Meatless Monday: Vegetable Chow Mein
In the time it takes you to pick up the phone and order, and then fetch your meal, you can whip up your own authentic Chinese dinner at home. Ching-He Huang's Chow Mein recipe is easy to make (her shows are called Chinese Made Easy and Easy Chinese: San Francisco, after all), it uses ingredients you can find in any grocery store and you have total control over the ingredients so you can be sure it's meatless. And if you really don't want to miss out on the take-out experience, pack up your leftovers in a Chinese take-out container and enjoy them for lunch the next day.
Recipe courtesy of Ching-He Huang
Makes: 4 servings
4 cups mixed fresh mushrooms (shiitake, king trumpet, cremini, button, etc.), sliced
Fill a wok or medium saucepan with water, bring to a boil and cook the egg noodles until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain, then coat with the toasted sesame oil to prevent the noodles from sticking together and set aside.
Heat a wok over high heat and add the vegetable oil. When the wok is smoking, add the garlic and stir-fry until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and cook until starting to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Season the mushrooms with the Chinese five-spice powder. Stir-fry for 1 minute more, then add the spinach and stir-fry for another minute until wilted (you can add a few tablespoons of water to help create some steam to cook the spinach if necessary). Toss in the cooked egg noodles, season with the light soy sauce and salt. Garnish with sliced scallions, toasted black and white sesame seeds and serve immediately.
Why should you go meatless on Mondays, and how can you do it? Skipping meat once a week has been proven to have a major (and positive) impact on the health of the environment and ourselves, but watch this animated video from the Humane Society for more on that.
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