Chow mein, from the Chinese chaomian, is a popular dish that we all know and love, featuring thinly sliced proteins, crisp vegetables, and egg noodles. Despite being standard takeout fare, the delicate egg noodles often clump into a brick that is frustratingly both squishy and difficult to break apart. During the pandemic, Chef Ryan Wong from Los Angeles’ Needle found a solution to this. He began using Japanese udon noodles, which are thicker, made from wheat, and transport much better.
Even if you’re only transporting yours from Wok to plate, udon is still a bit easier to work with and source than egg noodles, which vary significantly in quality across brands. Plus, they are par-cooked so all you need to do is give them a quick blanch and they’re ready to go. Make sure you get your Wok super hot to achieve a good sear on your proteins and vegetables, and the whole process will come together in a matter of minutes.
A take on the classic chow mein, this time with sturdier Japanese udon noodles.
Fill your Stainless Clad Saucepan with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the water boils, add udon noodles and for 30 seconds. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Place your Carbon Steel Wok over high heat until smoking. Pour in enough oil to coat the bottom. Add the sliced pork and stir fry until the edges are browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and stir fry until the edges are browned, about 3 minutes more.
Toss in the preserved black bean and garlic sauce. When the garlic becomes fragrant, add the udon noodles, cabbage, and sugar snap peas, stirring constantly.
Pour in the wine, sauces, sugar, and white pepper. Stir fry for an additional 2 minutes until everything is warmed through and fully combined.
Adjust salt to taste and remove from heat. Plate and garnish with chopped scallion.
Photo Credit: Catherine Dzilenski