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Pictorial: Soy Sauce Chow Mein with Chicken

Chinese

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19 replies to this topic

#1 hzrt8w

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 11:35 PM

Soy Sauce Chow Mein with Chicken (豉油王鸡丝抄麺 )

There was a question about "Soy Sauce Chow Mein" brought up on this board. I have decided to show you my way of making this dish. I also have decided to cook it with some shredded chicken meats. You may use sliced beef, peeled shrimp, sliced BBQ pork or other meats of your choice. The process is very similar. Or leave it as plain soy sauce chow mein. They all taste wonderful.

CAUTION: The sequences shown illustrated using cooking wine over a pan of hot oil to induce a flame. If you have poor ventilation or do not want to risk fire hazards, skip the part of using cooking wine.

Serving Suggestion: 2 to 3

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Main ingredients:
Cantonese egg noodles, 1 piece of boneless chicken breast (about 1/2 to 3/4 lb), 1/2 of a small onion, 2 green onions, bean sprouts (only a handful).

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If the noodles are curled up into fist-size balls, use about 4 to 5 of them (about 1/2 to 3/4 lb). Uncoil and shake the noodles with your fingers. Make them a little bit fluffy.

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Take the chicken breast. Trim off the fat. Cut up the meat into long and narrow strips.

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Use a small mixing bowl to marinate the chicken meat.
Use 1 tsp of ground white pepper, 2 tsp of sesame oil, 1 tsp of ShaoHsing cooking wine, 2 tsp of light soy sauce, and 1 tsp of corn starch. Mix well. Set aside to marinate for at least 20 minutes.

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Meanwhile, boil a small pot of water. When the water is boiling, add the noodles to the pot. Cook the noodles until el dante. Cooking time depends on the types of noodles used. If those are fresh noodles, which cook very fast, only 1 to 2 minutes. If those are dried noodles, it may take up to between 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust your cooking time accordingly. Do not overcook the noodles. Immediately remove the noodles and put them on a strainer. Run them under cold water and drain.

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(Set noodles on a strainer and drain well.)

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Prepare the other ingredients: Cut 1/2 onion into small wedges. Cut the green onions diagonally (trim the ends). (Not shown: wash and drain the bean sprouts). Use a small bowl, mix 3 tsp of light soy sauce (for saltiness) and 3 tsp of dark soy sauce (for rich flavor). Prepare about 1 to 2 tsp (no more) of ShaoHsing cooking wine (shown contained in the bottle cap).

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Use a pan/wok, set for high heat over the stove. Use about 2 tblsp of cooking oil to velvet the marinated chicken. Cooking until the meats show no more pink color. Remove.

Note: The following sequences of photos occurred during a very short time frame. The technique is important. So I have slowed down the process for you, frame by frame.

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Start with a clean pan/wok. Set for high heat over the stove. Add a generous amount of cooking oil, about 3 to 4 tblsp. Keep heating up the pan/wok until the oil start fuming. Don't start prematurely or else you won't achieve the desired taste. You have to do the following 5 steps very quickly.

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First: add the wedged onions and sliced green onions onto the pan. Stir for about 3 seconds. Immediate add the capful of cooking wine. CAUTION: This will induce a big flame. If you don't have good ventilation or do not want to risk fire hazards, skip the cooking wine.

I tried to take a picture of the flame. But during the half a second that it flared up, the flame overexposed the image. I ended up with a picture where every looked dark.

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Second: The flame will last for only about half a second. When it has subsided, immediately add the bowl of light soy and dark soy sauce mixture.

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Third: The mixed soy sauce will boil almost instantly. That's a desireable effect. Stir once very quickly.

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Fourth: Immediately, add the noodles to the pan.

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Fifth: Also add the bean sprouts.

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Stir the noodles and bean sprouts and toss. Make sure that the soy sauce is evenly distributed in the noodles. Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes.

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Re-add the chicken shreds to the pan. Stir-fry for another minute or 2.

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Finished. (Note: the quantity shown here is about half of the quantity made.)

Edited by hzrt8w, 16 October 2005 - 11:42 PM.

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W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#2 Kent Wang

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 11:45 PM

Nice! The pics really make it easy to understand.

What is the purpose of the light and dark soy sauce mixture? Why not just only one or the other?

How hot does your burner get? Mine is regrettably weak and it is not really possible to do true stir fry on it. I noticed that there is not much browning on your chicken. Perhaps you suffer from the same problem? Alas, we make do.

#3 hzrt8w

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 11:50 PM

What is the purpose of the light and dark soy sauce mixture? Why not just only one or the other?
How hot does your burner get? Mine is regrettably weak and it is not really possible to do true stir fry on it. I noticed that there is not much browning on your chicken. Perhaps you suffer from the same problem? Alas, we make do.

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Thanks Kent. I mix the soy because I want saltiness and the "light" flavor from the light soy sauce, and the richness of the dark soy sauce. If you want to use only one, use dark soy sauce. Do not use only light soy sauce to make this dish.

Re: Burner... Mine can get pretty hot, but cannot sustain the high temperature (gas stove, only 1 ring).

Re: Not much browning on the chicken... that's by choice. You can brown it a bit longer if you like. My wife refuses to eat anything that's burnt.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#4 tejon

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 12:06 AM

I know what we're having for dinner tomorrow night! Thank you, hzrt8w.
Kathy

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#5 Pan

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 01:27 AM

That really looks great!

How crispy do the noodles end up?

