Veg Chow Mein is a very popular and tasty stir-fried vegetable noodle dish. It is also one of the most popular street food in India and many other countries.
It’s strange, but Veg Chow Mein is the first dish I have cooked. I have also tried a few dishes before but mostly with the help of my mother. Even before I learned how to make tea or instant noodles, I learned how to make vegetable chow mein.
It is also the first and only dish I ever made for my sweet nani (maternal grandmother) but unfortunately I completely spoiled it that day by overcooking the noodles which led to a very pasty Chow Mein. However, she very kindly finished the entire plate, lying that she loved him. I wish I could soon meet her and cook something good for her.
WHAT IS CHOW MEIN
Chow Mein is a Chinese noodle dish stir-fried with and without meat. Chow means stir-fry and Mein means noodles.
It is very popular in India and many other countries as well, and most of them have a local version of this delicious noodle dish.
WHAT NOODLES TO USE
Many companies sell special chow mein noodles only under this name or some also sell only under the chow name. But a lot of these noodles contain eggs. If you eat eggs, use these noodles or any other egg noodles, otherwise buy the type of noodles or ramen available. Avoid using very thick noodles in this recipe. Even Hakka noodles can be used there.
Also Read: Vegetable Soup
WHAT IS SUITABLE FOR VEGETABLE CHOW MEIN
The three main ingredients of Veg Chow Mein are:
- Vegetables: The most commonly used vegetables in Chow Mein are cabbage, bell pepper, carrots, spring onion. You can also use bean sprouts, green beans, tofu, mushrooms, or any vegetable you like in the stir-fried noodles.
- Sauce / Condiments: The sauces typically added to Chow Mein are soy sauce, chili sauce, vinegar, and oyster sauce. In India oyster sauce is not used in this stir-fried noodle dish and since it is a vegan recipe, I skipped that. I added a small amount of tomato ketchup like Indochinese style noodles do. You won’t be able to taste the ketchup, but you will add a nice layer of rich sauce over the noodles.
RECIPE TIPS AND TRICKS
- Do not overcook the noodles, take them out of the boiling water 1 to 2 minutes before they are fully cooked. Rinse with cold water, apply oil and keep aside until you sauté the vegetables. Applying oil will help prevent the noodle strands from sticking to each other.
- Use a large wok or skillet to sauté the noodles.
- Sauté the vegetables and noodles over high heat.
- Since the Chow Mein is cooked over high heat, keep all the vegetables, sauces and noodles ready before starting the sautéing step Even mix all the sauces, vinegar and pepper in a bowl so you can add them all in one go.
You don’t necessarily need anything else to eat with a vegetable chow mein because it is already very filling and tasty.
- 275 grams of noodles
- 2.5 cups of shredded cabbage
- 1/2 cup julienned carrots
- 1/2 cup bell pepper, julienned
- 1/4 cup finely chopped spring onion, keep the white part and the green part separately
- 1 cup thinly sliced onion
- 5-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1-2 green chillies, thinly sliced, optional
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. Green chili sauce, adjust to taste
- 2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup
- 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons of cooking oil keep an extra tablespoon of oil to coat the noodles after rinsing
- Boil the noodles according to the package instructions. Rinse with cold water, apply a little oil to avoid sticking and keep aside.
- In a bowl, combine all the sauces, vinegar, pepper and salt. Set aside
- In a large wok or skillet, heat the oil. Add garlic, sauté for a few seconds until they become fragrant.
- Add the chopped onion and sauté until it becomes translucent, then add all the remaining vegetables and the white part of the spring onion. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked but crunchy.
- Add the sauce mixture, toss and sauté for a few seconds before adding the noodles. Sauté an additional 2 minutes, stirring continuously, until combined.
- Garnish with the green part of the spring onions and serve warm.