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Cooking Chow Fun at Home

Cooking Chow Fun at Home
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  • Cooking Chow Fun at Home

    Post #1 - March 27th, 2010, 9:24 am
    Post #1 - March 27th, 2010, 9:24 am Post #1 - March 27th, 2010, 9:24 am
    I love fresh chow fun noodle dishes where the noodles have a nice crispy exterior and a little chewiness on the inside. I've been experimenting with them at home. Here are last night's results for beef chow fun:

    Prep:
    Skirt steak cut into slices against the grain marinated with 1 t sesame oil, 1 t soy, 1 t rice wine, 2 t cornstartch.
    Asparagus, scallions and red pepper, 2 smashed garlic cloves, 2 smashed slices ginger
    Chow fun noodles cut into strips and separated into individual strips and tossed with about 2 t soy sauce
    Sauce: Roughly 2 T oyster sauce, 1 T soy, 1 T kejap manis, 1 T rice wine, 1 T of one of the szechuan chili paste I've been experimenting now that Gary's post got me obsessed with Fuschia Dunlop cookbook, about 1/4 cup beef stock (usually I use water but I happened to have some stock leftover) and 2 t cornstarch.

    Image

    Searing the beef in batches:
    Image

    Cooking the chow fun:
    Image

    After cooking the beef and noodles individually and removing them from the pan, I heated a little more oil, added the ginger and garlic, then the asparagus and red peppers and after a few minutes the scallions. After briefly cooking the scallions, I added back the beef and chow fun plus sauce for a minute.

    Finished product:
    Image

    It tasted great but I still want to get my noodles a little crispier.
    For my next batch, I plan to leave some bigger clumps of noodles, cook the noodles in batches and maybe use a little more oil. Anyone have other suggestions?
  • Post #2 - March 27th, 2010, 9:35 am
    Post #2 - March 27th, 2010, 9:35 am Post #2 - March 27th, 2010, 9:35 am
    Oh my! This looks soooooooo good! Can you please tell me where we can get the fresh chow fun noodles? THANK YOU so much for this inspiration! --Joy
  • Post #3 - March 27th, 2010, 9:41 am
    Post #3 - March 27th, 2010, 9:41 am Post #3 - March 27th, 2010, 9:41 am
    You can find them at most Asian grocery stores. Golden Pacific on the 5300 block of Broadway is my go to store but I got these at Tai Nam on Broadway just south of Argyle.
  • Post #4 - March 27th, 2010, 10:27 am
    Post #4 - March 27th, 2010, 10:27 am Post #4 - March 27th, 2010, 10:27 am
    That looks better than any chow fun dish I've seen in a restaurant.

    Bravo!

    And mmm...asparagus! Does this mean that spring may finally be actually springing???
  • Post #5 - March 27th, 2010, 10:28 am
    Post #5 - March 27th, 2010, 10:28 am Post #5 - March 27th, 2010, 10:28 am
    really nice, one of my favorite dishes as well.
  • Post #6 - March 27th, 2010, 10:40 am
    Post #6 - March 27th, 2010, 10:40 am Post #6 - March 27th, 2010, 10:40 am
    Looks lovely! Chewy chow fun, nothing better.... you've made me all lusty for some, oh yum.

    What Sichuan chili sauce did you use? Have you found something you really like? I'm still searching through what I can get here in Montréal (which ain't much). The best in town is made at the resto and they won't sell it. :(

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #7 - March 27th, 2010, 11:15 am
    Post #7 - March 27th, 2010, 11:15 am Post #7 - March 27th, 2010, 11:15 am
    thaiobsessed:

    That looks so good!

    Fresh chow fun noodles are also one of my favorites. Unfortunately, the "fresh" rice noodles from the local Asian store are often very old. A few years ago I tried my hand at making them from scratch with rice flour. Worked OK until I read something from David Rosengarten about using dried sheets of green bean starch. After soaking, slicing, and stir-frying, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference.

