For many British people especially, Chow Mein is one of their first introductions to Chinese food, usually from the questionable Chinese takeaway place down the end of your road. Chow Mein is actually an anglicization of the Chinese dialect name of the dish, chāu-mèing, and it should be a dish of mostly-dry stir fried noodles with veggies (and often meat…but not here!) rather than the stuff you get swimming in “gravy” (sauce) where I come from!
This version of chow mein is packed with good veggies, is nice and colourful, and is a lot fresher and healthier than anything you’d ever get from a takeaway.
Chow Mein noodles often have egg in them, but as they’re wheat noodles, you can also buy them dry without any egg. Make sure that you get these type of chow mein noodles if you’re vegan!
This is a fantastic week night dinner as it’s ready in 25 minutes from scratch and is nicely warming on a cold night. Chow Mein also saves beautifully in the fridge, so double the recipe and have two lunches ready for the following day too!
2 portions vegan chow mein noodles (dry chow mein noodles with no egg)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece ginger, minced
1 white onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced thinly
2 cups mushrooms, button or shittake, sliced
1 teaspoon chili sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 large handful beansprouts
1 small handful greens
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
6 spring onions, chopped on an angle
Bring a pan of water to the boil, set to a medium heat and drop the noodles in for 5 minutes, or until they’re just tender. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside
While this is happening, heat the sesame oil in a wok or large frying pan, and add in the ginger, garlic, onions and red pepper. Heat for a few minutes until the onion is translucent
Add in the mushrooms, fry for a minute, then add in the chili sauce, soy sauce and sugar
Toss in the noodles as well as the beansprouts, greens, turmeric and most of the chopped spring onions
Toss well to combine, then, when the vegetables are just cooked (not overcooked), remove from the heat and serve
Top with the rest of the spring onions and a sprinkle of black pepper
This is a fresh, delightful version of a dish that everyone loves. Be sure not to overcook the vegetables; they should have a little bite, and lots of flavour.