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Crispy Chow Mein Noodles

Today, we are making Liang Mian Huang (两面黄). Huang (黄) means golden brown. Liang Mian (两面) means double-sided. The name describes the look of this dish because the noodles are pan-fried on both sides until golden brown. It is like a CRUNCHY version of Chow Mein and topped with a saucy vegetable and protein stir fry. Super delicious and let’s get started.

1.  Choose your noodles

Egg noodle is what we normally use for this recipe.  Let me show you some options that you find on the markets.

HK-style pan-fried noodles (港式熟炒面): they also have the Chinese name (两面黄) on the package. It is funny, in China, this dish is popular in Jiangsu, Shanghai, and Hongkong, but I don’t know why they only credit HK. However, these are halfway cooked already, so you don’t need to pre-boil them; just season them by taste and then panfry them.

Fresh egg noodles (全蛋云吞面): also known as wonton noodles, which you can find it in the fridge or frozen section at your local Asian grocery stores. You can also click here and learn how to make it at home

Pre-packed dried egg noodles (鸡蛋面): This should be easier to find. I have seen them in regular non-Asian supermarkets. Just pay attention to the noodle aisle, you will find them.

2.  Pre-cook the noodles

For both fresh and dried egg noodles, you will have to pre-boil them until they are halfway cooked. Today, I will be using the fresh noodle as an example.

Bring 3 liters of water to a boil and add the fresh egg noodles in. Stir for 20-40 seconds depends on the thickness. If you are using the dried form, it will take much longer.

We don’t want to cook it all the way through so the water doesn’t need to come back to a boil. Otherwise, your noodles won’t come out crispy. Take them out and drain them completely. Rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking process. Make sure to shake off the excess water.

Then season it with 1/2 tsp of sugar, 1/2 tbsp of soy sauce, 1/2 tbsp of oyster sauce, 1 drizzle of olive oil. Mix it well.

This recipe is enough for 2-3 people, so you can divide the noodles into however many portions you decide to serve. I am going to split it in half. Set them aside.

3. Prepare the seafood and vegetables

I’ve got here 140 grams of peeled and deveined shrimp, 140 grams of sea scallop. Use paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. This is important especially if your seafood is previously frozen.

Season the seafood with 1/3 tsp of salt, 1/3 tsp of paprika, 2 tsp of Chinese cooking wine, one drizzle of olive oil, and some black pepper to taste. Mix it well and set it aside for 10 minutes.

During this time, we can prepare our vegetables. This is a great opportunity for you to clean out your fridge because you can use whatever vegetables you have. I chose carrot, celery, mushrooms, and snow peas. The only thing you want to be aware of is to cut the vegetables into almost the same size so they can be cooked evenly.

Besides that, slice three cloves of garlic and 1/2 inch of ginger thinly. Set them aside, and we are ready to cook.

4. Pan-fried the noodles

I am using my carbon steel wok to cook the noodles. I am sure a lot of you have had terrible experiences with noodles sticking to the wok. The trick to prevent that is to heat the wok until it is smoking hot. I do have a wok 101 video that explains the sciences, so if you want to know why it works you can click here to check out that video. When the wok is properly heated, add about 3 tbsp of oil and toss it around to create a non-stick layer.

Switch the heat to medium and add the noodles. Don’t stir them immediately. Let one side to fry for a minute or 2. At the same time, use chopsticks to fluff the noodles a little bit because we don’t want them to be compacted into a hard, chewy pancake. We want it to be light and airy.

Shake your wok, and the noodles should naturally release from the wok surface. Flip the noodles over and cook the other side. At this moment, the noodles are not golden yet. That is ok, you just flip the noodles every 2-3 minutes. It will take about 10-12 minutes in total to get them golden and crispy.

Note: the center of the noodles is not as crispy as the side. That is because my stove only has 1 circle of flame. The heat is uneven. It is totally fine for this recipe because we will pour the soupy stir fry right over the center to cover that spot.

5. Stir fry the seafood and vegetables

Next, we will cook our seafood. Turn the heat back on high. Add a little more oil – about 1/2 tbsp. Go in with the seafood. As I mentioned my stove heat is uneven, so I placed them in a ring to avoid that low heat center. Flip them over. If your wok is hot enough, each side only needs 20 seconds. It is best to undercook them because we will cook them again later on. If they are fully cooked now, they will be overcooked when you mix them with vegetables. Set the seafood aside.

Add another tsp of oil and we will cook the vegetables. Turn the heat on low. Toss in the garlic and ginger slices. Stir for a minute or until they are fragrant. Throw in all the vegetables. Cook them for a couple of minutes or until they are a bit soft. Season with 1 tbsp of soy sauce and 1 tbsp of oyster sauce. Mix until the flavor is well combined. Pour in 2 cups of water. Bring this to a boil.

Turn the heat to low. Introduce the seafood back to the wok. Add in some cornstarch water in batches (2.5 tbsp of water + 2.5 tbsp of cornstarch). Stir it at the same time. Once the soup is thickened up. Give it a taste to adjust the flavor.

Serve this soupy stir fry on top of the crispy noodles. The idea of this recipe is that some of the noodles will absorb the sauce and become tender and savory while the other part of the noodles stays crispy. That way, you get different textures and depths of flavors.



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