    You've inspired me to make some beef chow fun this week. Thanks!
  • Post #8 - March 27th, 2010, 12:45 pm
    Post #8 - March 27th, 2010, 12:45 pm Post #8 - March 27th, 2010, 12:45 pm
    Geo wrote:What Sichuan chili sauce did you use? Have you found something you really like? I'm still searching through what I can get here in Montréal (which ain't much)


    Funny you should ask. The one I used for this recipe is Youjia brand which lists chiles, oil and "horsebeans" as ingredients. I do really like it but I'm still on the hunt for the one pictured on Fuscia Dunlop's website. I have purchased many jars of similar-looking stuff (I'm getting in a little trouble at home for filling up the top shelf of the refrigerator with the open jars). I have another Youjia paste I really like made with soybeans and sugar. I'll post a picture of the ones I've been using.
  • Post #9 - March 27th, 2010, 1:43 pm
    Post #9 - March 27th, 2010, 1:43 pm Post #9 - March 27th, 2010, 1:43 pm
    thaiobsessed wrote:...I have purchased many jars of similar-looking stuff (I'm getting in a little trouble at home for filling up the top shelf of the refrigerator with the open jars)...

    This probably belongs in the "You know you're an LTHer" thread, but I'm in the same boat with the Mrs: No more condiments until some go away.
    It got particularly bad when we'd planned to have a burger bar for Thing2's graduation party, which got changed at the last minute to deli sandwiches due to inclement weather. I'm well stocked in all kinds of interesting toppings now.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #10 - March 27th, 2010, 7:29 pm
    Post #10 - March 27th, 2010, 7:29 pm Post #10 - March 27th, 2010, 7:29 pm
    Looks delicious! Have never had as good chow fun as we used to have at Hong Min. :(
  • Post #11 - March 28th, 2010, 1:21 pm
    Post #11 - March 28th, 2010, 1:21 pm Post #11 - March 28th, 2010, 1:21 pm
    sujormik wrote:Looks delicious! Have never had as good chow fun as we used to have at Hong Min.


    I agree. A family friend used to have the chef at Hong Min make him crispy, spicy chow fun with egglant. It was amazing (we would order it by mentioning this friend's name). I have since tried to get something similar at other Chinese restaurants and I'm always told "Chow fun? with eggplant? That wouldn't be good". Now that I think of it, I may have to try that at home.

    Bill/SFNM wrote:Worked OK until I read something from David Rosengarten about using dried sheets of green bean starch. After soaking, slicing, and stir-frying, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference.


    I'm going to have to try it. While there are plenty of sources of good rice noodles, it's sort of a hassle to have to separate the noodles. It sounds like the green bean starch may eliminate that problem.
  • Post #12 - November 5th, 2010, 5:42 pm
    Post #12 - November 5th, 2010, 5:42 pm Post #12 - November 5th, 2010, 5:42 pm
    I've had good luck getting chow fun crisp lately, though it is a wee bit labor intensive.

    - Slice fresh chow fun into approx three inch squares, place in colander and rinse with boiling water.
    - Drain thoroughly, pat dry.
    - Heat approx 1/4-inch of oil in 12-inch stainless skillet, oil should be hot but not smoking
    - Add chow fun one layer at a time, do not turn/move/touch until crisp on bottom. Flip carefully, let crisp once again do no turn/move/touch until crisp.
    - Rinse/repeat.

    - Hold on drip rack or paper towels and add whatever is left, fresh crisp chow fun tastes incredible with just a sprinkle of sea salt, to stir-fry in pan just before serving.
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #13 - November 9th, 2010, 7:12 am
    Post #13 - November 9th, 2010, 7:12 am Post #13 - November 9th, 2010, 7:12 am
    G Wiv wrote:I've had good luck getting chow fun crisp lately, though it is a wee bit labor intensive.

    The part that takes the longest for me is separating the noodles (makes me wish for a posse of small children...'you know what would be fun, kids...?') But I occasionally see packages of the pre-separated noodles at Broadway grocery and that makes the process a lot faster (you get fewer noodles for the price but they are so inexpensive it doesn't make a big difference). It's one of the dishes I use my non-stick pan for rather than a wok b/c if they stick, it turns into a big gloppy mess. I'm going to have to try your process sometime soon...
  • Post #14 - November 28th, 2010, 9:38 am
    Post #14 - November 28th, 2010, 9:38 am Post #14 - November 28th, 2010, 9:38 am
    I got great chow fun at Tai Nam the other day. They had two brands. I could tell by pushing on the packages that one of the brands was especially fresh, really soft. We cooked them that night and they were really easy to separate and crisped up nicely with minimal oil. I think that may be one of the secrets to good (and easy) chow fun--really fresh noodles. I was going to try Gary's boiling water rinse but these were so soft, I felt like they didn't need it.

