Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chinese Chow Mein

image courtesy of fotosearch

Years ago, my husband had a Roofing business in the city of Oakland and they did work in all the neighboring cities. If he had a job in downtown Oakland, I would often meet him for lunch.

He had three favorite Chinese restaurants; one was called the Economy Cafe. The food was excellent, and reasonable, but the place was very small. So small in fact that there was a need to SHARE tables with other customers. Regular patrons were okay with this, and they expected to have company join with them at their table.

Another restaurant was owned by a family, and you could watch their children in the back room playing, while their parents worked the front. I remember seeing a play pen with a small baby on one occasion.

The third restaurant was very different. There was no menu, because the waiter would come by with a cart loaded with delicious looking foods, and you could select the dish you wanted. Each entree was added to your bill and everything was so inviting it was difficult to choose.

Our family liked occasional Chinese food so, I decided to create my own recipe for Chow Mein. On our budget I often used a can of Spam sliced into small pieces to make Pork Chow Mien. Naturally you can use beef or chicken either of which makes a lovely dish. This recipe is simple and easy to make.

Chinese Chow Mein

1 small bunch Bok Choy chopped
1 small chopped onion
3 Ribs fresh celery (sliced)
1 tablespoon olive oil or 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 (4 ounce) can mushroom pieces, drained
1 (7 ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
2 cups cut up cooked chicken
3 Tablespoons cornstarch (level)
1/4 cup water
1 (10 ounce) can condensed chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 pound cooked vermicelli noodles
(I used the Chinese thin noodles and boiled until tender)

In a large pot, sauté celery, onion and Bok Choy in oil for about 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add bean sprouts, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and chicken.

In a large bowl, blend cornstarch with water. When smooth, add chicken broth and soy sauce to bowl. Mix well and pour over meat and vegetables. Bring to a boil, stirring until sauce thickens. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 5 to 10 minutes. Serve over hot, boiled Chinese noodles, cooked rice, or Crisp chow mien noodles.

This post is linked with Ann Kroeker’s, Food on Fridays 
(Recipies and stories about food)

And with Michelle’s Thought Provoking Thursday
(to Sacrifice drink money for those needing clean water)


  1. Ooo sounds delicious! My husband and I spent our first date over Chinese :)

  2. Your Chow Mein sounds wonderful! My family and I love Chinese food, and Chow Mein is one of my favourite dishes.

  3. Yum! I love Chinese food, but always feel not so good after getting take out - perhaps I indulge a little too much...I will definitely be trying this though! I love to find recipes for my favorite take out meals!!

  4. This sounds wonderful! I can nearly taste it.

  5. Very nice post. If you like Chinese food, you might like my take on Sichuan chicken.


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