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Chow mein or plain noodles recipe

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Im looking for a recipe for plain noodles like they do in the chinese restaraunts i have tried a few on the internet and they seam either too complicated or just dont have the same taste as the ones you get in the restaraunts hope someone can help me with this

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What do you mean by "plain noodles?" I've got a couple that I consider plain, but they are a little hot or spicy.

Edited by Shel_B (log)

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Im looking for a recipe for plain noodles like they do in the chinese restaraunts

Chinese restaurants where?

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restaurants in the uk in the north west in manchester they are the plain noodles that would be in chow mein so have abit of a sauce on them but no greens in it or meat

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Almost every city, town and village in China has a different noodle recipe.

Add in all the variations in the UK, America, Canada, Australia (and somewhere near Manchester in NW England) and you will get a thousand different answers.

Really, your question is unanswerable unless you can accurately describe the dish you are trying to replicate. 99% of the people here have never been to NW England, somewhere near Manchester - some of us who have, wish we hadn't. :smile:

Chow mien just means 'fried noodles' so is not helpful.

Edited by liuzhou (log)

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I know exactly what you're talking about, kingchristo, but have been through this frustration before! The soft fried noodles that are completely standard across the UK and Ireland, right? The ones with the beansprouts, occasionally scallions, and not much else bar the noodles?

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Never eaten Chinese food in the UK, but if they are like the noodles here, I'd start by boiling the noodles to almost done, drain and rinse. Heat up some peanut oil in the wok, add crushed garlic, grated ginger and possibly just a touch of red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you want it). Cook for just a few seconds until the garlic starts to puff then add your noodles. Stir fry for few minutes then add soy sauce to taste and color. Continue to cook till the noodles are as fried as you prefer.

That would be my basic noodles, you could add bean sprouts or other veggies and meat, but realize that veggies will release more water, so you will need something to thicken the sauce so it sticks. I usually will mix cornstarch with soy sauce and stir in for the last 30 seconds or so. I will also usually add some cream sherry or some sugar for a slight sweetness.

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I'd start by boiling the noodles to almost done

What kind of noodles? There are many. Fresh? Dried?

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What kind of noodles? There are many. Fresh? Dried?

Egg noodles? Rice noodles? Potato noodles? Mung bean noodles? Hand pulled? Cut? Extruded? Are they thin, thick, flat, long, or short?

As liuzhou says, there are thousands of "chow mein" recipes around the world. There is even a possibility that you are talking about a dish which isn't even Chinese.

Edited by Keith_W (log)

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What's on sale at the Asian grocery of course! I was assuming the fairly standard wheat based, dry, spaghetti sized noodles. That's what we get here in Northern California if you just order chow mein. If it has some other style of noodle it will usually have modifier like Taiwan style or some such that I realize is most likely inaccurate.

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If it is really 'chow mien', then it will be wheat noodles. Only wheat noodles are 'mien' (Mandarin 'mian'). Other noodles are given different names.

But that still doesn't help. There are dozens of different kinds of wheat noodle and hundreds of ways to prepare them.

Asking for a recipe for a dish of plain noodles (with no further description other than what it doesn't contain) is like me asking for a recipe for a cake I once ate but which I will not tell you anything about except that it did not contain coconut - please supply the recipe.

As I said before, we need an accurate description and preferably a picture.

Edited by liuzhou (log)

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yes simon you know what im talking about i will have to wait till i get some more from the chip shop before i can post a picture on here. There is not really anything to expand on it is just noodles with a sauce on them.

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For a first go, try udon noodles (japanese).

I think I know the noodles you mean, but I dont know how to buy them at the asian grocery either.

I usually cheat with spaghetti noodles. Not perfect tho. Wrong 'chew'.

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Kingchristo: I use packaged dry wheat /egg noodles when I can't get fresh. The dried ones, put in boiling water until, as Mark said, just done. Drain and shock with cold water. Drain really well. I like to let mine sit in the fridge, barely covered for several hours or even a day before using them. The noodles are chilled, firm, and easier to stir fry.

For what I call "plain noodles", I heat up the wok until very hot, and it is possible to do this even with my electric coil stove. Add oil and coat the wok well. Sprinkle in salt (and chopped garlic if you wish) Add a layer of noodle, spread it over the surface, and let it brown a bit. Flip the noodles over and do the other side. Then, I'd use chopsticks to loosen the noodles, and continue cooking until all the noodles are heated thru'. This way, I have a mixture of crisp and soft. At this time, you can add a splash of soy sauce, or, for me, a drizzle of sesame seed oil. To me, this is "plain chow mein". I also remember this version when we visited the northeast Yorkshire area. :smile:

This version is versatile as I can top the noodles with a mix of stir-fried vegetables, with meat, or just stir-fried beansprouts and green onions.

I also use my crepe pan to make a noodle "pancake" - crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. Then a mix of meat, vegetables, and sauce is poured over the top.

Or you can make lo-mein, where everything is mixed in together. :smile:

I am like you, I often like to replicate a dish I've eaten in a restaurant. Authentic? Who knows unless we've eaten in every corner of China! As everyone has mentioned, every place has their own version. If you can post a pictures, perhaps one of us can identify it as from "our region" I hope this will help you!

Meanwhile, here's what I made for supper one night last week. Probably called Cantonese Chow Mein because that's where I am from. :wink:

chow mien 7189.jpg

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Kingchristo: I did a google on "what is chow mein" and I got 23 pages of images! And it asked iof I wanted more! :laugh:

Have a look and see if there is something that looks similar to what you are looking for.

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I love beansprouts with my noodles, especially soybean sprouts. Why do some people nip off the "head" and just use the stalks? Way too much work. :wink:

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Dejah ----I remember reading a story of a wealthy family in China, who hired a person to just remove the 'head' on beansprouts. That's all the person did. After one day -- she quit!

About emulating any dish from any restaurant ----- I would say that rarely will they be the same. The chef in any particular restaurant will use his/her own taste for the dish .My thought would be to find the one you like, buy it and take it home and then eye examine it. Make a basic noodle sauce and then adjust with soy or oyster sauce till you find what you like .I like using oyster sauce, and rather than soy, if I don't want too a dark colored sauce, I use a salty-ish strong chicken broth. (even made from bouillon)

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My earlier post was (rightly) deleted, but the standard issue noodles that are available all over the place here look very similar to the ones pictured halfway down this review I found on Manchester Confidential:


While I agree that they're not always the same, the standard-issue "sides of noodles" in these parts really are quite consistent, and I'd say this goes some way to explaining the misunderstandings in this thread. They may not be authentic in any shape or form, but they're so ubiquitous in Chinese restaurants in the UK and Ireland that it's normal for here. Certainly they vary in terms of ingredients/dryness/sauciness, etc, but in general the overriding flavour is pretty similar. I doubt there's very much to them, tbh.

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