Fresh shrimps give stir fried noodles a wonderful flavor that is at once sweet and savory. Cook this shrimp chow mein in 10 minutes!
Ten minutes? Sure. Less, in fact, if you’re well organized. Prep time takes longer though as with most stir fries.
Where does sweet come in? Fresh shrimps are sweet and we use only the freshest shrimps at home. Yes, it takes a little more time and effort to pull off the heads, peel off the shells and devein the shrimps but it’s worth the trouble.
Prepping the shrimps is the step that takes the longest in cooking shrimp chow mein. Once you’ve done that, everything else is easy.
Saute the flavor base. In this case, plenty of garlic and a sliced onion.
Add the vegetables (I used a combination of carrot, bell pepper, cabbage and shimeji mushrooms), sprinkle with salt and pepper, and stir fry.
Scoop out the vegetables, add more oil to the wok and stir fry the seasoned shrimps. Take care not to overcook them.
Scoop out the shrimps, pour in a little oil, swirl the wok to coat as much of the surface with oil and add the noodles with all the seasonings you want to flavor them with. Stir fry until heated through.
No sauce thickened with starch? Not in this case. While I like saucy chow mein once in a while, there are times when I prefer the mouth feel of perfectly-seasoned noodles that don’t slip and slide when you lift them to your mouth. So, for this shrimp chow mein recipe, I simply seasoned the noodles with soy sauce, oyster sauce and a little hoisin sauce.
Add the stir fried vegetables to the noodles (and hard-boiled quail eggs, if you like) and toss.
Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary.
Scatter the shrimps on top of the stir fried noodles and vegetables before serving.
Why not toss in the shrimps too? Because there’s always the risk of overcooking them. Buried deep in the mass of the noodles and veggies, the temperature is higher. On top, the heat is definitely lower and there’s no way the shrimps will get overcooked.
Shrimp Chow Mein
- 300 grams medium shrimps
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil divided
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 onion peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 1 small carrot peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 small white cabbage diced
- 100 grams shimeji mushrooms root ends cut off
- 250 grams fresh egg noodles prepared according to package directions
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 12 cooked quail eggs shelled
- 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
Remove the heads, shell and devein the shrimps. Place in a bowl, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
Heat one tablespoon oil in a wok or frying pan. Over medium heat, saute the garlic and onion until softened and aromatic, about two minutes.
Turn up the heat. Add the bell pepper, carrot, cabbage and mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir fry until the vegetables are cooked but still lightly crisp, about two minutes. Scoop out the vegetables and transfer to a plate.
Pour in another tablespoon of oil into the wok or frying pan and heat.
Stir fry the seasoned shrimps taking care not to overcook them. Depending on their size, this can take anywhere from a mere thirty seconds to a minute and a half. Scoop out the shrimps and transfer to a plate.
Pour the last tablespoon of oil into the wok or frying pan. Swirl the pan around to allow the oil to coat the sides too.
Dump the noodles in the hot oil and, working fast, stir fry to coat every strand with oil. This will prevent them from turning soggy.
Pour the soy sauce, oyster sauce and hoisin sauce over the noodles. Stir fry until the noodles are evenly colored.
Add the vegetables and quail eggs to the noodles and stir fry until everything is heated through.
Turn off the heat. Drizzle in the sesame seed oil and toss.
Taste the stir fried noodles and vegetables. Adjust the seasonings if needed.
Scatter the cooked shrimps over the stir fried vegetables and noodles.
Serve the shrimp chow mein at once.