Chow means stir-fried and mein (shortened from meing) meaning noodles. It is served all over the world with variations in Westernized Chinese restaurants. Just as with any other dish, it has been noted that chow mein tends to be very different from what is served in China and is heavily modified to fit the taste preference of the local dominant population.
What most people don’t know about India, is that there are a number of Chinese that settled down in India in the late 18th century and so there is a distinct Indo Chinese cuisine.
I have tasted many a time in India and my version is based on that memory.
400 grams dried egg noodles
300 grams firm tofu
200 grams mushrooms, sliced
1 red pepper, cored and sliced
4-5 spring onions, cut in 3 centimetre pieces, whites and greens separated
200 grams bean sprouts
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon hot chilli sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Salt to taste and freshly ground pepper
Drain the tofu and wrap in kitchen paper. Weight it down for 15 minutes. Remove and cut into thin batons of 1cm wide and 5cms long.
Partially cook the egg noodles in boiling water for two minutes. Drain and rinse well in cold water and set aside.
In a well-seasoned wok, heat a tablespoon of oil and fry 6 or 7 batons of tofu until golden brown. Repeat until all tofu is fried well. Set aside.
Add a tablespoon of oil to the wok if needed. Fry the mushrooms on high heat along with the whites of the spring onions. After frying a minute, add the red pepper slices and fry for a further minute. Season with salt and pepper.
Put the noodles into the wok and keep stir frying. Pour the dark and light soy sauce along with rice wine vinegar and chilli sauce. Stir fry to mix thoroughly.
Toss the fried tofu along with sprouts and the greens of spring onions. Give it a mix and serve hot.