Chow mein is one of the most beloved Chinese dishes. It’s a staple of takeout restaurants, and it’s also made its way into popular movies, TV shows, and literature. It’s a symbol of the food culture that Chinese immigrants brought to the United States and other parts of the world. It’s a dish that’s rich in flavor, exciting vegetables, and unique preparations and textures. It’s no wonder that it’s such a beloved food.
While there are a lot of different styles of chow mein, the dish is basically a stir-fry that uses noodles in place of rice or other grains. The noodle is either boiled and then stir-fried or it’s parboiled and then fried. The noodles are then mixed with a sauce and topped with protein. The noodle is then served hot and is usually topped with some kind of green onions.
There are many variations of chow mein, but some of the most popular include crispy chow mein and Cantonese chow mein. Crispy chow mein is a classic and a staple at most Chinese takeout restaurants, and it is also often made at home. In this version of the dish, the noodles are fried until they’re crisp. They are then tossed in a sauce that’s heavy on umami flavors, and the sauce is poured over the noodles. It is then stir-fried to combine everything and to crisp up the noodles again.
Cantonese style chow mein is similar to yum cha in that it is a dish of steamed vegetables and noodles in a soup-like broth. The broth is usually seasoned with black pepper, soy sauce, and a small amount of oyster sauce. This is a lighter version of chow mein and is ideal for lunch or an afternoon snack.
Both chow mein and yum cha can be served with meat, but they are more commonly made without it. They are also a great option for those who are following a vegan diet.
The noodle used for chow mein can be either boiled or parboiled. The best choice is to use a yellow egg noodle that’s sold fresh in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores (usually near the mushrooms or tofu). This type of noodle is pre-cooked and will be ready to use right out of the bag.
When making chow mein at home, the key to success is using a well-heated wok or pan. The ingredients should be tossed and stirred continuously to prevent the noodles from sticking together. A pair of tongs is a good tool to use for this purpose, as they will make it easier to mix and toss the noodles and other ingredients. It’s important to add the sauce after the vegetables and proteins are done cooking so that it has a chance to coat all the components evenly. When making Cantonese chow mein at home, it’s also helpful to add some toasted sesame oil for a pleasant nutty flavor. This is a simple addition that can really enhance the overall flavor of the dish.