I wonder If I even need to qualify my statement with any facts or figures that .. The world belongs to China and not to mention the multitude of Chinese cuisine.
Growing up in eastern part of India, we were so influenced by the Indo Chinese cuisines so much so that every nook and corner shops sold these noodles aka chow mien as we used to refer to them and what accompanies these starchy strings were the finger licking goodness of the delicious chili chicken.
I always thought that the hawkers dished up an Indian version of the authentic Chinese cuisine but as one might put it an improvisation on the original sometimes makes it so much more popular than the original itself. A sort of an Ipod to the humble MP3 music player and completely transforming an industry and the way we hear and consume music today.
I have such fabulous memories of these dishes. My mum would often prepare these dishes at home or at times especially on balmy summer evenings my dad would suggest a take away Chinese meal. We all would be thrilled for this gastronomic journey just to the corner shop. We would occasionally also be allowed a cold drink along with the steaming noodles and the fiery chicken and the combination along with the aroma and the heat from the woks are what some of my treasured dreams harbour.
The first time I tried my hands on making it was during our stay in Tokyo, where these noodles were ubiquitous. I was longing for that particular taste that tantalizing remembrances on my tastebuds.. That unique soya sauce.. I honestly had carried that sauce in my suitcase all the way from home going into a land that is famous for the best soya sauce in the world.
My tastes have changed over the period of time. I am now in love with best soy sauce from Kikkoman. Nothing comes close to it in my humble opinion.Chow Mein or as we used to have this back home is such a versatile dish. Veggies, tofu, chicken or seafood everything pairs absolutely well. The delicate balance of the proteins combined with the Umami flavours from the Soya sauce to the crunchiness of the thinly sliced vegetables makes for a dish that one remembers for a long long time.
So let’s dive in and see what makes my dinner special tonight..
- ¼ cup light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 300g firm tofu
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 400g shelf fresh noodles
- vegetables chopped and sliced ( mushrooms, bell pepper, carrot, spring onion and coriander)
- 2 cloves of garlic grated
- 1 inch ginger
- 1 red chilli diced
- zest of 1 lime.
- Combine sauces and zest in a jug. Drain tofu and cut them into cubes. Heat 1 tbsp oil, cook tofu for 2 to 3 minutes each side until golden and crispy. Pour half of the sauce mixture and let it simmer. Remove from the pan.
- Meanwhile prepare the noodles according to packet directions.
- Now add 1 tbsp of oil, add ginger and garlic, and the vegetables to it. Stir fry for few minutes until slightly done. Add remaining sauce and stir the drained noodles, tofu. Garnish with spring onion, coriander, chili and peanuts. Check the seasonings.