Thursday, November 4, 2010

Giada's Vegetable Chow Mein

This week for I Heart Cooking Clubs participants were to pick a Giada recipe "Out of Italy" -- meaning something not Italian. I tried Giada's Vegetable Chow Mein, which I have had bookmarked for a while. I keep wanting to call this recipe Lo Mein instead of Chow Mein because I always think Chow Mein is served with crispy noodles, but I guess that's just the westernized way of thinking with this dish. I found this article regarding the difference between Chow Mein and Lo Mein but am still not quite sure I really get the difference, oh-well. Vegetable Lo Mein is one of my favorite dishes when we order out for Chinese and this dish is quite like most restaurant Lo Mein dishes.

Vegetable Chow Mein
Giada De Laurentiis

8 ounces Chinese long beans or green beans, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces to yield about 2 cups -- I used green beans
2 large carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into matchstick-size pieces
8 ounces fresh or dried chow mein noodles
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced -- I used roasted garlic cloves
6 large shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced -- I doulbed this to 12 shiitakes
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth -- I used vegetable broth
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper -- did not use
2 green onions, thinly sliced -- did not use

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the beans and carrots and cook for 1 minute. Drain and put in a bowl of iced water until cool, about 1 minute. Drain and set aside.

Return the water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Pat dry and set aside.-- I would say watch this time closely, my noodles were almost over done at 5 minutes, 4 would have been perfect because they continue to cook a little later on in the sauce.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over high heat. -- I used my electric wok -- Add the noodles, ginger and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes until the noodles are lightly browned.

Add the mushrooms, beans, carrots, and water chestnuts

and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the broth, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and honey.

Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until slightly reduced and thick, about 2 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the chow mein to a large bowl and garnish with the green onions before serving. -- end of recipe --

This was an easy and yummy little lunch for me and my two preschoolers. Both taste testers, ages 3 and 4, ate their whole bowl of Chow Mein and enjoyed it very much, especially since I got out the chop sticks for them to practice eating with. My 4 year old son said this was the best Chow Mein ever, which is kind of funny because I've never served them something like this called Chow Mein before -- we've had lots of Asian noodle and sauce dishes but this was the first "Chow Mein" and I think it's cute that he remembered the name of the recipe.

*I noticed some of the reviewers on the foodnetwork site complained about this being too sweet. I think it has to do with what Hoisin sauce you use maybe? It is kind of sweet, I do like sweet sauces though, so my advice is if you don't, just don't use the honey and/or decrease the hoisin. Also I think this would be great with regular white button mushrooms if you don't have shiitakes on hand.

ETA: Just had to add that this is one of those dishes that as soon as the leftovers are gone you want to make it again ASAP -- you have been warned :)


Larie said...

I always thought of chow mein as soft noodles with less "gravy," (sauce) and lo mein as noodles that were a bit heavier, with more sauce...if that helps :) This recipe looks delicious, I'm bookmarking it!

Kayte said...

Oh, this looks really good, such pretty photos of it all. Great choice...I'm still thinking.

Joanna said...

Nice choice for this week's theme! Isn't it funny to make a dish like chow mein from a Giada recipe? I still haven't decided what to make - better get on it!

Heather S-G said...

Well, it definitely sounds good to me...but thanks for the tip, I'd probably cut back on the honey...not the hoisin, though...luv that stuff! YUM!

Deb in Hawaii said...

I have been wanting to make this one. Chow mein or lo mein--either way it looks fabulous. Great tips on the sweetness and the mushrooms too. ;-)

Yrene MWCAdventure said...

I don't know the difference between chow mein and lo Mien either, but i do know this dish looks YUM!

Kim said...

This looks like a recipe that my daughter would go crazy for (she loves green beans and noodles equally). Thanks so much for pointing this one out. It looks delicious!
I'll definitely be keeping this recipe in mind for next week's theme, Kid at Heart.

Couscous & Consciousness said...

I have no idea about the difference between chow mein and lo mein, but whatever you call it this looks good. Thanks for the tip about the sweetness though, think I would cut out the honey :-)

NKP said...

No matter what you call it - it looks delicious! This is the kind of dish that has me returning to the fridge to snack on. Yum!

Allison said...

This looks great. I'm a huge fan of Asian noodle dishes. As a matter of fact, I had homemade lo mein for dinner last night (and leftovers for lunch today). I'll have to remember this one for the future.

superman said...

Wow, one of my favorite..I always love any kinds of noodles...

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alex said...

Thank you so much for posting this recipe.We love them! Would you mind if I post them sometime in the coming weeks with a link back to you? Let me know. Thanks for a great recipe!
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Marshall Lynch said...

Oh, those look so good! one of my favorite..I always love any kinds of noodles...keep it up and we will be waiting for your next post.

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alex said...

I love noodles..all perfectly done!!!

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