Friday, June 15, 2012

Chock Full of Veggies Chow Mein (Hakka Noodles!)

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Chock Full of Veggies Chow Mein - aka Ashley's take on Calcutta Hakka Noodles!

My husband grew up eating a lot of stir fried chow mein noodles (called Hakka noodles) in Calcutta. As I mentioned in my Chili Chicken post, there is a large Chinese immigrant population in Calcutta, and as a result a local cuisine developed that fused Indian and Chinese cooking. Indo-Chinese food has become a regional delicacy in Calcutta!

This noodle recipe is inspired by Hakka noodles, but it is much healthier, full of vegetables, and made with ingredients easily accessible in the U.S.  It is easy to make this recipe vegetarian as well - just substitute fake (veggie protein) ground "meat" for the ground turkey!

Ingredients: (This recipe serves 4 to 5)
  • 2 cups chopped red cabbage
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced (about one cup diced)
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onions (also known as spring onions or scallions)
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • Optional - half a cup shredded carrots
  • 2 green chilies (Serrano peppers are best - Thai chilies are too hot!)
  • 2 Tbs white vinegar
  • 1.25 lbs ground turkey or chicken (or vegetarian meat substitute)
  • 2 Tbs Sambal Oelek
  • 3 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs oil
  • 2 Tbs pasted (from a jar) garlic or 1 heaping Tb fresh chopped garlic
  • 1.5 Tbs pasted ginger (if from a jar) or 2.5 tsp fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2/3 to 1 package (12 oz) Chinese egg noodles (depending on if you like more meat or noodles)
  • 2 eggs, beaten with salt and pepper

1. Slice the green chilies, place them in a bowl (if you can't eat very spicy food de-seed the chilies too) and pour the vinegar over them. Let them soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. 
2. In another bowl, mix the ground meat with the 2 Tbs Sambal Oelek and 3 Tbs soy sauce. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Green chilies soaking & meat marinating

Here's what Sambal Oelek looks like

3. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large wok or deep skillet. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute.
4. Toss in the bell pepper, cabbage and red onion. Stir well so that the veggies are coated in the garlic/ginger. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

Colorful veggies cooking!

5. Add the meat and black pepper. Break the meat up with a spoon. Add the green chilies, vinegar and 2 Tbs of soy sauce. Cook the meat till it is brown and all the water has evaporated.
6. Boil the noodles according to the package instructions. When they are done, drain and drizzle with oil (to keep them from sticking together). Make sure they are well drained well - we don't want wet noodles!

This is typically the kind of egg noodles I use

7. Toss the chopped green onions in the veggie meat mixture. Now pour in the beaten eggs. Stir so the egg is well distributed and cooks evenly.
8. Finally add the noodles. Stir well so that the noodles are well combined with the meat, vegetables and egg.
9. It's ready to serve! You may want to top it with some more soy sauce and Sambal Oelek :) 


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