Ever have one of those days when you don’t know what to cook for dinner and feeling lackadaisical so you forage your fridge for leftovers and decide to just roll with whatever you can fudge together? Yeah? Most days of the week? I hear you!
The challenge in this home though is ensuring my kids will eat whatever it is I decide to cook so it has to not only be quick and easy for me but appetizing for the little hungry people too.
In the Moods for Noods
Noodles of all kinds, shapes and sizes are a family favourite. Chow mein, in particular, happens to be a favourite when at restaurants so I keep a couple of fresh chow mein noodles in my fridge for quick meals in my fridge. You can get as creative with them as you like and they almost always turn out delicious.
Chow mein is a chinese dish of stir-fried noodles with vegetables and protein (typically chicken, pork, beef and shrimp). The words chow mein really just mean “stir fried noodles”.
Chicken and chow mein in the eyes and tummies of my children are a BIG winning combo. Plus, 15 minutes from start to finish? Winner, winner, lazy chicken chow mein dinner!
This recipe takes much less time than ordering take-out and you can add to it whatever veggies and protein you desire. Typically, I would include carrots and bean sprouts but my kids like it just with shredded napa cabbage (I actually use coleslaw mix!). Other great additions are bell peppers, mushrooms (like shiitake or oyster) and bok choy.
Chow Mein or Lo Mein? That is the question.
Before I (finally) post this recipe (I know you’re waiting!), I have to first clear up the distinction between Chow Mein noodles vs. Lo Mein noodles. The main difference is in the method and it comes down to frying time. Chow Mein usually has crisper noodles, so you add a bit more oil and increase the frying time. Both lo mein and chow mein are made with Chinese egg noodles — wheat flour noodles with egg added. Fresh egg noodles (preferably about 1/4-inch thick) are best for lo mein, while either fresh or dried can be used to make chow mein.
Enjoy this easygoing version of homemade chicken chow mein and let me know what you think! After all, you can be a lazy cook and still serve up the goods!
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/4 cup soy sauce low sodium
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp peanut oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 package of coleslaw mix
- 12 oz chow mein noodles (ready-made packages available in refrigerated Asian specialty section)
- shredded white chicken meat from leftover rotisserie chicken (discard skin; include dark meat if you wish)
- 1) In a medium size bowl whisk all the chow mein sauce ingredients together and set aside.
- 2) In a wok or a large skillet or frying pan heat the peanut oil. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Stir in the coleslaw mix and cook for 2-4 minutes until they start to soften a bit.
- 3) Increase the heat to medium-high and add the noodles to the wok. Give the sauce a quick stir, then pour over the noodles. Let them cook for 2 minutes before tossing them around in the sauce. Add the cooked, shredded chicken.
- Keep tossing them around and within 3 to 5 minutes they will soften and cook completely.
- Serve while warm.
- If you want a little heat, add some sriracha!
- - Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
- - You can freeze chow mein, stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 months.