Chow Mei Fun with Curry – Rice noodles
Chow Mei Fun is a Chinese dish that’s made with thin, string like rice/bean noodles. Most of you must have seen this on a take-out menu, but the most delicious Chow Mei Fun with curry, is never ‘written’ on a menu!! You will find ‘Chow Mein Fun’ written under the rice noodles category, but you always have to ask for the curry powder addition separately. This is a dish that we discovered because of a Chinese Gentleman we met at a Chinese takeout.
Me and HD were seriously discussing what to order at a take out counter, where an elderly Chinese man interrupted us and told us “Take Chow Mei Fun with Curry, you Indians like it”! I’m always open to taste new flavors and this sounded yummy, I searched the menu over and over again and didn’t find that listed. So we just told the guy at the counter and he made that for us, and since then, its a staple for us!! Many many thanks to the man who introduced me to this!! Trust me, those of you who have never tasted this will be thankful to me after you do
So as usual, I tried making this at home! It turned out pretty good, I made the curry powder at home. I tried searching for Chinese curry powder recipe, but found very vague ones, so I just made something I thought would suit my taste buds. The recipe follows. This curry powder is not too strong, its just really aromatic! If you do not want to make curry powder at home, use your favorite brand. I used the bean thread noodles (transparent noodles) that need to be just soaked in hot water for a few minutes to be cooked. You need to be really careful while doing this, as even an extra minute in the water could make the noodles too soft and soggy. I recommend trying out a small batch before making the entire quantity. Try a few different times and temperatures of the water and see what you like best. We like it a little bit chewy, which is made by immersing the noodles in hot (hottest) tap water for 3-4 mins. Also, the bean thread noodles are really really tough to break, so buy package sizes that you can use in a single meal. And make lots, as this is really light on the tummy! You could add what ever veggies you like, carrots, beans, cabbage, bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms snow peas, baby corn, bok choy etc. etc. etc. phew! And of course the non vegetarians can add their share of meats.
Rice/Bean thread noodles – as required (I used about 10 oz/283 gms)
Onion – 1 medium
Garlic – 2 cloves OR Garlic powder – 1 tsp
Vegetables – whatever you have!! (I used carrots, green peppers and shredded cabbage)
Curry Powder – 1 tbsp (or more, recipe follows)
Soy sauce – 1 Tbsp
Vinegar – 1 Tbsp(rice wine vinegar recommended, use whatever you have)
Sugar – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Water/Stock – 1/4 cup
Oil – 3 tbsp
Scallions/Spring onions – a few(to finish the dish, optional)
Eggs – as required(optional, scramble the eggs separately and add to the noodles)
- Slice all the vegetables thinly. Chop the garlic.
- Mix soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic powder, water and salt in a bowl and keep aside.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large flat bottom pan. Add the veggies(including onion and garlic) and stir fry for 3-4 mins. Once the veggies are sauteed (do not overcook the vegetables), add the curry powder and saute for 30 secs.
- Cook the rice noodles/bean threads as per package instructions. If using bean threads, cook them at the very last minute(soak them in hot water after you have started step 3). Drain the noodles and toss them with 1 Tbsp of oil.
- Add the mixture from step 2 and stir for 30 secs. Immediately add the cooked noodles and coat them nicely with the sauce and curry powder, be gentle and careful not to break the noodles too much. Adjust salt to taste. (We add salt now because soy sauce and curry powder have a little salt already, so now you can adjust seasoning without overdoing it). Cook for 3-4 mins until everything comes together.
- Finish with chopped green portion of the scallions(use the white portion in step no. 3) and scrambles eggs(optional).
- You could serve this plain or with a hot sauce of your choice.
Curry Powder recipe
Coriander seeds – 1 Tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 Tbsp
Dry Red Chillies – 3 no.(medium size) or Cayenne – 1 Tbsp
Cinnamon – 1/4 inch piece or 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Green/black cardamom – 1 no. small
Clove – 2 no.
Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
- Dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, red chillies, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom separately until aromatic on low flame(about 45 secs to 1 min each).
- Combine the ingredients from step 1 with turmeric powder and salt and make a fine powder in a spice/coffee grinder. Store in an airtight container.