As you have probably gathered by now, I am not a fan of takeaways and ready made sauces preferring to make my own. Not only do they taste much better, they are less expensive and you are in control of the ingredients. As a child I enjoyed the occasional takeaway and one of my Dad's favoured dishes was a chicken chow mien along side a char sui pork.
In adulthood I started making chicken chow mien as a quick and easy supper dish that could be quickly whipped up on return from work, the vegetable ingredients are infinitely variable depending on whats in season (or more likely whats in the fridge!), as long as you have some source of protein and some noodles you have the basis of a chow mien.
Its also recipe that is easily converted to gluten free buy substituting rice noodles and tamari for the egg noodles and soya sauce. Its extra tasty served with prawn crackers or kurups if you are wanting more of a Chinese banquet. This recipe can be on the table well within 30 minutes so is very family friendly too and is a fun dish as it features noodles which are normally popular with youngsters.
The recipe also uses five spice, typically a blend of star anise, cloves, cinnamon,sichuan pepper and fennel, but some have ginger, turmeric or nutmeg in the blend. I adore the fragrance of five spice I think its the star anise that makes it so special , but may be its the blend of yin and yang or the balance of sweet, salty, bitter, sour and pungent all in one mix.
What you need
- Chicken ( or prawn or tofu or quorn), cut into bite sized pieces
- Cornflour - about 1 tbsp
- Five spice - about 1 tbsp
- Wok oil / Sesame seed oil
- Vegetables to stir fry (I used welsh onion, red pepper, mange tout peas, courgettes, mushrooms) - chopped ready
- Soya Sauce (or Tamari if you need gluten free)
- Noodles ( use rice noodles if you want gluten free)
What you do
- Firstly have all your ingredients to hand
- Tosh the chopped chicken in the cornflour and half the Chinese five spice
- Put the noodles on to boil as per the instructions on the pack (normally between 3-7 minutes)
- Heat your wok or large frying pan containing the wok oil until very hot, add the marinated chicken and fry quickly until starting to colour golden
- Add the vegetables, the rest of the five spice and stir fry until everything is cooked
- Season with soya sauce
- Switch of the heat and add the drained noodles to pan, mix thoroughly
- Serve immediately on warmed plates sprinkling with more soya sauce if you like.
My lovely cakey foodie friend Clare over at Good Egg Foodie has just launched a new blogger campaign "Spice Up your life" for cooking with spices. As our recipe is using Chinese five spice it should definitely spice up your life.