East Meets West: Sunday Roast Chow Mein Stir Fry

As Autumn (slowly) approaches and we have begun having Sunday roasts again, I am being begged by the kids to make this kind of chow mein for them midweek with the leftovers.  It really doesn't need a lot of leftover meat (or arguably any at all) as a little goes a long way! You could always make a vegetarian version of this without meat or gravy.

I first made this a few weeks ago.  I had intended to refer to one of my earlier Chinese stir fry recipes on my blog, but Princess was so  engrossed with her favourite app on my phone that I tried to do it from memory. I pulled the most commonly used Chinese ingredients out of the cupboard and fridge and just made it up as I went along. The kids declared it the best noodle dish ever (their memories are so endearingly short) so I thought I had better write it down to ensure I can impress them again!

Serves 4-5 (3 kids - 2 adults)

1-2 handfuls of leftover roast (chicken, pork, beef, xmas turkey), chopped into mouthsized chunks
2 large carrots, grated
Something green - 1/4 cabbage shredded, 10 runner beans, finely sliced, pak choi etc
1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic,  crushed
Small knob ginger, grated or finely chopped
1 large serving spoon of leftover gravy (optional)
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp Sherry or white wine
4 tbsp oyster sauce
4 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce (or sprinkle with dried chilli flakes to taste at the end
2 tbps tomato ketchup
1 tbsp sesame oil (optional)
4 layers of medium egg noodles, alternatively you could serve over steamed rice or stir fry rice instead

Chinese stir frying is quick, quick, quick, so prepare all your ingredients in advance and have them within reach of the wok/frying pan.  Cook the noodles according to the packet's instructions.  Drain, reserving a mugful of the cooking water, and leave in a pan of cold water until ready for them.  Chop your 'solid' ingredients, leaving the garlic and ginger to last.  Pile meat in one of the bowls you are going to eat out of, veg in another, and mix liquid ingredients in another.

Heat a wok or large frying pan until it starts smoking.  Add the oil, swirl it around, turn the extractor fan on and stir fry the onion and garlic for a minute or so.  Tip in the vegetables and continue to stir fry for another couple of minutes.  Add the meat and the sauce ingredients.  Turn down the heat and cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are slightly less raw.  Bring the pan of noodles and water over to the cooker and add the dripping noodles in handfuls (a little bit of extra water in the wok is no bad thing).  At this stage I often chop the noodles with scissors or a fork and sharp knife.  This makes it easier to mix and helps the kids get it up to their mouth.  Stir the vegetables through the noodles and leave on a low heat with a lid on for a few minutes to heat through.  If you hear a sizzling noise, this is your cue to stir it and try to turn the noodles over so the top layer is as hot as the bottom.  I like a sloppy chow mein so I add a little of the noodle cooking water to give the dish a little more sauce.