    Crispy chow fun in progress:

    Image
  • Post #15 - December 8th, 2010, 4:49 pm
    Post #15 - December 8th, 2010, 4:49 pm Post #15 - December 8th, 2010, 4:49 pm
    I made a nice crispy batch for pad see ew last night--another nice fresh pack of noodles from Tai Nam. I still haven't figured out to do this in the wok, even a well seasoned one, without lots of oil and without the noodles sticking.

    Image

    Image
  • Post #16 - December 8th, 2010, 7:25 pm
    Post #16 - December 8th, 2010, 7:25 pm Post #16 - December 8th, 2010, 7:25 pm
    Looks fantastic!
    What kind of greens are those?
  • Post #17 - December 9th, 2010, 10:17 am
    Post #17 - December 9th, 2010, 10:17 am Post #17 - December 9th, 2010, 10:17 am
    zoid wrote:What kind of greens are those?


    I used yu choy for this recipe (I generally use Chinese broccoli, which is traditionally used for this dish but Tai Nam didn't have it when I was there).
  • Post #18 - April 24th, 2011, 12:20 pm
    Post #18 - April 24th, 2011, 12:20 pm Post #18 - April 24th, 2011, 12:20 pm
    My friend Gene used to request extra crispy chow fun with eggplant at the old Hong Min in Chinatown before it burned down. I've never been able to get a restaurant to duplicate it for me (I just get strange looks when I request it). I should try the Hong Min in Palos one of these days. It may not be authentic but it tastes great. I sometimes try and replicate it at home.
    Image
    Image
  • Post #19 - June 9th, 2011, 9:44 am
    Post #19 - June 9th, 2011, 9:44 am Post #19 - June 9th, 2011, 9:44 am
    I got some chow fun noodles from Chinatown the other day, just to give this recipe a try. I got them really crisp...and loved them. The only suggestion I'd make is when GWiv says to pat them dry...don't use paper towels....man they really can stick! :) Anyway, thanks for sharing the recipe/technique.
  • Post #20 - June 22nd, 2011, 9:24 am
    Post #20 - June 22nd, 2011, 9:24 am Post #20 - June 22nd, 2011, 9:24 am
    razbry wrote:I got some chow fun noodles from Chinatown the other day, just to give this recipe a try. I got them really crisp...and loved them. The only suggestion I'd make is when GWiv says to pat them dry...don't use paper towels....man they really can stick! :) Anyway, thanks for sharing the recipe/technique.


    Glad it worked well. With really fresh, soft noodles, I don't soak or blanch them and they come out great.

    Made another batch of Pad see ew (with yu choy, now that I tried it, I can't go back).

    prep: Thai sweet soy, Thai yellow bean sauce, Thai oyster sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, yu choy, separated noodles tossed with 1 tsp sweet soy, 1 tsp dark soy, pork loin sliced and marinated with a little soy and sherry and then tossed with an egg.

    Image

    Noodles:

    Image

    Finished dish:

    Image
  • Post #21 - June 22nd, 2011, 9:41 am
    Post #21 - June 22nd, 2011, 9:41 am Post #21 - June 22nd, 2011, 9:41 am
    Looks *delish* TO!

    Tell me something about the Thai yellow bean and oyster sauce. I'm not familiar with them. I know their Chinese counterparts, but not the Thai versions. I can't see the labels clearly in your pix, but if you could tell me the label nomenclature, I could look them up. This looks like something well worth trying. And using youcai was a brilliant swap! Well done!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #22 - June 22nd, 2011, 10:30 am
    Post #22 - June 22nd, 2011, 10:30 am Post #22 - June 22nd, 2011, 10:30 am
    Geo wrote:Looks *delish* TO!

    Tell me something about the Thai yellow bean and oyster sauce. I'm not familiar with them. I know their Chinese counterparts, but not the Thai versions. I can't see the labels clearly in your pix, but if you could tell me the label nomenclature, I could look them up. This looks like something well worth trying. And using youcai was a brilliant swap! Well done!

