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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Chow Fun





From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Once signs of spring appear, the heavy soups and stews of winter lose their appeal to me, and my thoughts move on to lighter brighter fare. I do a great deal of Asian-style cooking at this time of year and my battered old wok, which has been tucked away for most of the winter, is moved to a more prominent and accessible location. I had a taste for Chinese or Thai food today, so, I got online and placed my first order of the year for exotics not locally available, and then walked to the Asian market to explore and poke around at a leisurely pace. When I found blocks of fresh rice dough I knew immediately what our dinner would be. The Silver Fox and I have a weakness for Chow Fun, a Cantonese dish whose name literally means "stir-fry the noodles". The noodles can be difficult to find, so, when they are available I waste no time, and, following the injunction, do indeed, "stir-fry the noodles". Before going any further, I'm going to beg the indulgence of my Asian friends, because my recipe, and what I laughingly call my technique, bear no resemblance to anything they've ever seen in their kitchens. I promise you the dish will be delicious, but it certainly is not authentic, except maybe in an Irish kind of way. For years I had a problem cooking fresh rice noodles. They literally would disappear on me because I followed recipes that had them cook for too long a time and they would disintegrate. I overcame the problem with a technique all my own. Rice dough comes in brick-like packages that are cut into strips or ribbons. The ribbons must be softened before the noodles can be stretched and separated. I've found that microwaving the noodles solves the problem. I use the defrost cycle for 1 minute and the regular cycle for 30 seconds and the combination gives me noodles that can be easily separated and need no further cooking. They go into the wok only to be warmed and seasoned. I use a small amount of pork or chicken in this dish and add snow peas and sprouts for color and texture. This is mildly flavored. If you want your dish to have heat, I suggest you offer hot sauce or chilies at the table. This dish is really easy to make and I know that those of you who try it will be pleased. Here's the Irish version of Chow Fun.

Chow Fun...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup oyster sauce oyster sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 heaping tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or medium-dry Sherry
6 to 8-ounces thinly sliced pork loin or chicken
14 to 16-ounces fresh rice noodles, cut into 3/4-inch-wide strips
1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 lb snow peas, trimmed
4 scallions, cut into 2-inch-long julienne
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water
1/2 cup fresh mung bean sprouts
A few drops of Asian sesame oil

Directions:
1) Stir together 1-1/4 cups stock, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and rice wine.
2) Place sliced meat in a bowl and toss with half of marinade. Set aside.
3) Place noodles in microwave bowl, lightly cover and heat, using defrost cycle, for 1 minute. Then cook for 30 seconds on HIGH power. Separate noodles, then toss with 1 teaspoon oil. Set aside.
3) Heat a wok over high heat until a bead of water dropped onto cooking surface evaporates immediately. Add remaining 1/4 cup oil, swirling wok to coat evenly, and heat until it just begins to smoke. Drain meat and stir-fry until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Add noodles and toss to mix. Add snow peas and scallions and stir-fry until snow peas are bright green and crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Add garlic, and ginger and stir-fry 1 minute longer.
4) Add reserved marinade from step 1 and, stirring, bring to a boil. Add remaining 1/4 cup stock. When mixture boils, stir cornstarch mixture and add to wok, then boil, stirring, until sauce is thickened and noodles are well coated, about 30 seconds. Stir in bean sprouts and remove wok from heat. Season with sesame oil and pepper. Serve immediately. Yield: 2 to 4 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Orange Chicken with Cashews - My Gourmet Connection
Three Teacup Chicken - Simply Recipes
Sichuan Chicken - CuisinEats
Fried Pork and Crab Spring Rolls - Adora's Box
Dragon Chicken - Expat Recipes
Chinese Hot Pots - A Spicy Perspective

70 comments:

Ginny said...

This looks really good, our family loves Chinese food. Could have something to do with our granddaughter being Chinese!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Mmmmm that looks good, Diane

Priya said...

Am an addict to chinese food, chow fun makes me hungry..

muppy said...

Yum, looks delicious. I have never bought the fresh dough to make noodles, but i might now. Thanks for the microwaving tip.

Priyanka said...

Looks so yummy.....m a big Chinese food fan and will try ur recipe this week :)

MaryMoh said...

This is one of my family favourites. It's easy to cook and very delicious for a light meal. I didn't know there is an Irish version. Looks just as delicious...mmm. Hope you have a wonderful day.

Three-Cookies said...

