Chicken Chow Mein Recipe

chicken chow mein

My friends and family are always fascinated to know what kind of food Chris and I eat at home. Most people think we eat really posh Chinese food, like we have a large feast with peking duck, dumplings and so forth, but actually most of the time we eat fairly simple food and often a lot of junk.

While we both love eating Taiwanese and Chinese food, especially Chris, usually once a week we eat an amazing 14” pizza from Asda but the rest of the time we eat things like chow mein.

Listening to people while I’ve been living in the UK, a lot of people are really fascinated about chow mein and think it’s a really complicated dish, but for me it’s a simple, tasty and quite importantly, a cheap meal.

Chow mein in my country is like chicken and mushroom pie here. It’s just normal food. So, for my loyal readers, this is what we eat on a very regular basis. If it’s not this, it will be something equally simple like fried rice or Korean fast noodle. Sadly Taiwanese fast noodles, which are simply awesome, are very difficult (if not impossible) to buy here.

 

Chicken Chow Mein

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Carrot
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 2 cloves garlic chop finely
  • 1/2 Chili chop really finely
  • 2 Spring Onions chop finely
  • 1 thin slice ginger chop finely
  • 1 pepper any colour, I used green
  • 50 g Chinese white chive cut 2cm lengthways
  • 150 g Chinese dried noodles available in any Chinese supermarket

Seasonings

  • 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Couple pinches Black Pepper

Marinade for the chicken

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 pinch Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine

Instructions

  1. Cut the chicken breast into fine stripes and marinade for 30 minutes at least.
  2. Julienne the carrot and green pepper.
  3. Cook the Chinese dried noodle in a pot of boiling water until al dente and rinse under cold running water and drain again. Drizzle with a dash of sesame oil and toss through to prevent the noodles from sticking to each other.
  4. Heat a frying pan with some oil with full strength gas power to fry the chicken breast until the meat turned white colour and turn off the stove and leave it on a side. (At the time of writing this article I haven't found a good wok in the UK. I tried a Ken Hom wok but every time I try to stir fry of food with a bit of potato starch in it it always sticks to the wok really badly, effectively ruining the wok). These woks are completely useless.
  5. Heat a wok with 1 tablespoon of oil and stir fry chilli, spring onion, ginger and garlic first then add all the vegetable. Stir fry all the vegetables until it’s soften.
  6. Add noodle and chicken into wok and keep stir fry for a couple minutes then add all the seasonings for chow mein and give it a good stir fry for another couple minutes.
  7. Place it into a plate and serve.

 

Stewed Egg Salad (Lu Dan)

Stewed Egg Lu Dan Salad

Stewed Egg is a very common dish in Taiwan and we call it “Lu Dan”. I loved to order a stewed egg with my lunchbox when I live in Taiwan or I will order stewed egg with my mince rice or mince noodle. Stewed egg is just simply the best friend with a lunchbox.

I always remember the first time my husband tried this stewed egg at home his face looked like he had been struck by lightning. After the first time he tried this stewed egg he fell in love with it. He always asks me to cook this stewed egg if he knows I’m going to cook stewed pork or chicken.

This stewed egg needs to cook in soy sauce and spices for a while and soak in the sauce for few hours to make sure eggs has all the fragrances from the sauce. So, you can imagine this egg has a lot of flavour in it.

 

Stewed Egg Salad (Lu Dan)

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 thin slice ginger
  • 1 spring onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 chili

Seasonings

  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 cm cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Sichuan pepper use a Chinese spice bag if you have one

Instructions

  1. Use a little bit of oil to sauté ginger, spring onion, garlic and chilli.
  2. Place all the seasonings into a sauce pan and boil it by full strength gas power.
  3. After sauce boiling we turn the gas power to the lowest and simmer for 2 hours.
  4. Take out the eggs from fridge and leave it aside for while to make sure it’s reach room temperature.
  5. Cook the eggs from cold water and keep moving them when you cooking. (This way can make sure the egg yolk will stay in the middle.)
  6. After the water is boiling we turn the gas power to medium and cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. After 5 minutes we take the eggs out of the hot water and soak it in cold water. Peel the eggs when they have cooled down.
  8. Place the eggs into the sauce we made and cook them for 40 minutes.
  9. After 40 minutes just soak them in the sauce for a couple hours. You will see the eggs turning a light brown colour and it’s ready to eat. My grandma always cook the egg a day before and soak them over night.

 

Dumplings shui jiao

Chinese dumplings shui jiao

Dumplings, or shui jiao, are one of my favourite foods. They are really tasty but also the perfect food for a working couple like Chris and I, for whom both of us work shift patterns.

Living in the UK is so different to living in Taiwan. Taiwan has many 7-11 shops which are open 24 hours, night market which are open until midnight and a lot of 24 hours restaurants such as Swensens, N.Y. Bagel and Citystar 24 hours Dim sum restaurant.

Whenever I make dumplings I always make at least 100 to 150. Compared to dumplings that you can buy in restaurants here, which normally cost about £1 each, we can make 100 hundred at home for approximately £10. This works out at around 10p each.

