Sheet pan chow mein

By Hetty McKinnon
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Cantonese chow mein is well known for its contrasting textures – crispy fried strands tangled with soft noodles, tender-crisp veggies, all smothered in an umami-rich sauce. While the wok is still the traditional (and arguably the best) cooking vessel for chow mein, a humble sheet pan is also a handy way to rustle it up with minimal effort. Simply throw everything on a sheet pan and let the oven do the work for you. It’s also a great way to use up leftover vegetables or seasonal produce. Dried (or fresh) thin egg noodles are generally best for chow mein, as they crisp up nicely, but if you’re less concerned about crispiness, use whatever noodles you have on hand. 

SERVES
4

Ingredients

  • 1 bell pepper (any color), finely sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely sliced diagonally
  • 1 broccoli head, cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 9 ounces (255g) dried thin egg noodles
  • 1 can (8.8 ounce/250g) cut baby corn, drained
  • 5 ounces (140g) asparagus, woody ends trimmed, cut into 2-inch (5cm) pieces
  • 1 scallion, finely sliced
  • Handful of cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds
  • Sea salt

Soy seasoning:

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos
  • 1 tablespoon vegetarian stir-fry sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated

Substitute:

  • Broccoli: Asian greens
  • Asparagus: sugar snap peas or snow peas
  • Vegetarian stir-fry sauce: omit if unavailable
  • Egg noodles: ramen noodles - wheat noodles for vegan

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Place the bell pepper, carrot and broccoli on a half sheet pan (about 13 x 18 inches / 32.5 x 45cm), drizzle with the sesame oil and a splash of olive oil and season with sea salt. Toss to coat in the oil, then bake for ten minutes until the vegetables are starting to soften.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the egg noodles, and cook according to the packet instructions until al dente, about four to five minutes. Drain and cool under cold running water. Drain well again and pat dry with a clean tea towel.
  4. For the soy seasoning, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.
  5. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and push the vegetables to the side. Add the noodles, corn and asparagus. Drizzle the noodles with olive oil, season with sea salt and toss well to coat. Return the tray to the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, until the noodles are crispy on the top and bottom. You are looking for a combination of crispy and non-crispy noodles.
  6. Remove the sheet pan from the oven, drizzle over the soy seasoning and toss well. Scatter over the scallion, cilantro and sesame seeds and serve. 

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