July 16th, 2013
Chow Fun is a common Chinese dish made from wide rice noodles. Variations of the dish name include chow foon, chao fen, or the more easily pronounced, stir-fried flat rice noodles. Dishes like “Pad See Ew” and “Drunken Noodles” are Thai versions of the Chinese dish. Vietnamese restaurants usually also have variations of the dish using wide bánh phở noodles. The dish itself also extends to various Southeast Asian countries.
When choosing the noodle for the dish, it is best to purchase them fresh, in strips or sheets. If fresh noodles are not available, then dried noodles can be an option.
For the purpose of this recipe, my local market had the fresh noodles in sheets rather than strips this week. This just meant that I needed to add the extra step of cutting the noodles in the recipe. Also, the fresh noodles that I purchased were somewhat soft (when pinched). If the fresh noodles had been slightly firm, I would have needed to dip them in warm water just to soften them up so that they would keep their shape when I handled them. I will readdress this later.
Back to this dish. I opted to use Old Neighborhood Shaved Chicken Breast and baby bok choy (or baby Shanghai), though either Shaved Pork or Shaved Beef with a different vegetable would also work. The interesting thing though, is that since Old Neighborhood Shaved Chicken is shaved thin for convenience, the preparation of the noodles actually took the most time!
We now move on to the recipe, which can also be found in the recipe section on this page.
☻ 1 1-lb. package of Old Neighborhood Shaved Chicken Breast
☻ 1 package of fresh wide rice noodles (he fen, ho fun, wide bánh phở). Dried noodles will work if fresh noodles are not available
☻ 1 lb. of baby bok choy, washed and halved, if needed
☻ ½ lb. of bean sprouts (optional), washed
☻ 2 tbsp. olive oil
☻ 1 tsp. garlic powder
☻ 6 tbsp. soy sauce
☻ 2 tbsp. sweet cooking rice wine (mirin)
☻ 1 tbsp. chili garlic sauce
☻ black pepper to taste
☻ scallions (green onions), cut into 1 inch strips.
1. Place the shaved chicken in a bowl, with 2 tbsp. of soy sauce and 2 tbsp. of the rice wine. Let it marinate while you deal with the noodles.
2. Choose the option that best suits your noodles:
a. The noodles are dried. Prepare them according to the package’s directions, and go to Step 3.
b. The noodles are fresh and soft. If the noodles are in strips, you need only separate the noodles from each other. If the fresh noodles are in sheets, then cut the noodles parallel to the short side, in ¾ to 1 inch strips, before separating the noodles. Go to Step 3.
c. The noodles are fresh and somewhat firm. If the noodles are in strips, dip and gently stir them in warm water for roughly a minute to soften them up. They should separate, and you can go to Step 3. If the noodles are in sheets, then cut the noodles parallel to the short side, in ¾ to 1 inch strips, before doing the dip.
3. Wash the baby bok choy to get rid of any dirt on the leaves. If your stalks are bulky, you can cut them lengthwise, in half, as shown by the picture. Otherwise, you can leave them as is.
4. Heat a pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Toss in the marinated chicken, as well as any leftover marinade. Cook until the chicken is lightly brown on both sides.
5. Sprinkle the chicken with black pepper, remove the chicken from the pan, leaving the sauce, and set it aside.
6. Toss in the bean sprouts into the pan and stir fry for roughly a minute.
7. Remove the bean sprouts, leaving the sauce, and set them aside.
8. Toss in the baby bok choy into the pan. Add 1 tsp. garlic powder, and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
9. Toss in the separated noodles into the pan. Add 4 tbsp. of soy sauce and 1 tbsp. of the chili garlic sauce into the pan.
10. Stir the baby bok choy and the noodles until they are coated somewhat evenly with the soy sauce.
11. Toss in the scallions, bean sprouts, and the chicken.
12. Continue to stir fry for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how much “char” you want on your noodles.
13. Sprinkle with black pepper and serve hot!