Minnesota Cooking: Chow Mein or Chop Suey - It's Still Stir Fry
Julienne Your Peppers and Onions
When I was a kid back in the sixties, we used to go to grandma's house and since we usually stopped on the way to pick up lunch, she never knew what to cook for us and would always have something made that she could just reheat.
Chow mein was her choice of food when we were coming. It was the one dish of vegetables with some sort of beef roast and we ate it over chinese noodles with a splash of soy sauce. She had other things to feed us too, like homemade apple sauce, custard puddings with caramel sauce, toast with homemade jams.
I had some frozen chicken breasts left over from a previous recipe, I believe the stuffed peppers. So, I got them out for my stir fry. Yes. My hubby calls it stir fry. It's really the new version of what I used to eat as a kid.
I never watched grandma make it, so I had to look it up on my smart phone as I prepared it.
Slice the Chicken into Thinly Sliced Pieces
My hubby sliced the two breasts for me. Each one he cut across the grain and made flat slices, all 1/4 inch thick.
Julienne He Says
Apparently when you do stir fry, you must make some adjustments to previous vegetable chopping requirements.
The celery must be sliced the long way until it is paper thin, then cut into 1 inch chunks. It reminds me of the bamboo shoots that you see in the canned chow mein mixes. The peppers need to be julienned or cut into long, thin strips.
Same with the onion. Slice the rings and then leave them whole.
A Rice Dish in Another Pot
My rice dish needed 25 minutes to cook, so I started it first. I used two more pans, one for my vegetables and one for my chicken.
I needed to plan the timing so that everything got mixed together at the same time. The chicken needed to be cooked 4 minutes on both sides, or a total of 8 minutes.
The vegetables needed to be cooked for 8 minutes. Somewhat high heat, so the outside cooks, but the inside doesn't get a chance to. They call it el dente or almost uncooked.
- Start cooking your rice dish. 25 minutes. In final 10 minutes, start cooking your chicken. Slice chicken breasts across grain into thin strips. Fry over medium heat until no longer pink.
- In another pan, In final 10 minutes, start cooking your vegetables, hot oil, add sliced vegetables and fry and flip.
- Prepare your sauce and add to chicken. Stir. Add your chicken to the vegetables and stir. Eat over chinese noodles and rice.
- 2 chicken breast or thigh meat, sliced thin
- 2 stalks celery, sliced thin, 1 inch slivers
- 1 bell pepper, sliced thin, 3 inch slivers
- 4 slices onion, left in rings
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup soy sauce, teryaki sauce, stir fry sauce, mix
- 1 tablespoon poultry gravy powder
- 1 box rice, Zatarans Black Beans and Rice
- 1 bag chinese noodles
Rice Takes 25 Minutes
Second Pan is Chicken With Mushrooms
The third pan holds your vegetables.
Vegetables in Third Pan
Add Stir Fry Sauces to Chicken
Take some soy sauce, some stir fry sauce and some teryaki sauce and mix it together in a measuring cup. A third of each. I had a total of about 1/3 cup when I finished pouring each into the cup.
Pour chicken mixture into vegetable pan. Let mix and then, serve over rice. You may have to add more soy sauce, to taste.
The final step is preparing your plate.
You now have choices:
- eat plain
- eat over rice
- eat over noodles
- eat over rice and noodles
- add additional soy sauce