Throwback Thursday- Family Style Chinese food

Ever since I was a child I would have family style Chinese food. This is not your typical Chinese American cuisine. Majority of authentic Chinese restaurant are identified based on the number of Chinese customers eating there. There are two family style Chinese cuisine I have eaten at, both in Elmhurst. Every year I always have to celebrate my birthday with Chinese food. I grew up with the belief of consuming noodles on my birthday signifying long life.  When I eat at these family style Chinese restaurants I always request an order of pan fried noodles. Recently I had a craving a found a recipe to make it on own, which was recently posted here under Traditional Tuesday. In addition to the pan fried noodles we would order a crusted t-bone steak and honey walnut shrimp.

The top collage was taken place at China Pearl Chinese Restaurant, one of the original Chinese restaurants in Elmhurst. Total meal cost including tip was $300.

The bottom collage was taken place at the recently opened Broadway Seafood Chinese Restaurant also located in Elmhurst. Total meal cost including tip was $170.

The major differences between the two restaurants is the quality of food. China Pearl had the better house special soup, steak and honey shrimp walnut while Broadway Seafood had more street food options such as lamb chops and roast pig and duck and soy sauce chicken.

The pan fried noodles with seafood is better at Broadway Seafood than in China Pearl.

Stay tuned for more eating journeys…

Traditional Tuesday – Pan Fried Noodles

In the past week or two, I have had this craving of pan fried noodles with some type of gravy sauce.  When I was child I was considered a picky eater.  My father who is a chef would bring home a variety of dishes and even cook some too.  I was told I had expensive food tastes as my two favorites were sharkfin soup and pan fried noodles with beef.

Even though my food palate has evolved over time and I eat everything now, I will always have a love for an order of family style pan fried noodle dish with either beef or seafood during my family outings at a Chinese restaurant.

I went grocery shopping last week and came across a packet of “Hong Kong Style Pan Fried Noodles”.  Immediately, I had a huge craving for this dish so I purchased a packet and searched online for the best recipes to replicate the dish in most healthy way possible with the ingredients I have at home.  As a result, this recipe is adapted from two recipes that I found made the best pan fried noodles.

During the creation of this dish, my phone decided to not cooperate with me so unfortunately I do not have my usual photo of my ingredient layout.  In addition, there is no exact calorie count.

Please note that leftover cooked vegetables (carrots and cabbage) were used in stir fry portion of this dish.  This dish serves 2 people.

Chicken & Marinade adapted from RecipeTinEats:

2 Boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced (120 calories/serving)

1 teaspoon of reduced sodium soy sauce (3 calories)

1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil

1 tsp flour or cornstarch

white pepper

  1. Slice chicken breasts into thin slices
  2. Add all ingredients and combine
  3. Let it sit in room temperature for at least 15 minutes.

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Pan Fried Noodles adapted from Serious Eats 

1/2 lb. of Hong Kong style pan fried noodles (300 calories/serving).

2 tablespoons of Canola oil (120 calories/serving)

1/4 cup of water

  1. Add 1 tbsp. of canola oil to the wok
  2. Separate noodles by hand and add them to the oil in medium high heat.
  3. Pat noodles to make it into a pancake for about 1 minute
  4. Add water to create steam so the noodles would not burn.
  5. Swirl the pan so the noodles on the periphery could get crispy.
  6. Slide the noodles unto a big plate, obtain another big plate and invert the noodles to transfer.
  7. Add the remaining 1 tbsp. of canola to the wok.
  8. Return the uncooked side noodles to the pan and repeat steps 3-5.
  9. Slide the noodles unto the big plate.

Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry adapted from RecipeTinEats

Sauce

3 tbsp. of flour or cornstarch

3 tbsp. of water

3/4 of chicken bouillon dissolved in 3/4 cup of water

1 tbsp. oyster sauce

2 tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce (20 calories)

1 tsp. sugar

  1.  Combine above ingredients to create this stir fry sauce.

Stir fry

1 tablespoon minced garlic (15 calories)

1 tablespoon olive oil (120 calories)

2 shallots, chopped

leftover cooked cabbage and carrots.

  1. Heat olive oil and add garlic.
  2. Add marinated chicken and stir fry until golden brown
  3. Add shallots and cooked vegetables
  4. Add stir fry sauce and let it simmer for about 1 minute.
  5. Place stir fry and sauce over the noodles.

Unfortunately I do not have the finished product as my phone died and I was hungry.  The dish was less starchy and salty compared to what I have eaten at Chinese restaurants.  The texture of the dish was pretty close.  The dish was cheaper to make than ordering it at the restaurant.   Creating this dish was an experience in itself and the techniques used to cook at home versus at a restaurant is different due to space and availability.  I definitely want to make this again using different ingredients so stay tuned!