    Geo


    Thanks Geo,
    The yellow bean (or fermented soybean sauce, tao jiao) is similar to the Chinese version but a little saltier; Vietnamese nuoc tuong is another similar sauce. It's the main flavor in Lad Na noodles and I like to add a little to Pad See Ew as well (I have seen this in recipes but it's less traditional). It's very salty and a little strong so I just use about 2-3 teaspoons (and a couple tablespoons of sweet soy). Thai oyster sauce is sweeter and milder than Chinese. I never really realized the difference until I read about the difference in the description for the Cooks Illustrated Gai Ka Prow (chicken with holy basil). That motivated me to buy Thai oyster sauce and taste them side-by-side. I've also become sort of a fanatic about fish sauce. I have to have at least 2 on hand (Thai and Vietnamese--Thai is stronger). All this has led to accusations that I am on a mission for Total Pantry and Refrigerator Dominance (totally unfounded, I NEED all these sauces).
  • Post #23 - June 22nd, 2011, 11:58 am
    Post #23 - June 22nd, 2011, 11:58 am Post #23 - June 22nd, 2011, 11:58 am
    thaiobsessed wrote:All this has led to accusations that I am on a mission for Total Pantry and Refrigerator Dominance (totally unfounded, I NEED all these sauces).
    So you get that *too*??!! The Other Dr. Gale simply doesn't understand (nor can she taste) the differences among the half-a-dozen (or so) Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai chile-based sauces that I absolutely MUST have!

    Tnx for the explanations on the differences in the sauces. My local Asian supermarket has a Thai aisle, and I bet that I can get the sauces there.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #24 - June 22nd, 2011, 2:09 pm
    Post #24 - June 22nd, 2011, 2:09 pm Post #24 - June 22nd, 2011, 2:09 pm
    i dont keep all my various thai/chinese/asian bottled sauces in the refrigerator. does anyone have strong opinions on what needs to be refrigerated. i don't have any space to spare. i keep curry pastes(opened jars), fish sauce, hoisin sauce, toasted sesame oil in the frig. the rest in a dark pantry. thanks, justjoan
  • Post #25 - August 28th, 2011, 7:27 pm
    Post #25 - August 28th, 2011, 7:27 pm Post #25 - August 28th, 2011, 7:27 pm
    Here's some suggestions. Add some hot chillies (or cayenne pepper), CURRY with safron, cashew nuts plus bean sprouts and snow peas to make Singapore Chow Fun. Add in your choice of shrimp, pork, beef and chicken (I like a mix of them all). It's awesome !
  • Post #26 - August 29th, 2011, 8:51 am
    Post #26 - August 29th, 2011, 8:51 am Post #26 - August 29th, 2011, 8:51 am
    thaiobsessed wrote: I still haven't figured out to do this in the wok, even a well seasoned one, without lots of oil and without the noodles sticking.


    Is it possible when using your wok you aren't waiting long enough for a food to "release". Meaning the surface area of the food crisps or gets hot enough to not stick. Seems it might just be temperature and technique issue. I'd fool around and fire up the wok just to practice and see what happens without having the need to actually need the noodles for a meal.

    I mention it because it took me about 25 egg cooks in my 6 inch AllClad regular steel pan to make a good egg in it. It was all about proper temp and letting the food release and not trying to pull it to soon. It's now my egg pan.
  • Post #27 - August 29th, 2011, 8:56 am
    Post #27 - August 29th, 2011, 8:56 am Post #27 - August 29th, 2011, 8:56 am
    i'm not getting my chow fun perfectly cooked yet, but i do suggest a flat saute pan, not a wok if you want to crisp your noodles. you need the bigger surface area. i find i need to hand separate the noodles, which is time consuming but worth it. justjoan
  • Post #28 - September 6th, 2011, 8:01 pm
    Post #28 - September 6th, 2011, 8:01 pm Post #28 - September 6th, 2011, 8:01 pm
    kenji wrote:Is it possible when using your wok you aren't waiting long enough for a food to "release". Meaning the surface area of the food crisps or gets hot enough to not stick. Seems it might just be temperature and technique issue. I'd fool around and fire up the wok just to practice and see what happens without having the need to actually need the noodles for a meal.


    Could be, could be. Honestly, I haven't played around with it that much because I like the noodles nice and crispy. I've thought about trying my cast iron pan for better wok hay (is that sacrilege to strive for wok hay in a non-wok?) but I feel like it's hard to get with a conventional stove so I just go for crispy.


    Recent pad kee mao preparation--

    Image
  • Post #29 - September 6th, 2011, 8:32 pm
    Post #29 - September 6th, 2011, 8:32 pm Post #29 - September 6th, 2011, 8:32 pm
    Looks like a yummy Pad Si Ew.
  • Post #30 - August 25th, 2013, 2:37 pm
    Post #30 - August 25th, 2013, 2:37 pm Post #30 - August 25th, 2013, 2:37 pm
    Making Chinese rice noodles: Class in Chinese, though quantities are in English subtitles



    Could the wheat starch they call for be gluten?

    ***

    This video is more rustic, no sound, though a quicker method:



    Making rice noodles from Basmati rice and water only:



    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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