Vegetable Chow Mein

I’ve just returned from a long trip to Orange County which was so fun seeing my relatives and having a little family reunion the last weekend we were there.  I grew up in the OC area so being able to stay for about 2 weeks and revisit some of my old stomping grounds was quite nostalgic and makes me want to move back there again.  I just LOVE the convenience of having my favorite Korean stores and restaurants so close by and i LOVE LOVE LOVE the M&L Discount Fabric store in Anaheim.  It may be a good thing I don’t live close to that fabric store or I might just break the piggy bank.  My husband is soooo against southern California but the only excuse he can come up with is the traffic.  But there’s bad traffic here in NOr Cal!  He takes the BART up here so that makes it a lot better.  The traffic in So Cal is bad… I must say, but people still make do there!  Not to mention the food seems to be sooooo much more affordable!  The food prices in Nor Cal seem to be hiked up compared to the prices in So Cal.  The housing market seems more affordable in certain areas as well in SO Cal.  I’ve still have a ways to go before convincing my husband that we can move to So Cal.  Actually, I love Nor Cal as well.  I definitely love that it is more green and not as hot in the summer (in the bay area), love the people, love just the feel.  So Cal just seems a lot more busy and people seem to be less relaxed.  Every area has their good and bad.  🙂

So one of the reasons for my visit to OC: My cousin just had her first baby and she is the most adorable chubadub!  I wish we lived close so my Clara (who will be 1 yr in less than a month) and Elise can play together and be like sisters just like me and my cousins were growing up.  My 3 kids and I stayed at my aunt’s house for those 2 weeks and I’m sure we drove them crazy…  Really appreciate that my aunt and uncle love children.  They loved having us there… or so they say.  ha hah a.

Now, you’re probably wondering where the Chow Mein comes in… Well, it really doesn’t have anything to do with my OC trip, but this is a blog and I get to rant, right?  🙂  Thanks for reading.

This is a recipe adapted from the Williams and Sonoma Recipe book.  I decreased the amount of vinegar is uses, and make a few other minor tweaks to really make it mine!

Vegetable Chow Mein
10 oz pack of egg noodles
1 zucchini, cut into matchsticks
3/4 onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup dried, sliced shitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water
5 TBS canola oil
1 TBS grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBS each: soy sauce, oyster sauce, water
1 TBS each: rice vinegar, sesame oil
1 tsp sugar

 Prep your vegetables, ginger, and garlic.  Soak the dried shitake mushrooms in warm water, then gently squeeze out the excess water once mushrooms are soft.

Bring a medium pot of water to a full boil, add the noodles, and cook for about 2-3 mins.  Drain, rinse well with cold water.  Place the drained noodles in a bowl and toss with 1 TBS of canola oil.

In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, water, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar.  Set aside

Heat a wok over high heat until very hot and add 2 TBS canola oil.  Stir-fry the bell peppers and onions for about 2 mins until almost tender.  Add the mushrooms and zucchini and cook for about 2 more mins then transfer all the vegetables to a plate/wide bowl.

Return the wok to high heat and add the remaining 2 TBS oil and stir fry the garlic and ginger for about 5 secs.
Add the noodles to the pan and cook until heated then add the cooked vegetables and the sauce and stir-try until heated through, about 1 min.  
Then serve!
Makes about 4 adult servings as a main dish, more as a side dish.

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