When I’ve made the dumplings I put them in the freezer in case we run out food or feel hungry in the night or just come back home from work.

This recipe is just one of the methods of making dumplings that I have used for a very long time. It’s a very common but also basic flavour in Taiwan. Of course there are so many different kind of filling that you can put it into your dumplings such as shitake mushroom, scallops, cabbage, cucumber, chinese white chive, carrots, prawns and so on.

Maybe you can try different filling at home and you could easily create your own special kind of dumplings!

By the way, some Chinese provinces have a new year’s tradition which is when the people will eat dumplings for New Year’s Eve and sometime they will put a coin inside the dumpling. The person who has the dumpling with that coin will be the luckiest one in the coming year.

Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography

 

Dumplings Shui Jiao

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 150 dumplings

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 150 dumpling pastry sheets 1 pack usually has around 50 sheets
  • 600 g pork mince you can also use beef mince
  • 400 g pork fat or pork belly without skin fat or fatty meat will improve the texture and taste
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 handful dried shrimp soak in warm water for 15-20 minutes to soften then chop finely
  • 300 g Chinese chive chop finely
  • 30 g ginger chop finely

Seasonings

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Couple pinches white pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients and seasonings evenly and leave it on aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Make dumplings as the procedures photo shows. You can use a little bit of water to help the edge of dumpling pastry to stick together.
    how to make Chinese dumplings
  3. Place the dumplings onto a plate with some flour on the plate to prevent dumplings stick on the plate.
  4. Boil a big pot of water and cook dumplings in the boiling water.
  5. When the dumplings float on the top of water they are cooked and ready to be served.

Recipe Notes

The amount of time to prepare these depends on how many you make. I'm pretty quick at making dumplings and I'll make anywhere between 80-150 each time. Typically I'll spend 2-3 hours making dumplings.

 

Shengjianbao

shengjianbao

Shengjian mantou, also known as Shengjianbao, is a common and popular dish in both Taiwan and Shanghai. It’s very popular in Shanghai for breakfast and we eat it pretty much any time in Taiwan.

We usually make Shengjianbao with mince and cabbage in Taiwan and people usually use only mince and spring onion in Shanghai.

My recipe for this Shengjianbao is mince with carrots and spring onion because my husband doesn’t like the taste of cabbage so I change the recipe a little bit. I guess people who doesn’t like cabbage will like this dish as well.

Most people tolerate carrot more than cabbage and carrot has special vegetable sweetness for this dish. On the other hand, carrot is also a healthy vegetable and I tried my best to make sure my husband have his daily vegetable all the time to ensure he is happy and healthy.

Here is the recipe for this Shengjianbao.

 

Shengjianbao

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 20 Shengjianbao

Ingredients

Ingredients for filling

  • 100 g beef mince
  • 200 g pork belly remove skin and chop into small dice first
  • 1.5 medium carrots use food processor to mince it
  • 2 spring onions chop really finely
  • 2 thin slices ginger chop really finely

Seasonings for filling

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

Ingredients for the pastry

  • 250 g white bread flour
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 7 g yeast
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar

Instructions

Procedure for making Shengjianbao

  1. Mix yeast and water together. After the yeast melt, mix everything together.
  2. Knead the dough until it’s smooth without lumps and cover by cling film or clean wet kitchen napkin. After covering it up just leave it on aside for 30~40 minutes to allow it arise.
  3. Mix all the ingredients and seasonings for filling together. Use both of your hands to mix it evenly.
  4. Use a scale to weight up the dough 40g per one and after knead the small dough into round shape.
  5. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough and put 1 tablespoon of filling onto the flatten dough.
  6. Fold it as in the procedures photos you can see and leave the Shengjianbao on aside for 10 minutes to allow the pastry arise again.

Procedure for cooking Shengjianbao

  1. Use a frying pan with a lit or use 2 frying pan but 1 is bigger than the other to fry the Shengjianbao that we made.
  2. Heat up a tablespoon of oil in the big frying pan with medium gas power. Put the Shengjianbao into frying pan with some space between them because the Shengjianbao will get bigger after heat it up.(I put 5 of them in one go and my frying pan is around 9” wide from IKEA.)
  3. We only fry it until Shengjianbao’s button getting a little bit of  colour. Pour 1 cup of water into the pan and cover the lit or the smaller frying pan on top. We use the steam to cook the Shengjianbao.
  4. Cook the Shengjianbao for 8~10 minutes until the water is dry out then it’s cook.

Recipe Notes

In most of the Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine for the filling that we like to use a little fat to make the texture taste better, such as dumplings, Chinese bun. I use pork belly because it’s easy to buy it in supermarket and it has the fat also the skinny part of meat.

 

Vegetarian Spring Rolls Recipe

vegetarian spring rolls

I started my new job this week and finally got some time to update my blog after finishing three crazy days of 14 hour shifts.

