Chicken Chow Mein (Rosie’s noodles)

chicken noodles2.jpg

Everybody loves noodles. Especially home-cooked noodles. Rosie -a precious lady, whose every day help makes my life so much easier and keeps my sanity at (barely) acceptable levels- makes the most fantastic noodles. She uses rice noodles, chicken and whatever veggies she finds in the fridge. With the right amount of chilli and sauces, she always manages to present a great meal. I’ve watched her many times and eventually I created my version of this lovely dish.

This classic Chinese dish has so many variations and improvisations. You can do whatever you fancy. Add green beans, prawns, beef, fish, nuts, the choices are endless. The amazing thing about this dish is that somehow, it always comes out right. I like to cook mine spicy, with a kick from the fresh chilli, but as I said before, you can do whatever pleases your taste buds. I used yellow, eggless Chinese noodles but you could use egg noodles if you prefer. Just cook according to packet instructions as cooking times vary. Cooking noodles and stir-fried dishes is all about preparing and having everything near the stove. So make sure you have everything within reach before you turn up the heat.


chicken noodles.jpg

Ingredients for the chicken:

  • 500 grams chicken thighs, without skin, sliced to small pieces
  • 1 Tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs dry sherry
  • 1 tsp cornflour

For the noodles

  • 400 grams Chinese noodles
  • 3 Tbs vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 Tbs fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 180 grams small button or Portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 90 grams mange-tout (or green beans), cut in half
  • ½ cup roasted cashews

For the sauce

  • 2 Tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs dark soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs dry sherry
  • 1 Tbs sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup chicken broth (see note)


Prepare the chicken. Put the chicken pieces in a bowl. In a small bowl mix together the oyster sauce, soy sauce sherry and corn flour. Make sure corn flour dissolves. Pour over the chicken and mix with a spoon. Leave to marinate near the stove, until you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Prepare the noodles. Put noodles in a heatproof bowl. Pour over boiling water to cover them. Use a fork to stir and separate noodles, for 20-30 seconds. Drain and rinse immediately, with cold water to stop the cooking (if you are using egg-noodles, you might need to boil them for 3-4 minutes, so please check packet instructions). Drain and leave in a bowl near the stove.

Prepare everything for cooking. Mix together the garlic and ginger. In another bowl, mix the red onion, spring onion, chilli, red pepper, mushrooms and mange-tout. In another bowl mix together all the sauce ingredients except the chicken broth.

Make sure everything is near the stove and bring out your wok or a large pan. Put 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in the wok or pan over high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for a 15 seconds until fragrant. Add the marinated chicken and stir-fry over high heat until colored in places about 2 minutes and cooked through (the time really depends on weather you are cooking over fire or electric hob. Just make sure your chicken is cooked but not dry). Season with salt and pepper.

Remove chicken from the wok and transfer into a glass bowl. Add the remaining tablespoon oil in the wok and throw in all the veggies. Stir-fry over high heat for about 2 minutes, until vegetables start to soften. Don’t overcook , you need the veggies to be crunchy not mushy. Return the chicken to the wok, give it a stir and add the noodles. Pour over the sauce and ½ cup chicken broth. Use one fork and a spoon to mix together all the ingredients. Keep stirring for about 30 seconds, then mix in the remaining ½ cup broth. Stir for another 30 seconds until everything comes together and noodles are cooked.

Scatter cashews on top and serve.

Note: The amount of broth depends on the kind of noodles you are using. Taste your noodles. They should be cooked al-dente like pasta. If you feel they are too dry add some more broth or water. Just take care not to overcook them.


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