Pork Chow Mein

There must be literally millions of recipes for Chow Mein, one of the most frequently prepared meals in the world. The name means simply “fried noodles” so it is no wonder that there are so many variations, but there is little otherwise in common with all these recipes. All call for noodles, steamed, boiled or fried, most call for meat [largely minced beef, diced chicken, sliced pork, and/or shrimps] and a very high proportion call for bean sprouts and Bok Choi or Chinese cabbage. All have some sort of sort sauce that is cooked with the solid ingredients and usually includes soy sauce, oyster sauce and brown sugar, with cornflour to thicken. Both raw and cooked meat is used. What I offer below, therefore, can only ever be representative of an astronomically high number of possibilities. Do not be put off by the list of ingredients: once you have read things through, you will realise just how simple this actually is.

Ingredients 1: Sauce mix.
2 tblsp brown sugar.
2 tblsp cornflour.
2 tsp chicken stock powder.
1 tsp ground ginger.
1 tsp ground fenugreek.
Dash Cayenne pepper.
½ tsp salt.
1 tblsp tomato paste.
2 tblsp dark soy sauce.
2 tblsp oyster sauce.
1 tblsp sesame oil.

Ingredients 2: Chow Mein.
250g thinly sliced lean pork [fillet or sirloin].
3 cups assorted mixed vegetables e.g. cabbage, broccoli, celery, etc.
Noodles, fresh or dried.
½ cup cooking oil.
½ cup unsalted cashews.

Mix all the sauce ingredients together thoroughly in a bowl, top up with water to the volume of 2 cups [500ml] and set aside. Prepare the vegetables and place in a second bowl. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok or sauté pan over a hot flame. Add the meat and brown all over. Add the sauce mixture, bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook the noodles as per the directions on the packet. Add the vegetables to the meat mixture, bring the heat up to the boil once more and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Drain the noodles and apportion evenly between two warm, deep plates or bowls. Top with the meat mixture, sprinkle with the cashews, and serve immediately.

Serves: 2.

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