Everybody loves a good egg chowmein, but finding a good one is rare. I have grown up eating the best kind of chowmein in streets as well as restaurants in north-east India. And I still feel the quality and taste of Chinese food in that region goes unmatched. Having lived more than a decade in the capital, I am yet to find the taste in Chindian or Chinese food that takes me back home. But I do love whipping up something close to what I have grown up eating in my own kitchen. And here I am sharing my recipe of egg chowmein with you all.
The kind of egg chowmein I like is filled with vegetables and soft, scrambled eggs. The texture of the vegetables defines this dish, as it has to remain crunchy and not even a but soggy. The crunch also comes from a garnish of fresh onions, spring onion greens and raw cabbage (yes, you read that right) on top of a steaming plate of egg chowmein just before serving. The noodles also have to be cooked perfectly, with every strand being separate from the other.
There are some tricks that I have learnt over years of cooking to get the perfect egg chowmein recipe. I am listing them down in detail here so that you do not have to waste any time learning them.
Here are my tips on how to get the perfect egg chowmein recipe out of your own kitchen every single time.
-Cooking the noodles
Making noodles the perfect way requires some amount of precision. You have to make sure that it is cooked just right – not over or under. Different kinds of noodles require different methods to get cooked perfectly. For lo mein or stir fry noodles recipe like this one, make sure you follow the package instructions.
- For this particular recipe, I boiled the egg noodles for 2-3 minutes in salted water (that’s what my package instructions said). Make sure the water is bubbling when you put in your noodles. The trick is to take it out when it is 80 percent cooked because the noodles will keep getting softer while they are still hot. So take it out immediately once they are 80 percent there. You can check it by tasting the noodles and take them out while they still have a bite to them.
- Add enough water so that the noodles are completely submerged in it. I usually fill up the whole pot with water (about 1.5 litres of water). Otherwise, there is a chance of noodles getting stuck at the bottom or worse – getting burnt!
- Use a heavy bottomed pan to boil your noodles so that there are no chances of them getting stuck to the bottom.
- Strain off every last bit of water and mix any neutral oil without any smell. I use vegetable oil. The oil prevents the noodles from sticking to each other and acquiring a lumpy texture.
– The vegetables
I love to add lots of vegetables to my egg chowmein recipe. It is a great way to consume colourful vegetables and also adds a lot to the flavour profile. I have used carrots, green beans, cabbage, capsicum and onions. All the vegetables need to be cut in the same manner so that they cook uniformly. As you can see in the video, I have cut the vegetables into thin slices. Finely chopping them too fine (like in fried rice) won’t add to the look and consistency desired in a noodles recipe. The longish shape helps the vegetables to assimilate well with the noodles, and also give it an aesthetic appeal.
Keep all your vegetables cut and ready before you start making this recipe. We add the hardy vegetables like carrot and beans first, followed by the cabbage and capsicum. The vegetables only need to be stir fried for a minute or so to help them retain the crunch and not turn soggy.
– The eggs
Since this is an egg chowmein recipe, the eggs are the star. The eggs are seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper powder and beaten till smooth. They are then scrambled into medium chunks and added to the noodles right in the end. You can also make an omelette and slice them thinly to add to the noodles. You can also fry the eggs in butter to add more flavour to the recipe.
– The sauce base
The secret to this delicious egg chowmein recipe is the sauce base that we use to bind it all together. Street style chowmein usually uses a mix of red chilli sauce, green chilli sauce, white vinegar (for the tang) and dark soy sauce. You can substitute the white vinegar with lemon juice but the rest of the sauces are essential. You can also add a teaspoon of sugar to balance all the flavours, but I have skipped that. Mix all the sauces well and keep it handy before starting to make the egg chowmein.
– Keep everything ready
Once of the most important things to remember in this recipe is to keep everything ready before you start making the recipe in a hot wok. Everything moves really fast in this recipe and keeping everything at your arm’s reach will ensure the vegetables remain crunchy, and the noodles cook perfectly overall.
Now that you know all the tips and tricks on how to make the perfect egg chowmein, let’s take a look at the recipe.
Preparation time – 15 minutes
Cook time – 15 minutes
Serves – 4 people
- 250 g noodles
- 4 eggs 1/2 cup onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 cup cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 cup green beans, thinly sliced
- 1/2 green capsicum, thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp oil – to fry the noodles
- 1 tbsp oil – to layer the cooked noodles
- 2 tbsp oil – to fry the eggs
- 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp green chilli sauce
- 2 tbsp red chilli sauce
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- Salt to taste
- Fresh spring onion greens, chopped – for garnish
- Chopped onion, for garnish
- Chopped cabbage, for garnish
- Boil water in a pot. Add a handful of salt and stir. The water should be saline like you would want in a soup.
- Once the water starts to boil, add the noodles to it and cook for 2-3 minutes (or follow package instructions).
- Drain water using a sieve. Transfer the noodles to another vessel and layer it with vegetable oil so that the noodles don’t stick to one another. Use a pair of tongs to mix the oil uniformly. Tongs will ensure the noodles don’t break. Set aside.
- Break open the eggs into a bowl. Season with salt and a pinch of black pepper powder. Whisk until smooth.
- Heat oil in a pan or wok. Once hot, pour the egg mix. Gently scramble the eggs, disintegrating them into medium sized chunks. Once done, set aside for use later.
- Heat oil in a wok. Wait for the oil to get really hot. Once the oil starts to smoke, add the onions. Stir on high flame for a minute.
- Add the carrots and beans and stir on high flame for another minute.
- Finely grate or mince the garlic and add it to the wok. Stir for a few seconds until its raw aroma fades completely.
- Add the rest of the vegetables – capsicum and cabbage. Stir for another 30 seconds on high flame.
- Throw in the noodles and pour the sauce mix on top.
- Toss everything together, making sure the sauce and vegetables mix well with the noodles.
- Season with black pepper powder and salt (if needed).
- Turn off the fire and garnish with some onions, spring onion greens and cabbage (a tip to elevate your dish up a notch).
- Serve hot!
If you have any doubts, comments, or feedback, please reach out to me in comments or my social media handles.
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