add chicken back.
8. Combine cornstarch, soy sauce and 1/2 cup cold water. Add to chow mein and cook until thickened. Add more water if you feel the mixture is too thick.
9. Serve over rice and top with chow mein noodles if desired.