So my first entry…Chicken Chow Mein. Maybe a little surprising as the first entry from Spain but I wanted to take advantage of a lunchtime trip near the Chinese community in Barcelona to go ingredients shopping.
I started by using one of my favourite food sites; BBC food. Searching on the recipes section I found three different ones for Chicken Chow Mein. Each of them included ingredients that I didn’t have so the first hurdle was a visit to the Chinese supermarket hoping my Spanish was good enough to find the ingredients I needed…
The trip was successful; bought the required rice wine vinegar, noodles, sesame seed oil as well as some spicy sauce, coconut milk and thai green curry paste for another time! The recipe I went for in the end was Ken Hom’s Chicken Chow Mein. He is well known to me but to be honest, his recipe meant the least purchases from the Chinese supermarket so easier for me!
So now I’m cooking for a kind of audience I thought I’d better start things well. First things first, I lay out all the ingredients which is not too easy in a kitchen of our size; it means removing half of the preparation space! The majority of the ingredients I already had (salt, pepper sugar, chicken, ham) and these were supplemented with the purchases from the Chinese supermarket. In fact, this recipe is pretty simple so a good one to start with.
While I let the chicken marinate for 20 mins, I chopped the spring onions and the mangetout and got my official photographer back in for some more shots!
Then for the cooking; first I stir fried the chicken for a couple of minutes. I assumed that as I had to get the sesame oil very hot, I would still keep this level of heat to cook the chicken. The only problem being the oil was going everywhere and not for the first time (a pity when the hobs are surrounded by utensils and oils).
After cooking and removing the chicken I added the remaining ingredients again keeping the heat very high. I think maybe it was too high for the garlic as I couldn’t add the other ingredients fast enough (within the required 10 seconds!).
However, it all looked and smelt fine so I finished it off by adding back the chicken and cooking for a further 3-4 minutes before serving.
Overall, I was happy and my dining companion (and photographer!) even happier! The taste was good and strong and in reality the recipe is fairly easy so a successful start. I would like to try some other recipes for Chow Mein in the future but for now I’m already thinking in another theme closer to home!