Chicken Chow Mein is my ultimate take-away comfort food, and guess what? It’s really easy to make at home. Practically as easy as just ordering in, depending on how many extra ingredients you want to add. My root recipe is based on this one from Ching-He Huang, and then I’ve added a few options that, in my opinion add a little something special extra!
2 nests of medium egg noodles
1tsp sesame oil, plus more as needed
300g boneless skinless chicken thighs, sliced into strips
2tbsp dark soy sauce
1tsp five-spice powder
1tsp hot chilli powder (optional!)
2tbsp groundnut oil
1 red bell pepper, finely sliced
150g bean sprouts
2 spring onions, sliced lengthways
large splash light soy sauce
(you can use all, some, or none!)
100g sliced bamboo shoots
100g water chestnuts
100g pak choi, sliced
Firstly, cook the noodles according to the instructions (normally for about 4 minutes in boiling water), drain them, run them under cold water, and then drizzle with a few splashes of sesame oil and toss through to prevent them sticking. Put to one side while you make the rest.
Season the chicken with the dark soy sauce, the five-spice and the chilli powder (if you’re using it), and mix well together. Coat the chicken strips lightly with the cornflour.
In a wok, heat the groundnut oil until smoking. Add the chicken, and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until cooked through.
Add the red pepper (and pak choi if using) and stir fry for 2 minutes, then add the bean sprouts and spring onions (and water chestnuts or bamboo shoots if using) and stir fry for another minute.
Add the noodles and season with light soy sauce, 1tsp toasted sesame oil and black pepper to taste. Stir well and serve straight away!