2 February 2022
Chow mein means fried noodles. They came to us in the United States from the Chinese who emigrated in the mid-19th Century, primarily to work on the transcontinental railway but also filled in other positions. Lo mein noodles are generally cooked while chow mein are served crispy, although American regional differences exist.
When cooked in light oil and served with lots of vegetables and lean protein, these noodles are low in calories but high in nutritional value. They are loaded with vitamins A and C and a good source of fiber, vitamins B6 and K, selenium, manganese and folate.
The sauce is usually a combination of sweet and salty and can taste very complex. Incorporating the noodles into a casserole is an easy way to enjoy this Cantonese cuisine.
For this version, if you precook the protein, it will cut down the cooking time. Add some vegetables for a more balanced option. Bell peppers, broccoli, thinly sliced cabbage, and snow peas are some good options.
Serve this with a side of Asian salad that has many of the same ingredients as are in the casserole. Use small broccoli florets, bell peppers, red onion, almonds, sunflower seeds, and top with a ginger or sesame dressing. You could also use a bag of store bought cole slaw mix with your choice of dressing.
Heat up some frozen spring rolls or egg rolls with a dipping sauce as an appetizer and finish the meal with fortune cookies.
Chow Mein Casserole
- 1 pound ground beef, ground turkey, or small diced chicken
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- ½ cup uncooked rice
- 1 ½ cups stock
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 5 ounces chow mein noodles
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or use cooking spray on a 2 quart casserole dish.
- Cook the rice in the stock.
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, saute the ground beef, turkey or chicken pieces. Add the onion and celery and saute for 5 more minutes.
- In a separate medium bowl, combine soy sauce and brown sugar.
- Combine the protein mixture with the rice and stock, almonds, any vegetables, and sauce.
- Place this into a lightly greased (or use cooking spray) baking dish.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Stir and top with chow mein noodles. Bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes.