Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Caribbean Chow Mein

Kitchen Play List:   Sheryl Crow ~ C'mon, C'mon
                                       The Dandy Warhols ~ Bohemian Like You
                                       Mary.J.Blige ~ Family Affair
                                       Mr. Buble ~ Wonderful Tonight
                                       Sugababes ~ Easy
                                       Melissa Etheridge ~ It's Only Me

After my recent shopping expedition to Tradewinds and coming home with a huge bag of different varieties of vegan noodles. I have been craving a good noodle dish. Today I found one whilst flicking through Linda Majzlik's The Vegan Taste of the Caribbean 

I was already making a soup from the colourful cook book lol. By that I mean the cover..bright orange and bright blue..I need sunglasses when I'm using this book! lol. Anyway I found a recipe for Caribbean Chow Mein...I was really happy. I love homemade chow mein but really do not like the stuff that comes from the takeaway places. Too oily, too salty...and too tasteless! If that makes sense?

I had all the ingredients except for the pak choi which is hard to get in our small town...if not impossible. I had no idea what 'jingy' was so I used the alternative option of courgettes. The recipe also calls for TVP 'chunks' but I detest them so I used TVP granules instead. If TVP isn't to your taste then you could easily sub for tofu pieces and marinate them in the tomato paste and soy sauce for the hour. The veggie stock, I would halve the amount asked for and then add straight to the pan, when it asks for the TVP mix, along with the marinated Tofu. You do need some stock for the cooking of the noodles at the end of the recipe. If you try this option..let me know how it turns out? Or,  you could try cooked aducki beans and add the beans, reduced amount of stock, tomato paste and soy sauce at the same point! See..there are always options and adaptations to be had...lol 

If making for two..halve the amount of noodles and this still gives you a very good portion. But we eat a lot of veggies so I made the recipe as stated below, veggies wise, and we devoured it all! lol.

The results were just delicious. My Love gave it 10/10 and I had to agree. The different textures, flavours and the comfort factor of a bowl of noodles, all come together to make one seriously good chow mein. I'm really pleased I made it. 

Caribbean Chow Mein
Caribbean Chow Mein
(Recipe from A Vegan Taste of the Caribbean)

1lb/450g ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
8oz/225g 'jingy' or courgettes, sliced
8oz/225g green beans, topped, tailed and sliced
4oz/100g red pepper, sliced
40z/100g thin noodles ( 2oz for two people & I used Organic Vitame Wholewheat Noodles)
4oz/100g mushrooms, wiped and sliced
2oz/50g pak choi, shredded (or other green leafy)
2oz/50g TVP chunks  (or alternative from ideas above)
1 onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 inch/2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
20 fl oz/600ml veggie stock (or 10 fl oz is using alternative to TVP)
2 tbsp veggie oil (I used 1 tbsp sunflower)
1 dsp soy sauce  (I used reduced salt)
1 dsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp 5-Spice powder
freshly ground black pepper
sliced spring onions

Mix the soy sauce and tomato paste with the stock and add the TVP chunks. Stir well, cover and leave for 1 hour. 

Gently stir fry the jingy/courgette, red pepper, green beans, mushrooms, pak choi, onion, garlic and ginger for 5 minutes in the oil in a very large skillt or wok. Cut the soaked TVP chunks into half, add to the pan together with the soaking liquid, tomatoes and 5 -Soice and season with black pepper. (This is where you would add the alternative to the TVP with the reduceded stock, tomato paste and soya sauce ~R~) Raise the heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the noodles to the pan and stir well, and continue simmering for about 5 minutes until the noodles are done. Garnish with sliced spring onions before serving.

NB: If you are Gluten Free, rice noodles would work well in this dish. You would just need to adhere to the packet cooking instructions. I picked up some Brown Rice Noodles at the weekend and plan on trying them in this dish. I will update when I have! ~R~