Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Leftover Lo Mein

Wow, this is a long post. I didn't realize that I took this many pictures during the process or that there were this many steps. Let me start by saying my mother showed up at my house with a random head of cabbage telling me it was a secret ingredient and I had to make a dish with it for the blog. I initially had planned to make corned beef and cabbage, but that was too expected and it's too far away from St. Patty's day. I've made this recipe before and used chinese cabbage, so it's an easy substitution. I call it left over lo mein because you can use pretty much anything you have in your refrigerator. You can put green peppers or squash or broccoli or green beans, any vegetable you have available will work. There is a fair amount of early prep work in this dish, but once you start cooking it's over fast. We want to make sure we have all our ingredients ready to go before the oil hits the pan. Oh yea, if you want it vegetarian, it's just as delicious without the chicken.

For the Lo Mein:
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/2 of a medium onion
  • 4 oz of sliced mushrooms
  • 12 baby carrots
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of cabbage
  • handful of fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 package of Lo Mein Noodles
  • canola oil
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
For the Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup of soy sauce
  • 1.5 tsp of hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp of black bean sauce
  • 1 tsp of fish sauce
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1.5 tsp of sriracha sauce
  • 1 dash of chinese five spice powder

Step One, take a chicken breast, clean and trim it, then season liberally with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper on both sides.

Next, heat a pan on medium-high heat and pour a little oil in it. Add the chicken.

Flip the chicken over. Isn't that starting to look good?

Once the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the heat and let it sit for five minutes. You can skip ahead and start doing the vegetable prep work now, or you can wait those five minutes and then slice the chicken up into pieces.

Take about a dozen baby carrots, cut them in half horizontally and then dice them vertically. You should make 3-5 slices per carrot.

Take a quarter pound of mushrooms and slice them vertically. I cheated and bought my mushrooms pre-sliced but by putting them on the cutting board it looks like I did the work myself.

Chop up half of a medium sized onion in a very large dice. The pieces should be nickel to quarter size.

Take one clove of garlic and finely dice it.

Ahh, the beautiful head of cabbage that started this meal. Shred up about 1/3 of the head of cabbage.

This is how your vegetables should look now. The garlic is on top of the carrots because they will be going in at the same time. So will the onions and mushrooms, so it is ok if they mix too.

Take a handful of cilantro and chop that up as well. We will be needing that at the end of the dish.

Boil a pot of water and then toss in your Lo Mein noodles. This is what mine look like:

Follow the instructions on the package for cooking. Mine says it takes 5 minutes. This will give us time to get our sauce together.

Start with a quarter of a cup of dark soy sauce.

Add to that a teaspoon of honey.

Follow with a teaspoon of fish sauce.

Next add a teaspoon and a half of hoisin sauce. This is like a chinese BBQ sauce and is quite delicious.

Add two teaspoons of black bean sauce. Another delicious Asian condiment.

Add a dash of Chinese five spice powder.

This stuff is pretty strong, so I don't like to add to much as it can take over a dish. I put in about this much:

Oh, I bet you thought I was going to forget about the Sriracha sauce, didn't you? I told you I put this on everything when I introduced it to you in the bourbon chicken post and now it's back. If you haven't bought a bottle yet, kick yourself (It's amazing I get nothing from promoting this stuff, but Sriracha, if you are listening, send me a case!). Add a teaspoon and a half of the good stuff.

Are your five minutes up? If so, drain the noodles and set them to the side. Now we have everything prepped. The french call this mise en place, which literally means putting in place. Our spread pre-cooking:

This is where it gets interesting. We want to cook the food on the highest possible heat. We also need to keep it moving during the process, else we end up with burnt food. This is not that difficult of a process, unless you are trying to take pictures at the same time. Then it becomes overwhelming, but I survived. Place a wok on the highest setting your stove top goes. Once your pan is hot, add two tablespoons of oil. Immediately add the onions and mushrooms and saute for a few minutes.

Next add the cabbage. Continue to keep the food moving. Cook for another minute.

Add the carrots and garlic. The cabbage should be releasing their water which is instantly turning to steam on the hot wok making picture taking more difficult. This should not pose a problem for you.

After another minute, add the chicken and the noodles. Stir everything (just like you have been the whole time, right?).

Once all that is combined, go ahead and add the sauce. This should cook one to two minutes.

You can take it off the heat at that point and add the chopped cilantro.

Stir to combine everything. Grab your bottle of Sriracha (everyone deserves a little extra), a plate, a fork and get to eating. The table is optional.

1 comment:

  1. looks awesome :) your posts are always so entertaining!