In Chinese chow mein simply means “stir fried noodles.” There are however, thousands of different versions of this delicious dish. Some dishes have crunchy noodles with lots of sauce, while other’s have simple stir fried noodles with seasoned meat and vegetables. My favorite is the dish that has the deep fried crunchy noodles! The recipe below explains exactly how to deep fry these wonderful noodles. It does take some time and patience to make these, but the result will be an absolutely fabulous meal! If you don’t have the time and still want to try this delicious recipe, you can simply serve the chicken and vegetables over white rice and sprinkle store bought chow mein noodles on top. Enjoy!
In this recipe we velvet the chicken which means that we marinate it and then pre cook it for about 30 seconds before it is added to the stir fry. To watch a video on how to velvet chicken using the frying method click here.
8 oz Vermicelli
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp peanut oil
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp sherry
1 egg white
1 tbsp cornstarch
½ tbsp stir fry oil
16 oz bag frozen stir fry vegetables
2 green scallions
14 oz can baby corn
1 tbsp stir fry oil
3 ½ tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp sherry
1 tsp sugar
½ cup chicken broth
2 tsp cornstarch
- Bring a pot of water to boil and add just a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of peanut oil. Once the water boils add the vermicelli, stirring it frequently. This prevents both the noodles from sticking together and the water from boiling over. Cook them for about 6 minutes or, as the Italians say, until “al dente.”
- Once the noodles are done, pour them into a colander and run them under cold water to stop the cooking process. Let the noodles sit in the colander and drain for about 5 minutes.
- While the noodles drain start to prepare the chicken. Cut all the fat off and cut the chicken into 1 ½ inch pieces. Place them in a bowl to be marinated.
- The marinade works best when applied in the following steps. First sprinkle on the salt, then add the sherry and stir through.
- Next add the egg white and gently stir to coat each piece. Be careful not to “froth” the egg, it will make the chicken hard when it is cooked.
- Sprinkle on the cornstarch, coating each piece. Then add the oil, stir, and let it marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Now that the noodles have drained, place them in a bowl, add the other tablespoon of peanut oil and set them aside.
- Microwave the vegetables on high for about 6 minutes, or just until warm. Remember, we don’t want to over cook the vegetables. They should remain bright and slightly crisp in the final dish.
- Next rinse and dice the scallions and open the can of baby corn and drain it.
- Once the vegetables are warm, mix them with the baby corn and scallions.
- When the chicken has finished marinating, take a large pot or wok that has a lid and fill it with about 1 and ½ inches of peanut oil. Both the chicken and the noodles will be fried in this oil. When frying the chicken we want to use a medium heat. We don’t want the chicken to sizzle when it’s dropped in the oil, otherwise it will turn out hard and overcooked. Heat the oil on medium and then with a slotted spoon, slowly drop in the chicken. If it starts to sizzle remove the pot from the heat. Stir the chicken around for about 30 seconds, or just until it turn white. Then remove it and place it in a bowl to set aside.
- After all the chicken is removed, turn the heat up to high. Test the oil to make sure it’s hot enough by dipping the end of a noodle in the oil. If it sizzles immediately, then it is ready.
- Frying the noodles is the most difficult part of this recipe. Be sure to have an extra bowl to place the finished noodles in. The noodles still have water in them, which means they are going to splatter when they hit the oil. The easiest way to do this is in fist full batches. Take the lid in one hand and a hand full (about a cup) of the noodles in the other hand. Toss in the noodles and cover the pot immediately. Once you hear the noodles stop sizzling, then you can remove the lid and make sure that all the noodles are submerge in the oil. Let the noodles cook for 5 minutes. The noodles should be a light golden color. Try not to let them get brown. If they do brown they will be very hard and too crunchy.
- Once they are done, remove them with a fork. They should come out in one large clump. Hold them over the pot for a moment to let them drain and then place them in a bowl. You can control the size of these clumps or “nests” by the amount of noodles you fry at one time. I like to make small clumps so that each person can take one clump, place it on their plate, and add the chicken, meat and sauce on top.
- Once the noodles are done set them aside and recycle the oil.
- In another pot or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of stir fry oil on high. Add the chicken, vegetables, corn, scallions, oyster sauce, sherry, and sugar. Stir fry for about 3 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Then mix the cornstarch with just a little water to dissolve and add this mixture to the pot. Stir until thick.
- The meat and the vegetables can be served separately, or can be poured over the noodles and served. I find that serving them separately is the easiest. Each person can take a clump of noodles and then spoon the meat, vegetables and sauce on top. Makes 3 generous servings.