Chinese cuisine is one of my favourites, but I have very little experience of cooking it. I imagined it to be terribly complicated, but after watching “Gok Cooks Chinese”, where he declared “anyone who tells you Chinese cooking is hard is NOT your friend”, I decided to buy the book and give it a whirl. I know people had mixed opinions on the series, one big talking point was his use of Nam Pla (fish sauce) in Chinese cookery, as it’s traditionally a Thai ingredient, but personally, I really enjoyed watching it.
So I decided to make the Prawn Chow Mein (p.54 in the book). One substitution I made was cooked prawns for raw, only because I had a packet of them already in the freezer. I just added them at the end to warm them through instead of at the beginning to actually cook them.
- 500g medium egg noodles (I used fresh from the Chinese supermarket, dried work just as well)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp groundnut oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
- 300g fresh raw prawns, peeled and de-veined
- 200g mangetout, thoroughly washed
- 2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- salt and ground white pepper
- 2 spring onions, finely shredded into 4cm long strips
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- Cook the noodles according to the packet instructions, then drain and tip into a bowl. Pour over the sesame oil, tossing thoroughly to coat the noodles. Put to one side.
- Heat the groundnut oil in a wok over a high heat. Once hot, add the garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds before adding the prawns. Continue to stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. The prawns should begin to turn pink and a little brown on some of the edges. (I omitted the prawns at this stage, as mine were already cooked)
- Add the mangetout and mix to incorporate. Pour in the Shaoxing rice wine and leave to almost evaporate before adding the previously cooked noodles. Toss well so that all the ingredients are well mixed.
- Turn the heat down to medium and add both of the soy sauces and a pinch of salt and pepper. (It was at this point I added my cooked prawns to warm them through.) Stir-fry for a further 2 minutes before spooning on to a plate and dressing with the spring onion and carrot.
It was really easy and totally delicious. My husband isn’t a foodie in any way, shape or form, he often “forgets” to eat, if I am not here to cook, (HOW DOES ANYONE FORGET TO EAT??!) but even he declared it “nice that Chinese stuff, love”.
High praise indeed.