Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Chowmein, Indian-Chinese style

Finally! After complaining and complaining about not finding the perfect crispy chowmein of the sort one gets in Chinese restaurants in India, I finally found the right kind of noodles to pull it off. Ta da!

Dried noodles.
Onions, chopped.
Any other sort of vegetables you'd like (carrots, green beans, mushrooms, peas, snowpeasa, chopped scallions, bean sprouts)
Meat (chopped chicken, leftover beef et al).
Seafood (fried prawns or shrimps, diced squid, scallops)
Dark soya sauce.
Chicken flavoured buillion cubes OR Maggi noodles garnish/masala.
Salt, sugar, ground pepper.

How to:
Boil about four tall glasses of water in a saucepan. When the water begins to bubble, drop the noodle in it. Let it soak for a while, then gently separate the strands with a fork, without breaking each individual strand. When they're soft enough for you (anything between 4-8 minutes of boiling on high flame), drain them off in a colander and hold colander under a cold, flowing tap for a few seconds. Toss the noodles in the colander to shake off as much water as possible. Let drain for ten minutes or so.

Process #1: non-spicy.
Heat oil in a skillet. I use vegetable/canola here and sunflower at home, but a lot of people prefer sesame. Spread the hot oil around the skillet. Now toss in the chopped vegetables. After about thirty seconds, toss in the sliced onions. Usually, the onions go first, but since 'hard vegetables' like carrots take some time to take on a fried flavour, onions might get over-cooked or even charred if they're added before the vegetables.

Now add the noodles. Toss like crazy to make sure they're even fried. Helpful tip: don't try to go healthy and use the barest minimum oil. Your noodles will taste like toasted newspaper. There's a reason the tastiest lo-mein is also the greasiest. Add soya sauce. Fold it in well. Taste it, as soya sauce can be both sweet and salty. Now, accordingly, add sugar and salt. A lot of people don't add sugar, but the chowmein tastes bland without it.

Process#2: spicy.
Heat oil, stir fry the veggies and onion. Now, break a couple of buillon cubes and add it to the oil. Stir the contents of the skillets to mix the cubes well with the vegetables, on a low flame. Now add the noodles, more oil if required (it will be required), and repeat all of above. If you want them really spicy, you could also add tiny pieces of red chillies to the oil before adding the noodles. Be careful with the salt, since both the soya sauce and cubes have a high salt content.

And finally:


Anonymous said...

From Fine dining restaurants to road side eateries, Indian version chow mein is so popular in India! Visit Kolkata Restaurants for complete reviews and detailed information about restaurants

Chinese restaurants in Indore said...

Nice post its really delicious blog i would like to eat it when i feel free.

hotel management colleges in Kolkata said...

This looks quite fabulous! And with all those flavors, I can imagine it would be beautifully fragrant and tasty too :)