Are you in the mood for a quick and easy weeknight dinner that’s both satisfying and delicious? You’re in luck! Today we are making soy sauce pan-fried noodles, also known as chow mein. This Asian speciality is incredibly tasty yet so simple to make – all you need is some cooked noodles and your favourite veggies!
In this blog post, I’ll show you my foolproof method for creating a flavour-packed chow mein meal at home – no special ingredients or skills needed. So get ready to create your own version of this classic dish right away! Let’s get cooking!
Soy Sauce Pan-Fried Noodles: Quick and Delicious Recipe
Fried noodles are a delicious dish that’s been around for centuries. While the exact origin of this culinary delight is unclear, many believe it originated in China and spread to other Asian countries.
Regardless of where it started, there’s no denying the popularity of these mouth-watering noodles. They’re perfect for a quick and easy meal, and the savoury punch of soy sauce adds an undeniable depth of flavour. Whether you’re a soy sauce fanatic or a noodle lover, this dish is definitely worth adding to your recipe repertoire. Give it a try, and let your taste buds be the judge!
Ingredients and Preparation
Noodles and Sauces
When preparing soy sauce pan-fried noodles, begin with choosing your noodles. You can use fresh Hong Kong pan-fry noodles or dried egg noodles. For fresh noodles, boil them for about 1 minute, while dried noodles should be boiled for 2 – 3 minutes, depending on quantity. Rinse the noodles in cold water and drain well.
To make a flavourful sauce, combine the following ingredients in a small bowl:
- 2 tbsp Sesame Oil
- 1 chilli or 1/2 tsp of Cayenne Pepper
- 5 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp Water
Set the sauce mixture aside to let the flavours meld.
Soy sauce pan-fried noodles can be served as a vegetarian dish or with added protein. Consider incorporating chicken, pork, or beef for a heartier meal. Cook the meat of your choice with a little vegetable oil, garlic, and ginger, then incorporate it into the noodle dish later on.
Adding vegetables to your soy sauce pan-fried noodles will add both colour and texture. Commonly used options include:
- Bean sprouts
- Bok choy
- Baby corn
You can also add diced green onions, shallots, scallions, or white onions for additional flavour. When stir-frying your vegetables, ensure they are cooked but still retain some crunch for an enjoyable eating experience.
To elevate your soy sauce pan-fried noodles, consider including:
- Garlic, for extra aroma and flavour
- Salt and ground white pepper for seasoning
- Chilli oil to add a hint of spice
- Toasted sesame seeds or a drizzle of sesame oil for a subtle nutty taste
When all the components are ready, heat some vegetable oil in a pan. Add garlic and the white part of the spring onion, cooking until fragrant. Add the noodles, stir to combine, and pour the sauce over the noodles. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the noodles are cooked through. Finally, mix in your chosen protein and vegetables before serving your delicious soy sauce pan-fried noodles.
Instructions and Techniques
How to make soy sauce pan-fried noodles
To achieve perfect pan-fried noodles, you’ll first want to select a suitable cooking vessel. A hot wok is ideal for this process since it distributes heat evenly across its surface. If you don’t have a wok, a large frying pan will suffice.
For the best results, use chow mein or lo mein noodles, readily available in most Asian markets or the international aisle in your local supermarket. Fresh noodles work best for pan-frying, but if you can only find dried noodles, make sure to boil them for 2 minutes before rinsing them in cold water and draining well.
When heating your wok or pan, use high-smoke-point cooking oil, such as vegetable or peanut oil. This will ensure even frying and prevent your noodles from sticking to the cooking surface. As you heat your oil, aim for a temperature of around 180°C (356°F). Once the oil is hot enough, add your noodles, cooking and stirring them until they achieve a light golden brown colour. This will take approximately 2-3 minutes.
Stir Fry Method
Now that your noodles have been pan-fried, it’s time to incorporate the remaining ingredients. This will typically involve a delicious blend of vegetables, proteins, and soy sauce. Here are the general steps for a successful stir-fry:
- Prepare your stir-fry sauce by mixing together the sauce ingredients.
- Set the sauce aside and begin preparing your choice of vegetables (e.g. bean sprouts, bell peppers) and proteins (e.g. chicken, beef, tofu) for stir-frying.
- In your hot wok or pan, add chopped garlic and the white part of spring onions. Stir-fry until fragrant.
- Add your choice of vegetables and proteins to the wok or pan. Cook until your proteins are cooked through and the vegetables are tender but still retain some crunch.
- Push your cooked ingredients to the side of the wok, making room for the pan-fried noodles. Combine the noodles with the other ingredients and pour the sauce evenly over the mixture.
- Stir-fry everything together, ensuring the sauce is well distributed and the dish is heated through.
Enjoy your homemade soy sauce pan-fried noodles as a delicious weeknight dinner or a satisfying lunch option.
There are numerous protein choices to experiment with when making soy sauce pan-fried noodles. Here are some popular options:
- Chicken: Dice or thinly slice chicken breasts, marinate them in a soy sauce mixture and cook them in a pan before adding them to your noodles.
