Chow Mein

This year, I’ve tried a new recipe every week. We began meal planning, and oh man. We save so much $$ and so much time and we eat so much better. Some weeks, I don’t have time to make anything new…others, like this week, we’ll try three new recipes. It all evens out in the end. Some day, I’ll get around to sharing all those recipes. Most of them are good.

But, Oh. Em. Gee.

Every once and while you stumble upon a recipe…well that blows your hair back. Changes your life. Makes you happy. Gives you reason to believe that the world has some good in it. Makes you say obscenely dramatic statements about how good it is…all because you are on a high (nutritionally that’s probably accurate).

This is one of those recipes. Who freaking new that making delicious chow mein (the original recipe calls it a Panda Express knockoff) was so freaking easy and so freaking quick and so freaking easy. And I should mention it’s really freaking easy.

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I just…I can’t…the taste….sigh. Just make it.

Panda Express Chow Mein Copycat

Yields 4 servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 (5.6-ounce) packages refrigerated Yaki-Soba, seasoning sauce packets discarded*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced diagonally
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • (Homespun Haley addition: 1 Tablespoon of toasted sesame oil – takes a slight edge off of the soy sauce…though totally not necessary.)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, ginger and white pepper; set aside.
  • In a large pot of boiling water, add Yaki-Soba until loosened, about 1-2 minutes; drain well.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and celery, and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in cabbage until heated through, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in Yaki-Soba and soy sauce mixture until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

NOTES

*Yaki-Soba is ramen-style noodles and can be found in the refrigerated aisle of your local grocery store.

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Peanutty Perfection

I have been waiting for this day. Waiting…not so patiently. After trying several, (like 8) peanut sauce recipes or versions of said recipes, I have finally found, the one. The perfect balance of peanutty sweetness is now in my possession.

 I could eat peanut sauce with every meal. Every. Meal. Seriously, add that stuff to cap’n crunch and I’ll LOVE it. However, my budget does not allow me to buy peanut sauce all the time…plus it all sucks. Nothing in the store compares to the yummyness you get on your favorite Thai meal.

Except this one.

Since I’m not one to keep all the wonderfullness to myself…here’s the recipe. Like most recipes I share, I found it online, but have changed it quite a bit. Making sure it’s just to my liking.

Peanut Sauce Perfection

1 can (13.5oz) of coconut milk

1/4 cup (2oz) of Thai red curry paste

 3/4 cup unsweetened natural peanut butter – the oil in natural peanut butter is essential.

2 teaspoons salt

 1/2 cup sugar – add slowly to taste

2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar or white vinegar (Do not use white wine, red wine, balsamic, or anything else)

1/2 cup water

1. Put everything into a medium-sized pot and bring to a very gentle boil over medium heat, whisking constantly.

2. Let the mixture simmer for 3-5 minutes over low heat; be careful not to let the mixture scorch at the bottom of the pot.

3. Take the pot off the heat, let the sauce cool down to room temperature (or slightly warmer), and serve the sauce with satay or fried tofu.

This peanut sauce keeps in a glass container in the refrigerator for weeks. Refrigerated sauce will thicken up considerably. All you have to do is thin it out with a little bit of water to desired consistency, reheat, and serve. The sauce also freezes beautifully.

The noodle dish above is simple to make as well. Toss egg noodles (jasmine rice is also yummy), steamed carrots and broccoli, bean sprouts and fried tofu with about 1 cup peanut sauce and dish accordingly. 1 scoop Matt, 2 scoops Haley, 1 scoop Matt, 2 scoops Haley, etcetera, etcetera.

Happy Eating!