#6 hzrt8w

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 01:34 AM

How crispy do the noodles end up?

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This style of noodle: Soft. Not crispy at all. If I make the Cantonese style chow mein (with gravy), then I won't boil the noodle first. They will be pan-fried in oil first (to crispy and brown, maybe a little bit dark brown). Then stir-fry the vege/meat with the sauce to pour on top.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#7 Pan

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 02:00 AM

Yeah, the Cantonese Chow Mein is what I get at Congee Village here in Manhattan.

So what style of Chow Mein did you present here?

#8 mizducky

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 02:10 AM

Terrific work documenting your process! I'm impressed that you were able to take a picture of the flame at all, even if the image wound up overexposed--that's some tricky camera/cookery juggling.

Plus it looks totally yummy and I'm learning stuff. :smile:

#9 hzrt8w

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 10:57 AM

So what style of Chow Mein did you present here?

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Also Cantonese.

In Cantonese cooking, there are basically 2 styles:
乾炒, Gon Chow [Cantonese], gan1 chao3 [Mandarin] - meaning "dry stir-fry". This style uses dark soy sauce as a base to stir-fry noodles. The result is a dry, dark-shiny looking fried noodles dish.

濕炒, Sup Chow [Cantonese], shi1 chao3 [Mandarin] - meaning "wet stir-fry". This style first pan-fry the noodles to crispy brown. Then cook the meats and vegetables separately, gathered with a sauce (typically chicken broth plus oyster sauce and soy sauce), the pour the mixture on top of the crispy brown noodles. The hot sauce will soften the noodles a bit. The result looks like a regular meat-vegetable stir-fried dish, with the softened crispy noodles as a bed.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#10 Fengyi

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 01:54 AM

Thank you SO much for the 'flaming' rice wine tip :biggrin: I used it just where you showed to make a (well, my own odd) version of Hokkien Mee. I think it made a good difference...and it certainly made the kitchen so fragrent!!!
Thanks!!!
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#11 hzrt8w

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Posted 19 October 2005 - 08:04 AM

Thank you SO much for the 'flaming' rice wine tip  :biggrin:  I used it just where you showed to make a (well, my own odd) version of Hokkien Mee. I think it made a good difference...and it certainly made the kitchen so fragrent!!!

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Fengyi: I am glad that you find this useful. Dashing in some Shao Hsing cooking wine on a wok to induce a flame is a very common technique in Cantonese stir-fries. In Chinese, it's called 贊酒.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#12 liv4fud

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Posted 22 February 2006 - 10:44 PM

This was my try at the noodles:
though I had to substitute a ton i.e. no bean sprouts or scallions - substituted some green peppers and asparagus
other things were kept samePosted Image

it was awesome...

#13 hzrt8w

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Posted 25 February 2006 - 09:18 PM

This was my try at the noodles:
though I had to substitute a ton i.e. no bean sprouts or scallions - substituted some green peppers and asparagus
other things were kept same[img]

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That looks very good, liv4fud. Thanks for sharing your result.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#14 shinju

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 12:15 AM

Wow, just started reading this forum and wanted to tell you that your pictures, instructions, and dishes look outstanding. Thank you so much for sharing these.

#15 Philanthrophobe

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 02:23 PM

Is there a way to "flame" the wine if you're stuck with an electric cooktop? (all manner of jokey answers come to mind, all of which would render the skillet contents inedible)
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#16 His Nibs

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 04:47 PM

Contary to logic, dark soy is sweeter than light soy. So a mixture of both will get some sweetness and saltiness but most important of all the color of the dark soy will dominate.

You can try to light it using a long gas lighter.

Edited by His Nibs, 15 March 2006 - 04:48 PM.


#17 Philanthrophobe

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 05:39 PM

You can try to light it using a long gas lighter.

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Thanks! The chicken is marinating as I type this! Yummmm...
"She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."

--Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

#18 hzrt8w

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 06:36 PM

Contary to logic, dark soy is sweeter than light soy. So a mixture of both will get some sweetness and saltiness but most important of all the color of the dark soy will dominate.
You can try to light it using a long gas lighter.

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I agree that dark soy sauce would have a better color.

I think the key to the "flame" is having a intense and sustained heat source and not so much of an initial ignition. If one uses an electric stove, I am not sure if the heat is intense enough to help the cooking wine ignite and flare up. For example, I haven't tried it but I don't think one can ignite the ShaoHsing cooking wine at room temperature (not high enough alcohol content).
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#19 Philanthrophobe

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Posted 18 March 2006 - 05:20 PM

I think the key to the "flame" is having a intense and sustained heat source and not so much of an initial ignition.  If one uses an electric stove, I am not sure if the heat is intense enough to help the cooking wine ignite and flare up.  For example, I haven't tried it but I don't think one can ignite the ShaoHsing cooking wine at room temperature (not high enough alcohol content).

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Having attempted flaming the wine and getting about as much flash as is omitted by the standard 4-watt nightlight, I think you're right on the money. I made this recipe in a giant cast-iron dutch oven for the heat retention capabilities, and the next time I try it, I'll cook the contents covered for a few minutes to gain a couple degrees before adding the wine...I think this is probably my only option.

Still, it tasted great! (as your recipes always do!)
"She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."

--Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

#20 nicbaz

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 12:45 AM

Wow this was fantastic! I made it last night using a high pressure wok burner, and it worked fantastically! 

The alcohol burning off was quite cool too..! 







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