Running off the back of my last Leftovers post where I mentioned needing to use up some leftover beansprouts, I was chatting to a friend who had read the post and picked up on this particular ingredient. Whilst this week the beansprouts were to be used in a crunchy, fresh salad (today in fact, it was gorgeous!) we got onto the subject of beansprouts’ more common use in Asian cuisine. Funnily enough, my friend’s objection was exactly the reason they were so perfect courgette and green lentil salad – the beautiful fresh crunch!
Always up for a foodie debate, I can completely understand where he was coming from. Generally beansprouts are used in chow meins, with noodles and other softened vegetables like mushrooms, not to mention the tender pork or chicken. So the flash fried beansprouts added at the last minute can come as a bit too much of a contrast in texture for some. But that’s exactly the point, food is so much about personal preference – what adds a delightful freshness to chow mien to me, can confuse and frustrate someone else’s tastebuds, meaning they don’t eat this yummy Chinese dish anywhere near as much as they should!
Another pro to food, is that you can cook it yourself to suit your preference whenever you like 😉 And so, here is my Chicken Chow Mein recipe, for you to cook your beansprouts as long or little as you like!
Chicken & Mushroom Chow Mein
– 150g medium egg noodles
– dash toasted sesame oil
– 2 chicken breast fillets, sliced into strips
– dash dark soy sauce
– 1tsp Chinese Five Spice
– 1tsp chilli sauce
– 1tbsp cornflour
– 1-2tbsp groundnut oil
– 1 red pepper, finely sliced
– 4-5 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
– handful beansprouts
– 2 spring onions, shredded
– 2 tbsp light soy sauce
1) Cook the noodles in boiling water for 2-3 minutes until just tender. Drain, then rinse under cold running water and drain again. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with a dash of toasted sesame oil to stop the noodles sticking together. Set aside.
2) Put the chicken strips into a bowl, season with a dash of dark soy sauce, and add the five spice and chilli sauce. Mix well, then lightly dust the chicken with cornflour.
3) Heat a wok over a high heat until very hot and add the ground nut oil followed by the chicken, and stir fry for 3-4 minutes until cooked through.
4) Add the red pepper and shiitake mushrooms (and the beansprouts if you want to cook them for longer) and stir fry for 1 minute, then add the beansprouts and spring onions and continue cooking for another 30 seconds. Stir in the noodles and season with light soy sauce, a dash more of toasted sesame oil and freshly ground black pepper.
The best thing about the veggies in this meal is that you really can cook them for as little or long as you like to suit your preference, so take these timings with a pinch of salt 🙂
I hope have given some of you the inspiration to enjoy beansprouts your way!
Lotsa Love x