Stir fry is a BIG thing in my house! On the nights when I can’t be bothered to do a big dinner, or when I’ve got bits and bobs in the fridge, making a stir fry is always so easy and tasty!
Chicken chow mein and mixed veg were always our favourites to get from the Chinese takeaway, but we’re a little bit picky with where we go now, because the majority of ones in our area taste cheap, dry and flavourless. I always love experimenting with food, and since I prefer home cooked to takeaway, this dish has become one our family favourites.
Savannah eats a lot but she is a little bit of a fussy eater, and getting her to consume a whole play of anything that isn’t spaghetti bolognese is a total pain in the arse, but she will lick the plate clean when I make this. She also has a ball attempting to use chopsticks and eating the noodles with her fingers. I really don’t mind her eating like a caveman with noodles, because otherwise I’ll end up sitting waiting for an hour for her to attempt to stab at them with cutlery, and it makes for the best pictures!
It’s a really quick meal to make and also great for a microwave job the next day. The biggest ball ache is prepping the veg, but it takes almost no time at all to cook and is filling and healthy. The protein and vegetables are completely interchangeable so experiment a little to find out what works best for you.
I love, love, love vegetables and therefore there are normally about 6 or 7 different varieties when I cook, but you obviously don’t need that many. You also don’t need to have the same issues with portion control that I do, but we are a noodle loving family! If you want to save a little bit of time when it comes to cooking, marinate the chicken and cut the veg the night before, and put them in sealed bags/bowls in the fridge.
For the marinade:
3 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp Shaoxing Rice Wine (dry sherry will work too)
Pinch of salt and pepper
Chinese five spice
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornflour
2 tsp water
2 chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
200-250g dried egg noodles (or about 1 nest or sheet per adult)
Groundnut or Sunflower oil (these both have a high flash point and so won’t burn as easily)
2½ tbsp finely diced garlic
2½ tbsp finely diced ginger
1 small carrot, peeled and cut into thin sticks or slices
Large handful of green beans, topped and tailed
Large handful of beansprouts
5-6 florets of broccoli
(Whatever other veg, fish or protein you want in similar portions. For these pictures I also had prawns, shredded savoy cabbage and baby corn)
1. Slice chicken thinly (about 5cm long and 2cm wide).
2. Combine chicken with the marinade ingredients in a bowl for about 15 minutes.
3. Cook the noodles in a pan of boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Once nearly cooked, drain and rinse off with cold water. Toss with a little light soy sauce and sesame oil to stop them sticking together and keep to the side.
4. Put 1 tbsp of oil into the wok and heat until very hot. When it starts to smoke a little then add the chicken and stir fry for 2-3 minutes (or until it browns). For my recipe I added 4 prawns at this point and fried them until they were pink and nearly cooked).
5. Pour in a 3 tbsp of cold water and put a lid (or plate) on the wok. Give the meat a few minutes to cook completely. This was also make a really nice gravy to coat the veg and noodles when they’re all mixed together. Transfer to a bowl.
6. Add 1 tbsp of oil and then add the ginger and garlic. Stir fry for a minute, then add the vegetables that need to cook for longer (carrots, green beans, broccoli). Again put 3 tbsp of cold water into the wok and cover for 4 minutes until the veg is cooked. For any other vegetable that don’t need to cook for as long, add them for a minute towards the end.
7. Add in the beansprouts, chicken and noodles, and try to mix the noodles into the stir fry but “cutting” with a spoon or chopsticks.
*I would love to know if any of you make this recipe and how it goes!