Delicious, good reminder for me to buy oyster sauce, been a while since I cooked with it

Ana Powell said...

I love Chinese cuisine, the way food is prepared in bite-sized pieces, ready for direct picking up and eating.
Lovely dish ♥

crustabakes said...

authentic or not, they look wonderfully delicious!

♥LOVE2COOK♥ said...

Irresistible dish over there! Chinese food is always a yumm ;)

Katerina said...

I love Chinese food and I make a Chinese meal in every occasion I can. I keeping this one. Great looking dish!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

This looks good! And, the hope of spring is born. =)

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

This looks great Mary! I haven't made anything like this in a while, gotta fix that:@)

Chiara said...

looks delicious Mary! have a good day....Hugs

Beth said...

I loved your comment about the dish being authentic in an Irish way. I'm half-Irish, so I'm sure it will speak to me!

I also wanted to let you know that I've given you the Stylish Blogger award. If you'd like to pick it up, you can do so at my blog (Of Muses and Meringues). Thanks for keeping a great blog!

marla said...

Hi Mary. Love this recipe for chow fun noodles! Used to be my all time favorite dish as a kid.

Jenn said...

I love chow fun... your version of it sounds wonderful! I'll definitely have to give this one a try!

Kim said...

That looks really good! Have a good day!

Little Inbox said...

Love this Asian Chow Fun. It suits my taste buds really well. :P

Carol said...

Great looking dish, mary! Have to try this, my husband's favorite is chow fun! Loves it. Yours looks perfect!

Emma said...

I have a Irish background as well! :D

I love the flavours in this, and there's nothing wrong with a bit of fusion, it makes dishes interesting.

bellini valli said...

I have learned something once again since I have not heard of these types of noodles until today. Sounds delicious Mary!

Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

Your chow fun looks delicious! The rice noodles we find here in the States are difficult to separate and I am glad you found a way to do it. Thanks for the microwave tip. I will have to try that soon :)

Victor said...

When I hear the word "Chow Fun", it always make smile. My parents used to make this dish a lot when we had a restaurant. Every weekend, I eat Chow Fun. You got all the ingredients and presentation spot on. Great job, Mary!

Candace said...

Oh Mary! This looks delicious. I have a mild...no wait...it's really serious, I think....Asian food addiction. I could eat this entire dish myself right now. Thanks! Candace

PeggyR said...

Oh my this looks wonderful!

Design Wine and Dine said...

I had SUCH spring fever yesterday and I too made a similar dish last night (I did not blog it however)

I love your "Irish kind of way" touch you bring to the dish! Isn't that how all great dishes/cooking evolve?!

Love this Mary, beautiful colors and flavors!

Jean said...

aww man i want to bite the screen!

Gloria said...

I love this dish look amazing and lovely!! gloria

Anna A. said...

Love those thick noodles. Yum, I can chow down on your chow fun, no probs!

Emily Malloy said...

I can almost smell it from here!

Absolutely beautiful!

Brandie@thecountrycook said...

Oh Mary - you make the most delicious and appealing food. This really sounds so good right now!

From the Kitchen said...

I am hungry for Thai or Chinese. I'm curious as to the source for the noodles. The whole dish looks delicious and my wok needs a work out.

Best,
Bonnie

Mrs K said...

This looks so glossy and tempting.I love Thai & the american Chinese that we get here in the US and the indian Chinese back in India,I wonder if chinese would taste the same in China :0

ButterYum said...

The Irish version - haha!

However you make it, it sounds wonderful. I have no Asian blood, but I truly crave Asian food. The family is very pleased when I prepare stir fries.

:)
ButterYum

Catherine said...

This looks delicious Mary. My daughter would absolutely love this!

Mateja ^_^ said...

I just wish my family would be more taste adventurous (sigh), I would be so delighted to cook your dish! Something new, fresh, and so beautifully presented (sigh)! Thank you for sharing Mary :)

That Girl said...

Winter veggies beg to be stir-fried.

Claudia said...

Chow Fun "authentic in an Irish sort of way" has me tickled. Reminds me of my Italian-Oriental stir fry. I won't be relinquishing soups and stews anytime soon (it was minus ten F when I woke up) but I like the move to lighter eating. Maybe it will encourage lighter weather.

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

Oh my goodness this looks terrific! So funny - seeing lots of wonderful Asian flavors throughout the blogosphere today. Like you said, maybe we're all hoping for spring! Thanks for sharing!

Rachel said...

