Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dad's Chicken Chow Mein and Stir Fry

One of my favorite dishes my Dad makes is his chicken chow mein stir fry.  We serve it at every party and it's a hit.  It's one of those dishes that I can't get enough of, filling my belly beyond its capacity.  I've made it a few times before and each time was just not as good as Dad's, but this time, I did it right.  I think it was the result of putting the right ingredients together.  Prep and cook time was about an hour and a half.  Well worth it!

*UPDATE* - A friend of mine, Katherine did this recipe and sent me a picture.  It looked amazing and she reported that it turned out delicious.  She substituted the Chinese broccoli for broccolini, which can be found at any grocery store.  

1 package of egg noodles (pictured can pick any brand)
1 can of bamboo shoot (pictured right) - slice the bamboo into 1 inch pieces
1 small onion diced
2 bunches of Chinese Brocoli (gai lan) - leaves chopped into 1 inch pieces, and stems sliced thin
3 medium carrots peeled and shaved with a peeler
1 block of fresh tofu - medium firmness (you can buy this at an Asian supermarket)
2-3 chicken breasts sliced into ~ 1 inch pieces
Soy sauce
3 cloves of garlic minced
Garlic Powder
Corn starch

Fry the tofu
1. Cut your tofu block into 1/4 inch slices.  Then cut halfwise to make little squares.
2.  Heat a pan on high with enough oil to submerge tofu slices (about 1/2 inch deep)
3.  Fry the tofu and drain excess oil on a paper towel lined plate.
4.  Cut the tofu lengthwise to make 1 inch skinny strips.  Set aside. 

Prepare the noodles
1.  Boil the noodles according to package directions.  My entire bag only took about 5-7 minutes.  You can test it by taking a noodle out and eating it.
2.  Drain noodles.
3.  Heat a large pot with some oil.  Saute the onions and garlic.  Add in the noodles and continuously stir, shaking in some soy sauce periodically.  Get it to the consistency you want with the soy sauce.   Stir around occasionally about every 2 minutes to get a good sear.  When you are satisfied with the noodles, transfer to a bowl and cover with foil.  Note:  the noodles are not intended to be crispy

Prepare the chicken
1. Place chicken in a bowl, and add in a generous amount of salt and pepper for taste.
2. Coat with corn starch. 
3. In a wok, heat a good amount of oil (about 5 tablespoons).  You don't want the chicken to stick to the wok, so don't be scared to use more oil.
4.  Add in the chicken and stir fry, only stirring every 20 seconds or so.  You want the chicken to get a slight browning on the edges.
5.  Remove the chicken and keep oil in wok.  Set aside in a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.

Prepare the Veggies
1. Add your Chinese Brocoli, carrots, tofu, and bamboo into the wok.
2.  Pour about 1 cup of water into the wok.  Cover with a lid for 10 min on med heat. 
3.  Stir the veggies in wok for about a minute.  Push veggies off towards the middle to expose a well of liquid on the side of the wok.  Add in about 2 tablespoons of corn starch to liquid to make a thick gravy.  Stir all the veggies to distribute "gravy".
4.  Keep adding corn starch in this manner to get the desired consistency you want.
5. Finally, add in the chicken and stir to mix everything evenly.  Add in salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste.  Don't be scared of the salt but beware of over salting.  Keep tasting til you get the flavor you want.  I added in a tablespoon of oyster sauce and a splash of rice wine vinegar and sesame oil.  Don't worry if you don't have these.  It will be delish either way.  

1.  Prepare a bowl with the desired amount of noodles.  Top it off with the stir fry mix and enjoy!