Chow Mein or Lo Mein: There are just a few differences between each, other than that the preparation and ingredients are basically the same.
Two decisions: Do you want to include bean sprouts? Do you feel like eating Rice or Pasta? Without the bean sprouts and served with rice on the side it is Lo Mein. Add the bean sprouts and serve with noodles it is Chow Mein. Final Decision: Beef, Chicken, Pork, or Shrimp?
From the store: The meat you want (I chose pork), celery, mushrooms, green onions, water chestnuts, oyster sauce (if you can find it), bell pepper, and onion.
The Sauce: Again getting out most of them measurements, all you need is a regular spoon. In a bowl add a few spoonfuls of oyster sauce. (cannot find that) buy a can of oysters and use the water they are packed with, save the oysters for later, A few spoonfuls of soy sauce, and cooking wine. Add a few pinches of sugar and whisk well. Slice the pork or cube it (your choice) and spoon some of the sauce over the pork (marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes). Add a half cup of chicken broth to the remaining sauce and a level spoonful of corn starch and some crushed red Chile Flakes. Whisk very well and set aside it will be fine at room temperature.
Pre-dice the celery, mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, and drain the water chestnuts. Keep these in separate containers. If using Bean Sprouts buy them fresh, wash and also place in a separate container.
Pasta/Rice: Chow Mein is best with a “spaghetti” type noodle. Buy spaghetti or linguini break in half. Or just buy a package of ramen noodles (toss any flavor pack in the trash). Set in the microwave on high with water for 5 minutes. They will finish cooking later. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
Cook: Get the Wok out. A frying pan will work, just not quite as well. Cover the bottom slightly with olive oil and bring to a low heat. Things will move real fast now, have everything handy or find a helper. Start browning the meat, add the onion, and some garlic, stir fry some more. Add the bell pepper, and a few spoonfuls of sauce, stir fry for another minute or two. With each of the rest add a spoonful of the sauce with each ingredient. Add the celery stir for another minute. Add the mushrooms get them going for a minute. Add the water chestnuts (you got the idea now another minute). Toss the bean sprouts in. Add the noodles and any remaining sauce cook another few minutes and you are done.
Serve: Plate and serve with some sesame seed bread sticks.
Rating: Moderate to make Taste: Super