Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chicken Lo Mein

Chinese food - the best food ever. Going to be honest, y'all. Chinese food is better than French, Italian, Indian, and anything else. Going to an authentic Chinese restaurant and being bombarded with such a variety of delicious tastes is insane. I also love Chinese food because they always give huge portions and I love to eat more than anything else. While Lo Mein isn't really an authentic dish by very many means, it's still a delicious one. All the ingredients I use are from various Chinese markets and imported, so as long as it's made with all authentic ingredients it's authentic to me!

The biggest secret of Chinese cooking that everyone will tell you is that you need a high BTU burner, or a significantly hot source of heat. And while you may hope I say, "this isn't true!", it kind of is. You can make perfectly good Chinese food at home, but it won't be anything like the food you get at any restaurant. This "secret" is called wok hay, it's the flavor that the intense heat of a seasoned wok gives the food. In my kitchen, I use a stainless steel, deep pan with a thick bottom. While I do have a wok, it doesn't hold heat nearly as well as my pan. When you add ingredients to a pan, it brings down the temperature of everything in the pan ruining any kind of "wok hay" you could wish to achieve. It also turns the food in the pan from frying to braising, because it's basically just boiling in a sauce. I will now impart onto thee a recipe for, if you make it exactly like I did, lo mein that is better than a Chinese take-out. (and this quote came from an actual Chinese person! (just kidding she's half but that doesnt make it half true, it's still completely true...))

Sauce: Warning..I eyeball all of my measurements when I cook Chinese food. I believe Chinese food isn't about exact measurements, like French cooking would be more of, but about knowing what sauces give off what taste and knowing how much of a sauce will affect the overall flavor. This only comes with time, but it's not hard or anything.
  • Half cup of soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup of chicken broth (bouillon cube works fine)
  • tablespoon of dark soy sauce (this is really dark, I added a bit more when cooking to give it a darker look)
  • Drop of sesame oil
  • Dollop of Chili garlic sauce. Rooster brand aka sriracha 
  • 1 tsp of white pepper
  • about a tsp of corn starch, keep adding if thicker sauce is wanted
  • Tablespoon of xiao xing cooking wine
  • Tablespoon of Oyster sauce
Also you will need
  • Two chicken breasts, sliced thinly
  • Half lb of lo mein noodles
  • Half an onion cut up
  • Two small or one large green onion
  • Three cloves of garlic
Chicken Marinade
  • Tsp of cornstarch dissolved in water
  • tablespoon of dark, tablespoon of light soy sauce
First of all, I do cook this in two different batches so I can have more heat. That means just have everything together and add only half each time.

This isn't a hard dish to make, but it cooks really fast and you have to be on your toes.
  1. Marinade the chicken up to 30 minutes, 15 minutes is fine really.
  2. Boil the noodles and strain, toss with oil to keep them not sticking together.
  3. Fry all the chicken in a good amount of oil on very high heat (all heat is very high in this recipe)
  4. When almost done cooking, set aside in a bowl.
  5. Fry the half of the garlic in a good amount of oil, before it burns add in half of the onion.
  6. Fry this stuff around for a while and then add half of the noodles.
  7. Keep stir frying everything so nothing sticks, add half of the chicken and then half the sauce.
  8. Keep cooking and let the sauce reduce and then plate when it tastes right.
Repeat the process for the next batch and there you go!

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