How many of you have grown up eating Chow Mein from little hawker stalls? I most certainly have. A lot! Growing up in Delhi, we were introduced to a new kind of ‘street food’- Chindian Chowmein. I say Chindian (Chinese+Indian) because this is most definitely not chowmein in its original form. It is heavily inspired by India, the flavours we like and what is available here.
What we got was this greasy, veggie loaded, spiced plate of noodles that was deeleeeshus! Unhealthy AF. But delicious! We used to eat this from the school canteen, after tuition classes, while shopping in the market…you name it. Obviously it wasn’t massively encouraged by the parents (you know health and all that) plus some places weren’t hygienic and people have been known to fall sick. So we started making it at home! YAY! It will never be the same since we use less oil and skip the MSG/Ajinomoto, but it still tastes pretty darn good. And is super nostalgic!
It is a great way to get people to eat veggies and packs in a ton of flavour with the sauces. All in all, a very comforting meal 🙂
To this day, if I get the option to eat desi chow mein from a hawker (in a clean place), I never say no. Now, I also make it at home every now and then. It’s a great change of menu from standard indian food 🙂
It also gets the husband to show off this super knife skills.
This dish evokes such happy memories, is so colourful and is such a hearty meal. I really encourage you to try this. Yums in the tums!
Vegetable Chow Mein
200g egg or hakka noodles (I use the packaged version)
1/4 purple cabbage
2 large capsicums
3 small carrots
2 spring onions
1.5 tsp ginger powder
1.5 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp white pepper powder
2 tsp white vinegar
3 tsp light soy sauce
3 tsp chilli sauce (green/red)
1 tbsp sesame seed oil
salt to taste
- Cook the noodles in boiling water with a little salt, for a minute or so less than the instructions on the packet. Drain, add 1/2 tsp of sesame oil and toss through the noodles so that they don’t stick to one another.
- Cut the vegetables into long thin strips. The more uniform they are, the more uniformly they will cook. Cut the spring onion greens into small rounds and the dice the whites finely.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok. Add ginger, garlic and cook on low heat, for 30s, till they brown slightly.
- Add the onions (white part) and cook for a few minutes till they soften and become translucent.
- Add the vegetables, white pepper and cook 5-6 minutes till they are slightly soft (not mushy).
- Add the soy sauce, vinegar, chilli sauce – start with 1 tsp and go up to the quantity in the recipe, tasting and adjusting as per your preference. Add salt as per taste. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Now add the cooked noodles and toss the vegetables and sauce through. Make sure it is well combined. Adjust salt if required. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the spring onion greens and mix well. Cook for another minute and the chow mein is ready to eat 🙂