I decided to make spring rolls this time and it’s a vegetarian style spring roll. It’s very difficult for my husband and I to eat vegetable everyday when both of us have to work full time so I think vegetarian spring roll can last us for a while and It’s very tasty, easy to cook, convenient and full of different kinds of vegetables.

I hope this vegetarian spring roll recipe will help people who work shifts and also need daily vegetable like me.

Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography

 

Vegetarian Spring Rolls Recipe

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 120 mini spring rolls

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 spring onion
  • 2 bunches green bean noodles
  • 2 thin slices ginger
  • 1 small carrot
  • 3 slices dried bean curd
  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 120 g Chinese white chive you can use bak choy or Chinese chive if you can't find white chive
  • 1 bag spring roll pastry cut into quarters

Seasonings

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Soften green bean noodles and dried shitake mushrooms by soaking it into hot water for 10~15 minutes. Chop green bean noodles and shitake mushrooms after soften.
  2. Chop spring onion, ginger really finely and grate carrot.
  3. Chop Chinese white chive and dried tofu curds.
  4. Beaten 3 medium size eggs and use a little bit oil to fry the egg like crepes thin. After the egg is cook just julienne it.
  5. Heat up 1 tablespoon oil in a wok and stir-fry every thing together and mix them nice and evenly. After it has mixed evenly add all the seasonings and keep stir-fry for another 20 seconds. Put it into a bowl or onto a plate to wait for it cool down a bit.
  6. Use spring roll pastry to wrap the filling we made as seen in the procedures photos. Use egg wash to stick the edges.
  7. Heat up 2 cups of oil and deep fry the spring rolls until it turned golden colour. Then, It’s ready to serve!

 

Tiger Bite Pig Recipe

tiger bite pig

For some reason, Taiwanese people really like name their food in a different and funky way.  For example, “Coffin Bread” and also  “Tiger bite Pig”, which is also known as “Koah-pau” in Taiwanese.

Why is it called tiger bite pig? Because the bread looks like a tiger chewing a piece of big and juicy pork in it’s mouth, that’s why we call it Tiger bite Pig. Another dish named after the look.

Nowadays, Taiwanese business man created different filling and flavour for this dish. For example, they use deep fried chicken fillet, cod fish fillet or beef to replace the stewed pork belly. So, this dish is just like a “Taiwanese version of hamburger”.

This dish has another lucky meaning of it. Because the shape looks like a “wallet” so it’s also mean “rich” or “a lot of money” in Taiwan. So, let’s make it at home and eat a lot of tiger bite pig for praying for a lucky financial year! (I need eat a lot of tiger bite pig this year and need probably three times a day, lol).

 

Tiger Bite Pig

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 buns

Ingredients

Ingredients for Stewed Pork

  • 450 g pork belly with skin
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 thin slices ginger

Seasonings for Stewed Pork

  • 1 tbsp maltose
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar you can also use 80g crystal sugar, I just use the ingredients I got at home and I think crystal sugar is available in most of Chinese supermarket
  • 400 g soy sauce
  • 100 g rice wine
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 slices liqourice optional
  • 5 cm cinnamon stick you can use a Chinese spice bag to replace all the spice in this dish if you can find it in Chinese supermarket
  • Stock for covering the pork

Ingredients for Steamed Bread

  • 200 g plain flour
  • 250 g bread flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 7 g dried yeast

Instructions

Procedures for Stewed Pork

  1. Use a frying pan to heat up 1 tablespoon oil and turn the gas power to lowest and fry the pork belly. Don’t use too much oil or too high heat because I don’t want you to burn yourself.
  2. Fry the pork until it’s turn slightly golden colour and place it on a plate then brush a little bit of soy sauce on every side of it to colour it with soy sauce. Leave it until it’s cool down and we cut it into 1.5 cm thick and 5 cm wide slice.
    tiger bite pig pork belly
  3. Place every thing into a small stock pot and use full gas power to boil it first, then turn the gas power to the lowest to simmer it until the pork is nice and soft.

Procedures for Steamed Bread

  1. Mix yeast with the water and melt the yeast.
  2. Mix step 1 with flour and knead it until it’s turn to a smooth dough.
    how to make tiger bite pig
  3. Find a warm spot for the dough and cover it by a cling film or clean and wet tea towel then leave it for 30~40 minutes. I live in Edinburgh and the weather here is really cold so I leave it for 30~40 minutes.
  4. After the dough arise. We separate it into 70g each and knead it into round shape then we use a rolling pin to flatten it into a long oval-shaped.  After we brush oil on the flatten dough and fold it to half and use rolling pin gently press down the central to make the shape settle.
    tiger bite pig procedure
  5. Steam it in a steamer with medium to full gas power for 8~10 minutes until you touch the bread and it’s has resilience, not too soft like the dough before. Then it’s done!

Recipe Notes

* After you’re done steaming the bread and stewing the pork you can start to make your tiger bite pig. Traditionally, we put peanut powder and coriander with stewed pork. But you also can put anything you like it.