Chow mein is typically made with fried noodles. Since I'm adhering to a McDougall-style, low-fat diet, fried noodles are not an option. Nevertheless, this soft-noodle Chow Mein was delicious, and it brought back memories of tasty take-out dinners from my favorite Chinese restaurant in New York City.
1/2 lb. Chow Mein noodles
1 lb. extra-firm tofu, drained, cut into very small cubes, and marinated
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 lb. mushrooms, chopped
1 6-oz can bamboo shoots
1 6-oz can water chestnuts
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 cup fresh sugar snap peas
2 celery stalks, sliced
3 large bok choy leaves, sliced into bite-size pieces
3 green onions, chopped
2 Tbs dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon evaporated cane crystals
1 Tbs rice vinegar
1 cup mung bean sprouts
water for stir-frying, as needed
4 Tbs vegetarian oyster sauce
4 tsp soy sauce
Ground pepper, to taste
2 tsp cornstarch
To prepare the marinade, Mix the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl with a tight-fitting lid, adding the cornstarch last. Marinate the cubed tofu for 20 to 25 minutes. Turning the container occasionally to coat all pieces.
Prepare noodles according to the package directions, drain, and set aside.
You may wish to rinse the bamboo shoots and water chestnuts under cool running water for several minutes to remove any tinny taste.
Heat the wok and add 1/4 cup water. When pan is hot, add the minced ginger and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, until aromatic. Add the mushrooms, water chestnuts, and bamboo shoots. Stir-fry briefly, and add the other vegetables except for the mung bean sprouts. Stir-fry briefly, and add the marinated tofu and noodles.
Mix together the soy sauce, sugar, and rice vinegar, and pour into wok. Stir to coat, and then add in the bean sprouts. Cook for another minute, and serve hot. Makes 4 servings.