Cantonese Style Chow Mein

Even though Chinese New Year has already come and gone it is never too late to celebrate with a good Chinese meal. Growing up in Hong Kong I enjoyed a lot of authentic Chinese dishes so I am always looking for new recipes to add to my repertoire so that I can enjoy that same taste at home. One of the things that I love about cooking Chinese food is that with a little practice you will find it really isn’t all that hard to do on your own. I cook a Chinese dish at least once a week, and it is a lot cheaper to do at home then to go out.

Cantonese Style Beef Chow Mein

1 lb sirloin beef, sliced
1/4 c. rice wine
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
8 oz fresh thin Chinese egg noodles* (you could also use ramen noodles)
1 tsp finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
3 scallions, cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces
1 c. of carrots, diced (2.5 oz.)
2 1/2 c. bok choy, cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces (6 oz)
peanut oil
Chinese Brown Sauce


Bring 8 cups unsalted water to a boil in a 6- to 8-quart pot, then add noodles, stirring to separate, and cook 15 seconds. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water until noodles are cool, then shake colander briskly to drain excess water.

Place noodles in something like a cake pan so it forms to the pan as it cools.

Cut steak with the grain into 1 1/2- to 2-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices and put in a medium bowl. Sprinkle Chinese Five Spice over the beef and then place in a bowl with the 1/4 c. rice wine, 1 Tbsp. soy sauce and 1/4 tsp of sugar. Let beef marinate at room temperature while preparing remaining ingredients.

Heat frying pan over high heat until a drop of water evaporates within 1 to 2 seconds of contact, then add 1/2 cup peanut oil and heat until just smoking. Carefully slid the noodles all at once, flattening top to form a 9-inch cake. Cook until underside is golden, 4 to 5 minutes, rotating noodle cake with a metal spatula to brown evenly and lifting edges occasionally to check color. Carefully flip noodle cake over with spatula and tongs, then cook, rotating cake, until other side is golden, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer noodle cake to a large paper-towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. Discard any oil remaining in wok and wipe out wok with paper towels. Transfer drained noodle cake to a platter and loosely cover with foil to keep warm.

Heat frying pan over high heat again, 1 tablespoon peanut oil to the pan making sure to coat. Add beef, spreading pieces in 1 layer on bottom and sides as quickly as possible. Cook, undisturbed, letting beef begin to brown, 1 minute, rotate sides of the meat and cook until it is browned but still pink in center, about 1 minute. Transfer meat and any juices to a plate.

Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to wok over high heat. When oil just begins to smoke, add ginger and garlic and stir-fry 5 seconds, then add scallions and stir-fry 30 seconds. Add carrots and stir-fry until softened, about 3 minutes. Add bok choy and stir-fry until leaves are bright green and just wilted, 2 to 3 minutes, toss in beef.

Add Chinese Brown Sauce; stir to coat. Return mixture just to a boil, then pour over noodle cake.

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2 Responses to Cantonese Style Chow Mein

  1. Julie Franks says:

    what kind of beef should i buy?

  2. Laura Hunter says:

    For this particular time I was able to buy sirloin on sale. A tenderloin would be good, or for a cheaper option you can use flank steak but be careful about not over cooking it as it can get very chewy.

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