Monday, May 16, 2011

Spicy Chow Mein

After reading Johanna's post about Chow Mein recently, I felt seriously deprived. It was something that I had never eaten in my life before and sounded so simple yet delicious. I needed to try it - sooner rather than later!

It seemed like a pretty easy meal to throw together, and any meal that only uses one pot is always a bonus as it means less dishes to do. As well as changing things around to suit the vegetables that were available, I also substituted rice vermicelli for the spaghetti, TVP for the nut roast and used Massel "chicken" stock in an attempt to recreate some of the flavour of a chicken noodle soup packet. A couple of chillies were thrown in for some heat, however some curry powder would have been added as well if I had taken note of it in the old recipe half-way through Johanna's post.

Dinner was very popular as everyone enjoyed the chow mein immensely. The chillies added a decent amount of heat although they were not overpowering and the "chicken" stock brought a nice salty taste to the meal. TVP is something I don't use often and haven't been overly impressed with in the past. Having said that, I quite enjoyed it in the chow mein. Perhaps it wasn't as dominant as it has been in other dishes where I have used it in the past.

Although most meals don't get repeated around here these days (as I am nearly always trying something new), chow mein should get another look in when time is short and vegies are plentiful... 

Spicy Chow Mein (Adapted from Johanna's recipe)

100g rice vermicelli
1 cup TVP granules
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bird-eye chillies, finely sliced

2 portobello mushrooms, diced
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cups of Massel "chicken" stock
1/2 cup basmati rice

8 brussel sprouts, shredded
2 small carrots, julienned
1 red capsicum, cut into thin strips

150g green beans, chopped into bite sized pieces

Place the rice vermicelli noodles in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. After 15 minutes drain well, return the noodles to the bowl and chop roughly with a knife (I find this method easier than cutting dry noodles which fly around everywhere and make a huge mess).

Place the TVP in a heat-proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Drain excess water after 10 minutes.

Heat olive oil in an large pot. Fry the onion for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and chilli and saute for about a minute then add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms begin to soften.

Add soy sauce, stock and rice to the pot.  Bring to the boil and simmer, covered for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, stir through the brussel sprouts, carrots, capsicum and beans and simmer for another 5-10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.

Stir through the rice vermicelli and re-hydrated TVP, allow to heat through and then serve.


  1. Yumm I love noodle dishes and this is a much healthier version of what you can get in restaurants, which is great!

  2. Glad you enjoyed it - I think that I must repeat the chow mien I made because it has been so long since I last had it and it was really so good - love the brussel sprouts in the dish and it is nice to take up some of the old traditional aussie dishes and give them new life

  3. Thanks Ashley, noodles are a wonderful delicious thing. I can't seem to get enough of them at the moment!

    Thanks for inspiring me to make this Johanna! Brussel sprouts are finding their way into so many meals that I cook and they worked well in the chow mein too...