So what corner of the world would you like to go for dinner tonight? How about go to China and order this robust authentic Chinese chow mein.
During my college years in China, I tried the chow mein from everyone of the 20+ vendors at the school cafeteria until I found one I really loved that stood out among all the others. With my knowledge of Chinese food and lab skills, I easily cracked the recipe. After I moved to the US, I would often try the chow mein dishes at the Chinese restaurants when traveling, but none of them came even close to tasting like the chow mein I had in china. They were all Americanized Chinese chow mein, void of any authentic Chinese flavor.
For this super easy to make dish, I used gluten-free brown rice spaghetti. Adding the two magic spices, cumin and red pepper, made this veggie chow mein taste just like the one I had in China.
For the choice of vegetables, I used sugar snap peas from my garden. I like the fresh herbal flavor and eye-catching bright green color. They only need a little bit heat to make them tender and crispy. By replacing the traditional meat ingredients with my perfectly oven baked spicy and crispy tofu cubes, you definitely won’t regret missing the meat. I like to drizzle a little bit of my homemade chili oil to give the whole dish some more heat.
Whole grain brown rice spaghetti, garden-fresh sugar snap peas, and perfectly seasoned oven baked crispy tofu cubes, incorporated together, make this vegan version chow mein a quick, easy, and healthy main-course dish. It has only 307 calories per serving. Let’s dig in!
Note: This recipe does contain brown rice spaghetti, but if you want a low carb/grain free version, use spaghetti squash! The Kitchn has a wonderful tutorial on how to prep it. Just gently toss together the sautéd tofu and veggie with the spaghetti squash before serving. Frying the spaghetti squash may turn the squash into mush. The squash version contains approximately 175 calories per serving. Here’s to nature’s trick on pasta!
- 9 cups water
- 10 oz (283 g) uncooked gluten-free brown rice spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 9 oz (255 g) sugar snap peas
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 8.5 oz (241 g) baked tofu cubes (made from 1 pack of 15 oz fresh firm tofu, see note)
- ½ teaspoon red pepper
- ¾ teaspoon cumin powder (fresh ground preferred)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce
- (optional) 1 teaspoon chili oil (see note)
- Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add uncooked spaghetti and cook according to package directions; rinse with cold water and drain.
- While the spaghetti is cooking, remove and discard the stem end and string from each sugar snap pod. Cut them in half lengthwise.
- Heat a sauté pan over high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil when the pan is hot. Wait for approximately 10 seconds until the oil is hot and then add garlic and ginger. Stir quickly until they are fragrant. Approximately 20 seconds. Add sugar snap peas, roasted tofu, red pepper, cumin powder, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stir until the snap peas are crispy and tender. Approximately 3 minutes. Set aside in a plate.
- Heat the rest of oil in the sauté pan over medium heat. Add the spaghetti and stir briefly. Add soy sauce and the remaining salt. Stir to combine. Approximately 1 minute. Add the snap peas and tofu to the spaghetti and toss gently. Serve immediately with chili oil at the table.
See link here for the preparation of oven baked tofu.
See link for homemade chili oil.
Nutritional information calculated with whole grain brown rice spaghetti.