Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Egg Chow Mein(Fried Noodles)

I first tasted Chinese food in Bangalore, somewhere in the summer of 1977. At Seven Star Restaurant in Gandhinagar, my sister in law ordered fried rice and for me it was testing time, since I was not exposed to Chinese food. With difficulty I ate half portion of that, and was slightly averse to the smell of burnt rice, chicken, soy sauce  and vinegar.

Mangalore first saw Indo-Chinese Chinese food in the Seventies when Nanking opened in Milagres Building, Falnir Road. Then I was still in college and was not much attracted to Non-veg food. Later, Ho-Pei was started by a Chinese family that migrated from Calcutta(Kolkata), in Hotel Sujatha where they captured the taste buds of Mangaloren foodies with their Chow Mein, Fried Rice, Chilli Chicken, Garlic Chicken, Mmanchurian, Drums of Heaven, Chopsuey and soups. I too started visiting the restaurant along with my friends since the late Seventies. The very first dish I tasted there, was Chicken Chow Mein.

Chow mein is perhaps the most popular main course on any Indo-Chinese restaurant after Fried Rice. This is mostly dear to youngsters who like fast food. Today, we can see many push carts and smaller food joints making chow mein in nooks and corners of every small town and city in India. Almost all the Nonveg restaurants have Indo-Chinese food on their menu. Making Chinese food is not so difficult, if you master the art of chopping the veggies and other ingredients, know the right proportion of various sauces, understand the significance of cooking rice and noodles, instant cooling technique, and of course the art of stir-frying on high flame.

Meena was a novice to this kind of cooking initially when we got married and settled down in 1988. I made Chinese preparations according to my own ideas or ideas borrowed from friends and relatives. She gradually developed liking for this kind of burnt food and also started making different Chinese dishes. I should say, in the last 3-4 years, she has really mastered the art of cooking Chinese food. Though our gas burners can't match the high flame of hotel burners, she does make fantastic noodles, fried rice and chopsuey!

Last evening, she asked me what would I prefer to eat with the left over chilli chicken that was resting in the fridge. I prefer noodles always and she made Egg Chow Mein. Here's how she made it.

Chinese Packet Noodles(Preferably Egg Noodles) - 200Gms
Salt and Pepper
Grated Ginger - 1/2 Tsp(Optional)
Chopped Garlic - 1/2 Tsp(Optional)
Chilli Oil(She used oil used for frying chicken) - 3 Tsp
Mixed Veggies like Onion, Carrot, Cabbage, Capsicum - 2 cups cut into julienne
Onion Shoot - A handful chopped into 1 inch pieces.
Eggs - 2-3
Dark Soy Sauce - 3 Tsp
Chilli Sauce or Red Chilli Paste - 2 Tsp(Optional)
Vinegar - 2 Tsp

Boil 1 liter water in a pan, add salt and a teaspoonful of oil, break the noodles and drop them.
Stir lightly with a fork so that all the noodles loosen and cook evenlly.
Parboil them(Test one strip. It should be soft outside and hard inside but not pasty) and drain with a colander.
Wash them under running water at room temperature and drain for 10-15 minutes.
Combine the sauces/paste and vinegar in a bowl with little water.
Heat 2 Tsp oil in a wok.
Add the optional ginger garlic along with the onions and stir fry on high flame for 1 min.
Add remaining shredded veggies, salt and pepper and stir fry till crunchy but cooked.
Remove and keep aside.
Add 1 Tsp oil to the same hot wok.
Break the eggs and drop them into the wok.
Add salt and pepper and scramble the eggs.
Add the fried veggies along with the parboiled noodles.
Add salt and pepper, stir fry for 2 minutes.
Add the sauces mixture and stir fry for another 2 minutes.
Switch off the flame, transfer to serving dish, sprinkle chopped onion shoot and serve hot with choice of sauces and side dishes.

1. Add French beans chopped into julienne, par boiled green peas and chopped mushrooms instead of eggs while frying the veggies to make Veg Chow Mein.
2. Add 1 cup boneless chicken/pre-cooked pork/mutton cut into thin strips instead of eggs, fry that well and make Non-Veg Chow Mein.


Unknown said...


Rajanikanth Shenoy, Kudpi said...

Thanks Mahesh Nair.

Going to make more Chinese dishes in August.


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