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Chow mein | Updated: 2011-01-04 18:33

Chow mein (Simplified Chinese: 炒面, Traditional Chinese: 炒麪/炒麵; pinyin: chǎomiàn; literally "stir-fried noodles") is an American Chinese stir-fried dish consisting of noodles, meat, and cabbage and other vegetables. It is often served as a specific dish at westernised Chinese restaurants with soy sauce and vegetables such as celery, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts. Crunchy chow mein is a type of fried or baked chow mein sprinked on American Chinese salad dishes, such as Chinese chicken salad, in a manner similar to croutons.

Chow mein

Canadian westernized Chinese restaurants may offer up to three different types of chow mein, none of which are identical to Western chow mein. Cantonese style chow mein contains deep-fried crunchy golden egg noodles, green peppers, pea pods, bok choy, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, shrimp, Chinese pork (Char siu), chicken, and beef, and is served in a thick sauce. It is the typical marquee dish in a Canadian Chinese meal. Plain chow mein is similar to Western chow mein but contains far more mung bean sprouts; some recipes may be up to one-half bean sprouts. Hong Kong style chow mein is similar to plain chow mein but is always served on a bed of deep-fried crunchy golden egg noodles.

Chow mein

Chow mein is also common in Indian Chinese cuisine, having been introduced by the Chinese of Calcutta. It is usually offered Hakka or with gravy. Catering to vegetarian diets, is an Indian variant, the vegetable chow mein, which consists of noodles with cabbage, bamboo shoots, pea pods, green peppers, and carrots.

In Chinese-speaking areas, 'chow mein' is a generic term for a dish of stir-fried noodles, of which there are hundreds if not thousands of varieties.

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