|nutritional information (per serving)|
View full nutritional information
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|amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Saturated Fat 2g||10%|
|dietary fiber 14g||50%|
|total sugar 7g|
|Vitamin C 158 mg||788%|
|Calcium 174 mg||13%|
|iron 5 mg||26%|
|Potassium 1457 mg||31%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) indicates how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories per day is used for general nutritional advice.|
(Nutritional information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)
The best thing about Chinese home cooking is the variety and frugality. Leftovers and leftovers, especially from veggies, are thrown together in a happy mess, creating the exhilarating feeling of chasing the perfect bite — the ideal ratio of your favorite ingredients in a single bite.
Chow mei fun is one of those dishes, and it's inexpensive, versatile, and infinitely adaptable to boot. This varies from household to household. This veggie twist takes the core flavors of the not-so-Singaporean but world-renowned curry-laden Singapore Chow Mei Fun and puts a veggie twist on it in a vibrant and fresh version.
With an excess of Chinese cabbage, you can use less noodles than with other variants. And it's easy to give up meat when charred broccoli and Chinese black mushrooms add earthy depth; Bright blistered red peppers mimic the pop of color that char siu usually imparts; and extra fluffy eggs provide protein. Just make sure you don't skip the broccoli and dried mushrooms.
“I loved making Mei Fun at home. I used Chinese black mushrooms, which I like for their color and texture. I served the dish with soy sauce, sesame oil and thinly sliced spring onions. Delicious!” –Diana Andrews
2/3 Cup dried Chinese black mushrooms or dried shiitake mushrooms
8th ounces pasta rice noodles (also called Mai Fun, Mei Fun or thin rice sticks)
1 Pound Chinese cabbage
1 small Red pepper
1 Middle Red onion
2 Middle carrots
4 cups broccoli florets
2 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon NEWS, Optional
2 tablespoon neutral cooking oildivided
3 large eggs
2 tablespoon fish sauce, more to taste
1/2 Cup Shaoxing cooking wine
Prepare the dry ingredients
Gather the ingredients.
Place the dried mushrooms in a large bowl. Add enough warm water to cover. Soak to rehydrate. This can take several hours. So prepare well in advance.
Place the noodles in a large, deep bowl and cover with hot tap water. Soak for about 30 minutes until soft. If the noodles are not soft after 30 minutes, let them soak for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients and start cooking.
Keep the individual vegetables separate and cut the cabbage crossways into thin strips. Thinly slice the peppers and red onion. Peel the carrots and cut into julienne. Halve any thick broccoli florets.
Remove the mushrooms from the soaking liquid and thinly slice. Save the liquid for later use.
Combine curry powder, salt, white pepper, and MSG, if desired, in a small bowl. Put aside.
Drain the noodles and set aside.
Heat a large wok over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and wait until shimmering, tossing to coat the wok.
Add the eggs, give them a light stir and break them into small curd pieces until cooked through. Place the eggs on a plate and set aside.
Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the edge of the wok. Swirl to cover the wok. Add the red pepper and broccoli and stir-fry them in the wok.
Once the broccoli is lightening, add the carrots and onion. Continue to stir-fry until vegetables are crisp and tender (about 2 minutes).
Increase the heat to high and add the mushrooms. Stir-fry while pushing the vegetables up the sides of the wok and into the pan, then shake the wok. Continue frying like this for about 2 minutes.
Make a well in the middle of the wok. Add the cabbage and immediately fold over the vegetables to allow the heat to wilt the greens. Cook undisturbed for 1 minute, then press the vegetables into the wok surface to lightly sear.
Make another well in the middle of the wok. Add noodles, curry powder and salt mixture and fish sauce. Turn to cover.
Reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the boiled eggs and stir-fry. Be sure to discard the mixture from the bottom of the wok.
When the wok is dry, pour the Shaoxing wine and 2 tablespoons of the reserved mushroom liquid over the edge of the wok. Keep stirring the mixture and scraping it off the bottom of the wok. For a tastier dish, press the mixture back into the wok surface to dry it out and give the noodles a slight crispiness. Divide among bowls and serve immediately.
- When shopping for ingredients, make sure you're buying vermicelli that's made entirely of rice and water—no rice noodles with tapioca flour, bean threads, glass, or cellophane noodles. All of these varieties look very similar uncooked and can easily be confused!
- It might be tempting to substitute fresh shiitake mushrooms in this dish, assuming fresh is best. However, these will not taste as intense as their dried versions, nor will they be as strong on the nose. The dried versions have a highly concentrated flavor and make the mushroom water, which you can use to loosen any stuck noodles from the wok. Look for them in flat, vacuum-sealed packs in an Asian or international market, or bulk in bulk containers in specialty markets. Look for shorter stems and broad, fleshy caps. Note, however, that the thicker the caps, the longer it will take to fully reconstitute. The reward, however, is extra juicy, meaty morsels, and the extra time is well worth it.
- Finally, it is highly recommended to use a wok for this dish. If none is available, you can use a deep, extra-wide casserole or Dutch oven, but this is not recommended. Too much direct heat over a wide surface increases the likelihood that the dish will stick or burn. When ingredients pile up, there is a risk that they will be steamed. And ingredients can easily fly out of a pan that's too shallow. A good wok is a worthwhile investment and far more useful than meets the eye.
These ingredients aren't typically found in traditional Singaporean chow mei fun, but growing up my dad's version of them was always there, and it's been killing me when it comes to restaurant interpretations ever since.
Add marinated tofu for more protein, or par-cooked shrimp to make it pescatarian…or bring the recipe back to its roots with velvety chicken and pick up red lacquered roast pork at a Cantonese grill shop if you have access have.
You can also garnish the veggies and add celery, bean sprouts, snow peas, and other fillers as long as you keep them moving and giving them room to breathe in the pan.
How to store it
You can store cooked chow mei fun in the refrigerator in a sealed, airtight, flat glass or plastic container for up to 5 days. When reheating, be sure to fluff it up first before popping it in the microwave, covered loosely with a damp paper towel.
You can also reheat it in a skillet on the stovetop, searing it over medium-high heat until hot, or steaming it like my parents used to do. However, the first method will dry it out and the second will add a lot of moisture, which will make your veggies and pasta softer.
You can prepare your noodles ahead of time by soaking them in warm water for about 2 hours. They do not cook and remain pleasantly flavorful in this floating state. If you're short on time, you can speed up the reconstitution process by boiling water, turning off the heat, and then adding the noodles to the pot. Don't try to cook them like pasta or they will overcook and get mushy as a result.
You can also cut the vegetables up to a day in advance. Make sure they are dry and well covered in airtight containers and refrigerate until ready to use. In addition, the mushrooms can sit in their liquid at room temperature for days.