We LOVE Chinese food at our house--it's actually what my two kids (ages 2 and 5) request if we ask them where they want to go for dinner! I'm always looking for Asian-inspired recipes...can't wait to try this!!!

Juliana said...

Wow Mary, you feature one of my favorite noddle dish...I love this dish, and you really made it perfect...

Cucina di Barbara said...

Thank you for your message especially becouse your blog is STUNNING
I have to learn here!
barbara

teresa said...

this is just gorgeous, we LOVE chinese food, and it's even better when you make it yourself. lovely!

Kankana said...

This looks sooo amazing!!!

RamblingTart said...

I was craving Chinese food this week too, Mary! :-) I love your super easy technique for the noodles. I think tonight I will have to have noodles again, with lots of ginger and garlic. :-)

Simply Life said...

this looks great! I'm still waiting for that "hint" of spring! :)

Zoe said...

You are so good at Chinese cooking. Such a brilliant job to keep the noodles moist and well tossed with the sauces, meat and vegetable.

Jen_from_NJ said...

I've had the very same cravings lately! I will be trying Chow Fun - thank you Mary!

Kate @ Diethood.com said...

This looks great! I wish there was signs of spring around here - please send some good weather this way!

Emily Z said...

YUM! This looks really good! I love Chinese food!

michelangelo in the kitchen said...

Love the chewy texture of the chow fun. With the mung bean sprouts and the Winter peas together complete the whole eating experience. It's Chinese tonight then Mary, for this is a truly fun dish!

FOODESSA said...

I love cooking up quasi Asian style dishes.
I have almost every ingredient to make your recipe except for the oyster sauce.

I'll have to try this version with the Mary signature ;o)

Ciao for now,
Claudia

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

We serve this at the Chinese restaurant I work at. I love chow fun! It's got a great texture, doesn't it? Great recipe Mary!

kitchen flavours said...

Looks delicious! Great job, Mary! Wish I could have a plate for my lunch right now!

Joanne said...

Those thick chow fun noodles are one of my most favorite things on this earth! Thanks for the recipe!

Faith said...

Oh yes, this is just what the doctor ordered...I've been craving something like this, Mary! Love the name of this delicious dish too! :)

Melissa @IWasBornToCook said...

I LOVE chow fun. This looks amazing!

yummychunklet said...

Sounds delicious. It reminds me of the restaurant referred to in the movie, "The Story of Us".

Elaine said...

I enjoy ordering Chow Fun when we go out to eat, but I have never tried to make it. Thank you for the tips on preparing the rice noodles. You make it seem less intimidating. It made me so hungry just looking at your photo. :)

Lucie said...

I feel the exact same way, Mary--when the weather starts improving, I crave Asian food! I should have read your post before my trip to the far-away Asian grocery store yesterday, it looks divine!

lena said...

wow mary! i think your chow fun looks so good, no kidding! over here, we call this broad noodles " hor fun", you know something, this noodles is not easy to stir fry unlike other noodles. These noodles that are sold over here in packets are usually comes very oily and on top of that, the people frying that will also add a lot of oil when stir frying them and on a very hot wok, that's why the one we eat outside is always very smooth and nice and will never stick onto the wok! glad you found your way of making this easier to cook and less oily!

Light and Voices said...

I love noodles and this recipe has the veggies and the chicken and it just looks so yummy!

I posted a cake recipe perhaps you might like to try. It is a bit like carrot cake with the cream cheese frosting only ten times more delicious. It isn't my recipe. It came from a magazine. Enjoy!
Joyce M

lostpastremembered said...

Thanks so much for this recipe, Mary. It is one of my favorites and I haven't had it in so long (well, I swore off Chinese restaurants) and miss it dreadfully. I have never tried to make it at home.. now I know how!!! Thanks.

tigerfish said...

WHAaat?! It's Spring already? Have not had Chow Fun for a long time - one of my favorite street foods.

Eliana said...

This looks absolutely perfect and better than anything you can get in a take out container.

Lori said...

I love this kind of a dish. THe wide noodles are sometimes difficult for me to find. As soon as I get my hands on some I am going to make your recipe!

Rosemary Mullally said...

Beautiful photos(I need help), mouth watering recipes!

Lori said...

I made your sauce to go with some chow fun noodles I had bought. I was kinda in a hurry so I only did the sauce, chives and water chestnuts. I love the sauce. Its a keeper. Next time I am going to make the whole thing- lots of veggies.

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