- Beef: Use thinly sliced beef strips or minced beef, marinating and cooking similarly to the chicken.
- Pork: Opt for thinly sliced pork, pulled pork or minced pork, marinating and pan-frying as with the other meat options.
Vegetarian and Vegan Alternatives
If you’re looking to prepare a vegetarian or vegan version of soy sauce pan-fried noodles, consider these possibilities:
- Tofu: Cube firm tofu, marinate it in soy sauce and pan-fry until golden. Ensure that you choose a vegetarian soy sauce if required.
- Plant-based protein: Try using plant-based meats, such as Quorn or Beyond Meat, following the same marinating and cooking instructions as meat alternatives.
- Vegetables: Add an assortment of vegetables, such as bell peppers, carrots, and mushrooms, to make the dish more colourful and nutritious.
For those who appreciate a little heat in their meals, you can easily add some spice to your soy sauce pan-fried noodles with these suggestions:
- Chilli sauce: Add a dash of your favourite chilli sauce to the soy sauce mixture before frying the noodles. You can adjust the amount depending on your spice tolerance.
- Chilli flakes: Sprinkle some chilli flakes into the dish during the cooking process to give it an extra kick.
- Fresh chilli: Chop fresh chilli peppers and add them to your stir-fry for a burst of flavour.
Remember to always adjust the seasoning to your personal preference and enjoy experimenting with these variations to create your ideal soy sauce pan-fried noodle dish.
Serving and Pairing Suggestions
When serving soy sauce pan-fried noodles, consider incorporating some flavourful side dishes to enhance your meal. Some popular things to add to your noodle dish include:
- Chopped green onion or spring onions: They add a fresh and slightly spicy flavour to the dish. Simply chop some and sprinkle on top of your noodles just before serving.
- Sesame seeds: Toast them lightly for added aroma, and finish off your noodle dish with a sprinkle. This not only adds a pleasant crunch but also enhances the overall presentation.
Soy sauce pan-fried noodles can be served as a main course or a side dish, depending on what you pair it with. Here are a few ideas for complementary meals:
- For breakfast, cook a sunny-side-up egg and serve it on top of the noodles. The runny yolk adds a richness that balances out the savoury flavours of the soy sauce.
- If you’d like a complete meal, try pairing the noodles with a protein dish, such as grilled chicken, steamed fish or fried tofu. These options are simple to prepare and complement the flavours of the soy sauce pan-fried noodles well.
Remember, the beauty of soy sauce pan-fried noodles lies in their versatility and quick preparation time. Most noodle recipes take less than 20 minutes for total cooking time, which gives you time to whip up some equally delicious side dishes or complementary meals. Enjoy experimenting with different ingredients and finding your favourite combination!
Common Questions and Expert Tips
Noodle Types and Substitutions
When it comes to soy sauce pan-fried noodles, there are a variety of noodle types you can choose from. Some of the most popular options include udon, soba, and ramen. Each of these options has its unique characteristics, so you might want to experiment with different ones to find the best choice for your preferences.
- Udon: These thick, chewy noodles are made from wheat flour and are often used in Japanese cuisine. Although udon noodles are not typically used in Chinese-style pan-fried noodles, you can substitute them for a different texture and a more substantial bite.
- Soba: Made from a combination of wheat and buckwheat flour, soba noodles have a slightly nutty flavour and a firm texture. They work well as a substitute for traditional Chinese noodles in pan-fried dishes, providing a unique twist on the classic recipe.
- Ramen: Instant ramen noodles can quickly and easily replace pan-fried noodles. Just be sure to cook them al dente, as overcooking can make them too soft and mushy. Drain them well and pat them dry before frying them to prevent them from becoming too soggy.
When using fresh noodles, be sure to boil them for just 1 minute before pan-frying. This will keep them from becoming overcooked. For dried noodles, a 2-minute boiling time is recommended. Always rinse your cooked noodles in cold water and drain them well in a colander to remove any excess water.
Remember to toss your noodles frequently for even cooking and browning.
Having the right ingredients and techniques at hand will ensure your soy sauce pan-fried noodles are always a tasty and satisfying meal option to enjoy.
Soy Sauce Noodles | Plain Chow Mein
- 450 g Noodles (Cooked)
- 200 g Bean Sprouts
- 6 Cloves of garlic (crushed)
- 3 Spring Onions (Roughly sliced- any size you want)
- 1 Red Chilli (Finely Chopped or ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper)
Sauce For Noodles
- 5.5 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce (or tamari sauce)
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- 2 tbsp Sesame Oil
- 4 tbsp Water
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing Wine
- In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, water, wine, sugar and sesame oil.
- Cook the noodles as per packet instructions, drain and keep aside.
- Heat a frying pan to medium to high heat with some oil and add the garlic, chilli and the white bits of the spring onions. Fry for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add the noodles and sauce and mix until everything is coated. Add the bean sprouts, and turn up the heat. Fry for about 3 minutes, then add the rest of the onions and fry for another minute until everything is heated through.