Food comes first in my family as we have a lot of good cooks, from aunties and uncles to grandmas and of course Mum, the most influential person to shape my culinary instincts. It also helped that my parents had a fruit shop when I was growing up, so we always had an amazing variety of fresh veggies to cook with at home. We’re third generation Kiwis so Mum cooks a Kiwi-evolved version of traditional Chinese recipes here. The veggie-loaded chow mein is a fast and easy dish to make – perfect for the middle of the week and in a pinch you can use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge. Mum’s soy-braised chicken is one of my favourites to this day. Comfort food at its best and so easy to prepare with few ingredients.
– Anthony Hoy Fong
Soy Braised Chicken Thighs with Shiitake Mushrooms
- 4 dried Chinese (shiitake) mushrooms
- 500g fresh egg noodles
- 2 tbsp canola oil, divided
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 small carrot, peeled and julienned
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup cauliflower florets
- 1 small courgette, sliced
- 1 head small bok choy, diagonally sliced
- 1/2 small red capsicum, thinly sliced
- 5 green beans, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 12 medium prawns, peeled and deveined
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced diagonally
Place dried mushrooms in a cup of hot water and microwave for 2 minutes on high to rehydrate.
Preheat oven to 50°C. Place egg noodles in a colander and rinse under boiling water to loosen and get rid of excess starch. Drain well. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a wok or large non-stick frying pan on a high heat. Add noodles and stir-fry (stirring and tossing frequently), until lightly crisped. Transfer to a large platter and keep warm in the oven.
Reheat wok over a high heat. Working in batches, coat bottom of wok with a thin layer of beaten egg and roll it around to create a thin omelette. Remove and repeat. Stack omelettes flat on a cutting board, cut into thin strips, and set aside.
Add sesame oil to wok and stir-fry carrot, onion, garlic, and ginger for 1 minute until carrot is tender. Slice rehydrated mushrooms and add to wok with remaining vegetables. Stir in soy sauce and oyster sauce and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until vegetables are just tender. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add remaining tablespoon of canola oil to wok and stir-fry prawns over high heat for 3-5 minutes until pink and just cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in any liquid that has gathered from the plate of cooked vegetables. Mix cornflour with enough water to make a thick but smooth paste, pour into wok, and simmer briefly, stirring into prawns and liquids to make a gravy.
Remove the platter of noodles from the oven. Arrange vegetables on top, then prawns, then pour over the gravy. Garnish with sliced omelette and spring onions and serve immediately.