It is unusually warm the last week and the groundhog is calling for an early spring. With temperatures in the upper sixties and low seventies, I find myself more often outside, tilling, expanding the garden, finishing final pruning, prepping flowerbeds and dotting our acreage with wood stacks from the trees we are thinning. Sunsets are lengthening and twilight finds us on the porch relaxing, springtime breezes and summer afternoons coming so close we can taste them. Even my flowering quince has already begun to bloom. (Another snow won’t come as a surprise however. This is Oklahoma, after all.) But with all this unseasonable warmth, my cravings for soups and winter fare are tapered and for this week’s recipe the Chinese New Year is the inspiration.
This simple version of chicken lo mein takes no time to throw together and has saved me an awful lot on take out over the years. Being where we are and delivery not being an option, it’s perfect when those cravings hit.
Happy lunar new year and may the year of the monkey be lucky for you.
SIMPLE CHICKEN LO MEIN
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
¼ cup chicken broth
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp toasted sesame seed oil
1 tsp cornstarch
½ pound lo mein noodles
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 med onion, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
½ cup thin sliced carrots
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup sugar snap pea pods
1 15oz can baby corn, drained
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken, sliced bite size
In a small bowl, whisk together the first five ingredients and set aside. Cook the noodles according to package directions, drain, rinse and set aside. In a wok, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over med high heat and stir fry the ginger for about 30 seconds. Add the onion and stir fry for about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and carrots and stir fry 2 minutes more. Finally add the broccoli, sugar snap peas, baby corn, and water chestnuts and stir fry 2 more minutes then transfer the vegetables to a large bowl. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil and stir fry the sliced chicken until it is no longer pink, about 6-8 minutes. Add the noodles, sauce, and vegetables. Turn the heat down to medium and lightly toss the mixture until heated through, about 3 minutes.
This recipe makes a lot, about 8 servings. Although the leftovers are tasty, I’d cut it in half if you don’t need a large amount.
If you can’t find lo mein noodles, angel hair pasta works in a pinch. It isn’t quite the same, but it’s good nonetheless.