Author: Susanne at dishwithme.com
In northern California there use to be a farmer’s market in Roseville called Denio’s Farmers Market & Swap Meet (I think it was auction instead of swap meet back in the day) that took place every weekend and they had some delicious food trucks. One of those food trucks sold Chinese food, Chow Mein, in particular, that was AMAZING! This is my take on that dish…except it is Easy Chow Mein!
For those of you that are local to where I am (IYKYK), you know it can be a challenge to find different ingredients for different recipes like this one. Well, I have good news for you! There is a new local oriental market, called Bikol Express Oriental Market.
I am not affiliated with this store in any way, except that I shop there and I love supporting local businesses. This store has a very big variety of products, even fresh veggies and frozen fish. They have everything from coffees and drinks to dumplings and cool mushrooms, sweet treats and different chips. If you need something for an Asian style recipe, this store is your go to store.
This store is where I get my fresh bean sprouts, baby bok choy, and, often, my sesame oil, oyster sauce or fish sauce. You name it, they probably have it. And another really great thing is that the store is super clean and the owner is so nice! Give them a try. I am happy I did.
HELPFUL HINTS FOR EASY PORK CHOW MEIN
When cooking any kind of Asian dish, it is super important to get all of the ingredients cleaned, chopped, prepared, measured and ready in advance. The preparation is usually the longest part and the cooking is rather quick when preparing this type of meal.
Chow Mein can be made completely vegetarian, or with any kind of pre-cooked meat you prefer. My favorite combination is to combine it with my CHAR SIU PORK. It is OMG good! Shrimp is also a good choice. But, in this recipe I am simply using thinly sliced strips of ham because it makes it quick and easy, as there is nothing extra to cook. And, we all need quick and easy in our lives sometimes. But, please, feel free to replace it with whatever protein you prefer.
Make sure to use sesame oil. It adds that certain Chinesey (hey, that word is in the urban dictionary!)
Crunchy noodles on top add to the flavor and texture.
The ham I use for this recipe isn’t a thin lunchmeat style ham, but one that is a little thicker, like Kentucky Legend, or something similar.
- Chinese noodles
- Red bell pepper
- Yellow onion
- Green onion
- Matchstick carrots
- Bean sprouts
- Oyster sauce
- Sesame oil
- Beef broth
- Soy sauce
- Dark brown sugar
- Sweet chili sauce
- Crunchy Chow Mein noodles
RECIPE LINKS TO PAIR WITH PORK CHOW MEIN
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I use a wok like this one to make my chow mein.
A sharp knife is a must when doing a lot of chopping. Here is the exact knife I use.
- Sharp knife
- 14 ounces Chinese noodles Cooked per package directions
- 1 cup Broccoli Chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 Yellow onion Sliced thin in half moon shape
- 1 Red bell peper Thinly sliced
- 8 ounces button mushrooms Sliced
- 2 zucchini cut into spears
- 1/2 cup matchstick carrots
- 1 can Water chestnuts sliced into slivers/matchsticks
- 1/2 pound Fresh bean sprouts Washed in a colander
- 1/2 pound Ham Sliced into thin strips
- 1/4 cup Green onions Chopped, plus extra for garnish
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame seeds Plus more for garnish
- Crunchy Chow Mein noodles Optional, but yummy. They go on top when serving.
- 2 Tablespoon Cornstarch
- 2 Tablespoon Water
- 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
- 1/2 cup Oyster sauce
- 3 Tablespoons Sesame oil Plus more for cooking
- 1/2 cup Beef broth
- 1 Tablespoon Dark brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Sweet chili sauce
- 3 cloves Fresh garlic grated
- Cook the Chinese noodles, per package instructions. Rinse and set aside.
- Clean, slice, dice, prepare and measure out all of the vegetables and the ham. Set aside.
- Make the sauce. When making the sauce, use a medium bowl and, first mix the cornstarch and water together, mixing well, making sure all lumps are gone, then, to the same bowl, mix the other ingredients in. Set aside.
- In a wok or a very large pan, on medium-high heat add a liberal amount of sesame oil (approx. 3 tablespoons) then add the zucchini, mushrooms, red bell pepper, broccoli, and onions. Cook, stirring often for about 5 minutes. I often add more sesame oil on top of the veggies.
- To the semi-cooked vegetables, add the carrots, water chestnuts, and bean sprouts. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Give the sauce a quick stir and then add the sauce to the veggies and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring well.
- Add the sliced ham, green onions and sesame seeds, mix well, cook just long enough to warm the ham.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and more green onion, if desired.
- Top with crunchy Chow Mein noodles, if desired.