Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Take Away v. Home Made: Chicken Chow Mein

It's our favourite dish when we order Chinese. Chinese take away, is not in our budget too often. Thus rises the dilemma.

I set about Googling, Pinteresting and asking about how I can make the awesome chicken and sauce that mimics our Chinese shop.

Most of the recipes on the internet, called to stir-fry the chicken. This is not how the Chow Mein I prefer is cooked. It's softer, more tender, and it's white, not browned, like in a stir-fry.

I found a sauce recipe that boasted that it was thick, so I stored it away, and kept searching for the method to cook the chicken. Some recipes said to poach it, so I tried that, but it was a bit too rubbery. Some recipes said to steam it, but it was a bit too dry and tasteless.

Then I found a thing called velveting. This method is a big winner. So, using a few different recipes, I've finally made something that I'm proud to call Chicken Chow Mein.

What also makes my Chicken Chow Mein better than the one in the take away shops, is that I use these new to Australian supermarket noodles.

I read about them a couple of years ago. Magic, low calorie, low GI, extremely low carb, gluten free, no fat noodles, made from the soluble fibre of the konjac root. These are like the magic filler or a meal. Brought here, by Cheng's  a well known and trusted brand, I was keen to give them a go. What's better, is this week they are on special in Coles, for 2 packs for $3.

Now, I italicised the above text, so it draws your attention to it. These noodles are great. If you're on a weight loss journey, and are sick of feeling a bit empty, give the noodles a go. They can be used in soup, as pasta, in stir-fries and in spring rolls.

So, without further ado... Here is the perfect Chicken Chow Mein recipe.

Chicken Chow Mein- My style.

Feeds 4-6


Velvet Chicken

1kg boneless chicken thighs (or breasts)
2 egg whites
4 Tbls corn flour
1 tsp salt
1tsp pepper

The Vegetables
3 stalks of celery, cut into sticks
1 handful of snow peas, top and tailed
1/2 large red capsicum
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, julienned
bean sprouts
shallots, sliced on the diagonal

The Sauce

11/2 cups chicken stock
4 Tbls soy sauce
1 Tbls fish sauce
1 Tbls oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar
3 Tbls corn flour
2 Tbls water

2 packets of Cheng's Low-Cal Wok Ready Noodles- rinsed


1) Slice your chicken thighs or breasts, against the grain. So, if you look down on your meat, you'll see a long side, and a short side. You want to cut, so that you're cutting short strips, not long strips... Does that make sense? If not, let me know.
2) In a bowl, whisk the egg whites until they just start to get frothy
3) Add the corn flour, salt and pepper and stir.
4) Add the chicken strips and coat well.
5) Cover and put in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
6) Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
7) Add your chicken, a little at a time, and stir well, separating the strips. When all the chicken is in, stir and wait for it to boil again.
8) When it's foaming up, and the chicken is white, remove from the water, using a slotted spoon. Place on a platter and cover. If you're not using it straight away, put it in the fridge. This can be done a few hours in advance.
9) Get your sauce ready! Add stock, all sauces and sugar into a jug, and stir to dissolve sugar.
10) In a small bowl, dissolve corn flour in the water.
11) Stir-fry all vegetables, except the bean sprouts and shallots (they'll be used as garnish). I prefer my veggies crunchy, so it only takes a couple of minutes.
12) Add the chicken. When that's heated through, add the stock based sauce, and bring to the boil. It wont take long.
13) Add the corn flour, and stir like a crazy person. It might be handy to have a little more stock on hand, in case it's too thick, although, mine was perfect.
14) Add in noodles and gently stir through

15) Serve in a bowl, with sprouts and shallots to garnish.

 Yes, I realise the photo is a bit crap- but the food was delicious!

So.. Take Away v. Home Made?

Cost: TA: $11.90 for two serves
          HM: $14 for 4 serves
Time: I was pretty impressed how quick it was put together. Probably quicker than getting in the car, ordering and waiting for it to be cooked. So HM wins.
Dietary Needs:  Lots of vegetables, and with the noodles instead of rice, WAY less carbs! Win for HM
Convenience: I have the ingredients in my cupboard/fridge/freezer most of the time, so that's also pretty great.

So it's a WIN for Home Made!
Let me know if you try it, if you changed anything and what you thought!!!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Adult Toy Review- Rating XXX

A competition, on Facebook!
Oh what do I have to do?
Vote on this, like a post,
Refer a friend or two?

You've gotta be in it to win it,
Was my motto, which stood by me.
But I think my obsession has gone too far,
Knowing what it is, was not the key.

I saw a post by Naughty Partys
A give away, she said.
Get your friends to come over and say hi,
And you can win this toy for bed.

I glanced at the picture,
My eyes got a little wider.
I've never seen anything so odd,
Looks like a rubber table cloth slider.

"Why not," my brain said to me.
Make it fun, if I win, I'll review it.
Surely another will want it more,
They'll have more friends, I knew it.

But my friends stood by me,
Went over and said hi.
I blushed at the postman,
Grimaced and waved good bye.

Here I hold the package,
Instructions in my hand.
In an empty house,
I look at my wedding band.

I feel the pressure to use it,
It's like it's taunting me.
Don't be scared, light some candles,
How awkward can this be?


Well, let me just say,
I wasn't expecting that.
My imagination was far more horrible,
I thought I'd finish flat.

By myself I couldn't do it,
So I waited for the man.
We had some wine, got in the mood,
Finished watching Wedding Band.

And in the bedroom, together,
It wasn't even scary.
Ok- that's a lie,
Sorry Virgin Mary.

We played and we giggled,
It wasn't what I thought.
Back and front hole, no no.
It's for the button and the lady port.

So we played Christian and Ana,
Not that he knew the game.
But we tried something different,
And it was special all the same.

Now with out getting graphic,
Because Mum and Dad are reading this.
Using an adult toy in the bedroom,
Is certainly not a cuddle and a kiss.

So if you're feeling flat,
Talk to the ladies at Naughty Partys
Grab some batteries and some wine,
It'll make your heart race for starties.

And we're all adults here,
And we know you want to try it.
Don't be scared, have a look,
Message them and buy it!

Friday, 8 March 2013

Upcycle Old Formula Tins

I did this project a few weeks ago, and they've been really handy. You could keep craft supplies, flour, tea, or whatever you like. The tins are great because they are air tight... and FREE!