Today’s post will include a short history lesson or should it be Social Studies? I’m not quite sure. Well here goes. I’m featuring Chowmein. How is this Guyanese you ask? Well, Guyana is a fusion of six cultures. Chinese is one of them. Indian is another (you might have guessed this from the Indian dishes I posted before).
Chowmein is definitely one of my favorite dishes to cook and eat. It’s one of those dishes that most Guyanese make on special occasions (Birthday parties etc) or for lunch on Sundays. But in my house, it’s an “any day you don’t feel like cooking too much but want something delicious kind of meal” to prepare. So we have it often! It’s quick and perfect for my lazy days.
Okay, enough of that. Let’s get to the cooking…
While the chicken marinades, let’s prep the vegetables…
Bringing it together…
Guyanese Chicken Chowmein
1 pk dried Chowmein noodles
1 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs
1 small onion (thinly sliced)
3 tbsp. oil
1 1/2 mixed (red, green, yellow) bell peppers (thinly sliced)
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables or
1 carrot (julienne)
1 cup petite green beans (cut into 2 inch pieces)
1 cup fresh or canned sweet corn
1/2 head of broccoli (speared)
1/2 head of cauliflower (speared)
1/3 green cabbage (thinly shredded)
5 heads of green onions (shallot, scallions) finely chopped
To Season the chicken:
1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. cassareep or soy sauce
3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. mustard
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
You can also add 1 tbsp. ketchup (if you like)
Follow the instructions on the packet to cook the noodles. Chop chicken into 1 inch chunks. Then season with thyme, cassareep or soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, salt, mustard, black pepper and ketchup (if you’re using that). Set aside and let marinade for about 5 minutes. Prepare the vegetables. Then in a skillet large enough for the noodles, warm oil on medium heat. Add onions and cook until onions are brown and soft. Then increase heat to high. Add seasoned chicken and cook for about 10 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked. Add vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes, constantly turning for even cooking. Add the peppers and cook for 3 minutes. Peppers should be crunchy after cooking. Then add the cabbage and the noodles. Toss together then add chopped scallions. Remove from heat and enjoy.
Tips and Ramblings:
1. The key to good chowmein is to have a bit of sauce in the cooked meat and vegetables, so that once you add the noodles, it soaks all that goodness up.
2. You could substitute the protein in this dish for any protein of choice or eliminate it all together.
3. It takes about 30 minutes to cook this dish if you have cook time management. Chop chicken first, season and set aside, put noodles on, while noodles are cooking prep veggies. Etc.
4. After writing this post, I wanted to go make some more chowmein. I seriously love this stuff.
5. CASSAREEP is a Guyanese dark sauce (similar to soy sauce) made from cassava/yuca juice. It’s traditionally made by the indigenous peoples (Amerindians) of Guyana and makes stews and almost any dish you would add soy sauce too, taste amazing.
6. You can also cook this dish in a wok. Once upon a time, I had a wok. It was amazing. We had so much fun. I made lots of delicious stir Fries. Then we moved and got an electric stove. The wok doesn’t work the same with an electric stove. The wok was laid to rest. The end.