Friday 1 February 2013

Seafood Chow Mein Recipe

Just to round up the collection of classic Chinese recipes I've been adding to this blog of late, here is a recipe for a traditional chow mein. Mixed seafood and mangetout (snow peas) in a soy sauce dressing served on a bed of thin rice noodles. This has to be one of the most familiar of all Chinese dishes. And it's a real snap to prepare it from scratch at home.

I first encountered this recipe (with chillies, which I have omitted in this version) in a Malay Chinese friend's uncle's restaurant in the 1980s. Subsequent to that I have seen various versions prepared around the world. Here is my take on the dish, paring it back to its essence.

Seafood Chow Mein Recipe

Serves: 4


90g (3 oz) squid meat
4 fresh scallops
90g raw prawns (shrimps), peeled
1/2 egg white, lightly beaten
2 tsp cornflour (cornstarch) mixed to a smooth slurry with 2 1/2 tsp water
275g (10 oz) dried thin Chinese egg noodles
6 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp light soy sauce
60g (2 oz) mangetout (snow peas)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
2 spring onions, finely shredded
a few drops of sesame oil


Open up the squid then, using a sharp knife, score the inside in a hatched (criss-cross) pattern. Now cut the meat into pieces about 3cm (1 in) square.

Pour boiling water into a bowl, add the squid pieces and soak for about 5 minutes, or until the pieces curl up. Drain the squid, rinse under a cold tap then drain.

Cut each scallop in half across the middle, then divide each half in half again (so that you have 4 half-moons of scallop). If the prawns are large, halve them lengthways. Mix the scallops and the prawns in a bowl with the egg white and the cornflour (cornstarch) slurry.

Brin a pan of water to a boil and use this to cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. When cooked, drain thoroughly then rinse under plenty of cold, running, water. Drain well again then toss with 1 tbsp vegetable oil to keep the strands separate.

Heat 3 tbsp of the vegetable oil in a pre-heated wok. Add the noodles along with 1 tbsp of the soy sauce and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Turn onto a large serving dish and set aside to keep warm.

Add the remaining oil to the wok. When hot, add the mangetout (snow peas) and all the. Stir-fry the mixture for 2 minutes then add the salt, sugar, rice wine (or sherry), the remaining soy sauce and half the spring onions. Toss to combine, adding a little water if necessary (you need a little sauce).

Pour the mixture over the top of the noodles and garnish with a few drops of sesame oil and the remaining spring onions.

Serve immediately.

Below are some other classic Chinese recipes on this blog that you can use in conjunction with this recipe to produce a complete Chinese meal or banquet:

Soups and Starters

Main Dishes

Fish and Seafood Dishes:
Szechuan Fried Aubergine (Vegetarian)

Noodle Dishes:
Seafood Chow Mein (Seafood)



1 comment:

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