Chicken Chow Mein (my Mom's) was my childhood favorite. We each got to request our dinner and cake for our birthday and Chicken Chow Mein was always my menu.
Now....there's a funny family story about our cake choices as kids. My "cake" was always my Nannie's banana bread. My brother Kenneth's choice was always Angel Food Cake with NO frosting, dad's choice was pie, and at the moment it escapes me what my other siblings' (Suzanne and Carl) choices were. I'll have get them to comment to remind me.
Nothing funny, right? Here's the punchline. Our Mom was a cake decorator. After making cakes for every kid in town (and us getting all the mistakes and leftovers all the time), and even telling us she'd make us any kind/design we wanted no matter how involved, we were so burned out on cake we all denied our Mom the pleasure of making our birthday cakes. Were we brats, or what? Yes! (Laughing) What Mom on the planet has to put up with kids who cry "Please, Mom, please! Don't make us eat cake for our birthdays! Please!" Brats. We were cake-spoiled brats!
My Mom's Chow Mein, was great and I asked for it every year. It was also healthy. Except...when I started making it as an adult I realized that for a dish with lots of vegetables there was very little color: water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, baby corn, and bean sprouts, are all pretty boring looking. To dress up the aesthetic and the vitamin content, I've included many more colorful vegetables in my version.
Better-For-You Than Karen's Chicken Chow Mein
Recipe by Glenna Anderson Muse, inspired by Mom, Karen Haggard
In a dutch oven (recipe makes 12 cups so pick your pan accordingly), saute the following:
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 med onion, cut into crescents
- 1 med red pepper, cut into thin strips
- 1 med yellow pepper, cut into thin strips
- 8 oz Fresh Snow Peas or Sugar Snap Peas
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 cup carrots, diced or julienned
- When onion is starting to tender, add
- 1 lb chicken breast, boneless, skinless, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 2 cloves garlic, minced finely
- When chicken is opaque, add the following:
- 1 small can water chestnuts, sliced (drained)
- 1 can chinese corn (drained)
- 1 can bamboo shoots (drained)
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 8 oz fresh bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup light sodoum soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 1-3 tsp sriracha (rooster) sauce
- 1 tsp gingerr
- 2 Tbsp LB Jamison's Chicken Soup Base or boullion
- 32 oz Chicken Broth
- Juice of one fresh lime
Simmer for 20 minutes, enough for the flavors to combine but not enough for the vegetables to lose their crispiness.
Make slurry of:
2 Tbsp corn starch
a few tbsp water
Stir into chow mein
Hot cooked Brown Rice or Ramen noodles, cooked and drained
Crispy chow mein noodles
sliced green onions
Makes 12 cups.
Nutrition counts for 1 cup of chow mein only: Calories: 80 Protein: 10 Carbs: 5 Fat: 1 Fiber: 3; Weight Watchers Points: 1