Chow mein are yellow noodles made of wheat flour and eggs are most commonly used in Chinese dishes like Cantonese Chow Mein.
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How Do You Use It?
Chow mein literally translates to 'Fried Noodles' in Chinese.
These are generally used in stir-fried chow mein dishes and served slightly crispy, but can also be used to make saucy lo meins or Thai coconut curry soup noodle dishes like khao soi.
One of the more popular ways to prepare these noodles is to pan-fry it (or lightly deep fry it) and then top it with saucy meat or veggie gravy like our Cantonese Beef Chow Mein recipe. This gives the noodles a crispy texture and a soft mouthfeel from the sauce.
Another way to use them is to pan-fry them directly with a lot of sauce (and skip the pan-fried/deep-fried) step - this produces a wetter and softer noodle dish.
Out of the package, the noodles are a bit dry they need to be reconstituted and soften up before stir-frying.
To soften the chow mein noodles, you can either run very hot tap water over them for a minute or dunk them in boiling water for a few seconds before using them.
If you plan to dunk it in boiling water, I highly recommend not leaving it in the water for more than 30 seconds to prevent them from getting overly soggy. Soggy noodles are harder to pan fry, and will easily break into smaller strands of noodles (the goal with fried noodles is always to keep your noodles long and al dente and not shredded and soggy.)
Where Can I Buy Chow Mein Noodles?
You can find these noodles in Asian grocery stores in the refrigerated section. They usually come packaged in a plastic bag. These should be bought fresh and not online.
When you are buying these, make sure to pay attention to the expiry date as they are susceptible to mold. But regardless, of the expiry date, always check the noodles anyways for specks of fluffy white mold bits because they can easily form from poor storage conditions as well.
How to Store It
When you bring them home, store these noodles in your fridge. If you are like us, and only use half a pack at a time, you can use a rubber band and re-seal the package and keep it in the fridge but don't forget about the expiry date and check for white fluffy mold specks before using the rest of it.
Recipes That Use Chinese Chow Mein Noodles
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