2014 is the Year of the Horse in the Chinese zodiac calendar; people born in the year of the horse have ingenious communicating techniques and in their community they always want to be in the limelight. They are clever and kind to others, although they sometimes talk too much, they are cheerful, perceptive, talented but stubborn. They like entertainment and are popular among friends.
A simple recipe to celebrate Chinese New Year and one that is on the table quicker than phoning up for a Chinese Takeaway, my recipe for Easy Vegetable Chow Mein is filling and has NO MSG in it, as many take-away dishes often contain. Making a vegetable chow mein is easy, as long as you have all of your ingredients prepared and ready for stir-fry take off! I have always added peppers to my chow mein, as well as carrots, but mushrooms are also great veggie additions as well as mini sweetcorn. For a truly authentic way of serving this Chinese take-away classic, serve it in small bowls with chopsticks……and lots of napkins!
Chow Mein or “fried noodles” originated in Northern China. While the chow mein served at take-outs and many American and British Chinese restaurants is designed to appeal to western tastes, it is based on an authentic Chinese dish of fried noodles with vegetables. Whatever the historical background, it makes a quick and tasty meal for all the family and is also packed with some of your five-a-day too. I hope you enjoy my simple recipe, which is below, and all that remains for me to say, is Kung Hei Fat Choy!
Easy Vegetable Chow Mein
(Serves 2 to 3 people)
100g medium egg noodles
Splash of sesame oil
Splash of dark soy sauce
1 tsp five-spice powder
1 tsp chilli sauce
1-2 tbsp groundnut oil
2 carrots, peeled and finely sliced into matchsticks
100g bean sprouts
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
4 large spring onions, sliced lengthways
80g mushrooms, washed and sliced
125g sweetcorn kernels
2 tbsp light soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
Cook the noodles in a pan of boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes until al dente, or according to packet instructions. Drain them. Drizzle with a splash of sesame oil and toss well.
Place the prepared vegetables in a bowl and season with a splash of soy sauce, the five-spice powder and chilli sauce.
Heat a wok until smoking hot and then add the groundnut oil; add the vegetables and stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes.
Stir in the cooked noodles and season with the light soy and some freshly ground black pepper.
Spoon the noodles onto a serving plate or in individual bowls and serve immediately.