Ginger and Scallion Chow Mein

Being Cantonese, one of my favorite ingredients in ginger. Cantonese people love ginger like Italians love their garlic. This noodle dish was one of the first ones I learned when I became serious about cooking. It features ginger, scallion, and soysauce to flavor Hong Kong egg noodles. For this version of the dish, I added in mushrooms and carrots. These two ingredients are optional but I feel they add a lot to the dish. Plus Sarah LOVES mushrooms so I added extra for her =)

What you need:

  • ginger – 2 inch knob
  • scallions – 1 bunch or about 10 stalks
  • carrots – 1 full sized carrot
  • mushrooms – 1 bowl of dried mushrooms
  • Hong Kong Style noodles – 1 packet of noodles from the refrigerated section of your local Asian market
  • sugar – 2 tablespoons
  • salt – to taste
  • pepper- to taste
  • dark soy sauce (lo chou) – 1/4 cup
  • light soy sauce (saan chou) – 1/4 cup
  • Oil – alot

Notes about the ingredients: Dark soy sauce is fermented with molasses so it is a bit sweeter than your typically Kikkoman soysauce. It is also known as Black soy sauce. Light soy sauce on the other hand is saltier than your regular soy sauce. If you are unable to obtain either of these, you can substitute regular soy sauce but you may have to add a bit more sugar later on.

The night before, take your mushrooms and soak them in water. They should look like this when you buy them.

And then like this the next day.

About an hour before cooking, take your noodles and pour them into a bowl and add water. This will help to remove starch from the noodles as well as help them to expand. Cantonese fried noodles have already been cooked and we are recooking them to get the texture we are looking for.

We will begin with the ginger. I’ve found that using a spoon works a lot better than trying to peel with a peeler. After peeling, cut the ginger into matchsticks and set aside.

Take your scallions and chop off the very bottom  to remove the roots. You can also chop off the top if it doesn’t look that good – by this I mean I mean it is no longer crunchy. If your scallions have been sitting in the fridge for a while, remove any pieces that are wilted and wet. Next separate the hollow portion from the bottom. Cut the hollow portion into 2 inch pieces. Take the bottom (white ) portion of the scallions and cut them into matchsticks. You don’t want to be eating giant chunks of scallion. Take the scallions and put them into a bowl.

Peel your carrot, and chop it into 2″ slivers. You want it to be about the same size as the ginger and carrots.

Take your mushrooms and drain out all the water from the bowl. Then squeeze out as much water from each mushroom as you can with a paper towel. Chop off the bottom stem – it will not be edible. Cut up the mushrooms into 1/8 inch slivers and put them aside in a bowl.

To begin the cooking process, we heat up your work. Once the wok is hot, add some oil. When the oil is about to begin smoking, sautee the carrots for a few minutes with some salt and pepper. We are not cooking the carrots completely at this stage because we will be adding them back to the heat later. Put the carrots aside.

Next we will sautee the mushroms. Same process as for the carrots. Hot wok, cold oil and then start to stir fry right before oil is about to start smoking. Make sure that you do not cook them all the way through and remember to add some salt and pepper. When they are ready, put them in the same bowl as the cooked carrots.

At this point, drain the water from the noodle bowl.

After the mushrooms, the next step is to cook the scallions and ginger. Add oil to the wok, heat it up and toss in the ginger and scallions. Stir fry the ginger and scallions and then take them out of the wok and place on top of carrots and mushrooms. Keep as much of the oil in the wok as you can – it will be used to flavor the noodles.

Heat up the wok with the flavored oil and add in the noodles. Mix the oil through the noodles and place the lid on the wok. While the noodles are cooking, mix together the dark soy sauce, light soy sauce and sugar in a bowl. Wait a few minutes and pour the mixture into the wok. Mix it through so all the noodles are coated.

Once coated, pour in the cooked scallions, ginger, carrots and mushrooms. Toss it all together and cook for another 5 minutes or so. You can leave the lid off at this point so that the noodles start to dry out.

When the noodles are done to your liking, turn off the heat, plate the noodles and enjoy!

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