Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chicken Lo Mein

I love Chinese food! It isn’t something that I’ve always enjoyed....it took some getting used to and a little trial and error, but eventually I liked it and now even crave it from time to time. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm a gal from the midwest and, while growing up, our meals consisted mostly of meat and potatoes so Chinese food was not something that fit in with our meal plan. I remember the first time I tried Chinese food, I hated it....wouldn't, couldn't even finish my meal. But after a few times of going to Chinese restaurants and trying different dishes, I finally found a few that I liked. Now, after several years, I have a large list of dishes that I enjoy.

I have three favorite restaurants that I frequent but lately all of them have failed me. The last three or four times I’ve been to these restaurants the food has been horrible! So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and attempt to prepare one of my favorite dishes myself. Chicken Lo Mein is a recent addition to my favorite Chinese dishes and hoping that it would be easy to make, I went online and searched until I found one that looked good and easy.

Chicken Lo Mein
Print Recipe

1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry (I used Mirin - sweet cooking rice seasoning)
1/4 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 pound Chinese noodles
1 cup thin carrot strips (about 1 carrot)
1-8 ounce can straw mushrooms (I'm slicing these next time)
3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil for stir-frying, or as needed
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
Salt and pepper to taste, if desired

Cut the chicken into thin strips about 2 inches long. Add the soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, sesame oil and the cornstarch. Marinate the chicken for 20 minutes.

While the chicken is marinating, prepare the other ingredients: Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Cook the noodles in boiling water until they are cooked al dente (tender but still firm). This will take about 3 minutes for fresh noodles, and 4-5 minutes for dried. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.

Cut the carrot into thin strips to match the chicken. Rinse the straw mushrooms under running water to remove any "tinny" taste. Drain Thoroughly.

In a large frying/saute pan or wok, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high to high. Add the garlic, stir-fry for a few seconds until aromatic, then add the chicken. Stir-fry the chicken until it changes color and is 80 percent cooked. (If you need more oil, try adding 1 tablespoons water). Remove the chicken and clean out the pan.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil and the salt in the wok. Add the carrots and mushrooms. Stir-fry for 1 minutes, then add the chicken. Add noodles, stirring to mix in the other ingredients. Add the sauce into the pan, mixing with the other ingredients.

Cook for 2 more minutes. Taste and add salt or pepper if desired. Serve hot.

Yield: 4 servings

Spaghetti or linguini can be used instead of the Chinese noodles.

If you don't like the whole straw mushrooms, slice them. If you don't want or can't find the straw mushrooms just use a can of regular. Can also use fresh mushrooms.

Sliced boneless skinless chicken breast - 1/2 pound.

Ingredients for marinade.

The Marinade: soy sauce, Chinese rice wine (Mirin), sesame seed oil and cornstarch in a bowl...I used a pie pan.

Chicken combined with the marinade.

Remaining ingredients...except for the noodles.

Oyster sauce.

The Sauce: chicken broth, oyster sauce and sugar.

I wanted to use authentic Chinese Lo Mein Noodles so I drove (about a 40 minute drive) to Jungle Jim's International Market  (a favorite place to shop) in order to buy some. Had to laugh when I found them in their Asian section and saw, in the lower right hand corner, the words, Made in the USA. I guess we still do make a few things here, just surprised that it's Chinese noodles.

  These are the "authentic" Chinese noodles, if you can't find them, substitute spaghetti or linguini.

Boil noddles for 4-5 minutes. Should be tender but firm (al dente).

Straw mushrooms....I've never seen these before. If you can't find them, substitute regular canned mushrooms or fresh. When using canned, rinse and drain well.

I forgot to take a picture of this, but you need cut carrot into thin strips.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high to high heat. Add chopped garlic, stir-fry for a few seconds.

Add marinated chicken and stir-fry until almost completely cooked. Remove from pan and clean out pan (wipe with a clean cloth or towel). 

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil, add salt. Add the carrots and mushrooms. Stir-fry for 1 minute. 

Add the chicken. 

Then add the noodles and stir to mix in. Add the sauce, stirring to mix in with the other ingredients. Cook for 2 more minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.

Now you're ready to serve!

This was very good! Michael and I both agreed that it was better than any of the Chinese meals that we’ve had in a long time.

Now that my first attempt at making Chinese is a success, I’ll be looking for more dishes to try. Anyone have a good egg roll recipe?

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