Monday, January 25, 2010

Vegan Crispy Chow Fun

Crispy Chow Fun is one of my favorite dishes that I copied from a restaurant. It's basically fried rice noodle with vegetables on top in a thick sauce. Not the healthiest dish in the world, but yummy! Here's a general guide on how to make it. (Please don't ask me for precise measurements because I'm just no good at that, LOL!)

Crispy Chow Fun
thick fresh rice noodles/chow fun noodles (available in Asian markets)
bell pepper
napa cabbage
(whatever other vegetables you have on hand)
vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce
soy paste
corn starch
salt, black pepper to taste

1. Cut tofu into thin pieces and fry them until golden. Set aside.
2. Tear the fresh rice noodle into thinner pieces. Add liberal amount of oil into a flat skillet and fry the rice noodles until crispy on both sides. This part takes a while so you could work on the veggies at the same time.
3. In a large pan (wok is good), cook up all the veggies and then add the tofu.
4. Add a tablespoon of corn starch to 1-2 cups of cold water (depending on how much sauce you like...I like a lot!) and then add that to the veggies.
5. Add a swirl or two each of the vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce and soy paste. Add a little bit of sugar and salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange the fried noodles on plate and pile the veggies and sauce over it and serve. Voila!

And I leave you with Day 3 of my sprouts progress:

Look how long they've grown already! I'm amazed! This is so fun, I'm so glad Laloofah got me into this. Thanks, girlfriend! :-)


  1. Hi, VW!

    You must be saying very nice things to your sprouts, for them to be growing so fast! :-) They look great, and I'm so glad you're having fun doing this! (It's pretty addictive, actually!) Won't be long till you're skimming off the hulls - a process I found pretty tedious at first, but now it provides me with several "moments of Zen." LOL

    Your stir-fry looks so good... we used to make stir-fries a lot, but we've wandered off as we added more recipes, cookbooks, foods, cooking techniques and ethnicities to our repertoire, and haven't made a stir-fry in a couple of years. Looking at yours makes me want to get back to it! Never was a fan of the fried noodles (and we stopped using oil or margarine completely a couple years ago), but I love stir-fry over brown rice or quinoa! Your not measuring made me chuckle, you sound like me. You Italian? ;-) I've never had vegetarian oyster mushroom sauce (that I know of!) By "soy paste," do you mean miso? And if you do mean miso, do you use light or dark?

    By the way, I just noticed VeganDad's latest post is about bread-baking! I think you may have started something. ;-)

  2. Skimming off hulls? I think I better go read that instruction manual again, LOL!

    Yup, stir fries are the easiest for me right now until I build up my cooking skills. It's very good already that I still have all my fingers in tact. :-D

    Soy paste is different from miso (I'm pretty new to miso actually; I've only used it for VeganDad's mac n cheese!). Soy paste comes in a bottle like this and the vegetarian mushroom "oyster" sauce looks like this.

    I've seen VeganDad's recent bread posting and I think it'll take me a year to get to that stage of perfection. He's baking through a book so I'll have to look that up in the bookstore on my next trip. But I better not get ahead of myself...LOL!

  3. Hi, VW!

    Yep, skimming the hulls! :-)

    I don't have a mini salad spinner, so I just use a bowl, and so far have found using a fork to pick up the hulls off the surface of the water works best. I found a lovely very fine mesh stainless steel skimmer at the local kitchen shop and got all excited because I knew it would be perfect for skimming the hulls off the surface of the water, but then I saw the $20 price tag and thought, "Nah, a fork works just fine!" :-)

    Thanks for sharing the links to the soy paste and veg mushroom oyster sauce (is it supposed to taste like oyster mushrooms, or like mushrooms and oysters, I'm wonderin'?) I may look for organic versions, as non-organic soy products and non-organic corn products do not pass these lips. (Far too likely to be genetically modified, as well as pesticide/herbicide laden!) But now I'll have a better idea what to look for!

    II don't think to use miso as often as I could, it hasn't become a habit but it has become a staple. You'll probably find yourself using miso more as your kitchen adventures unfold! :-)

    Yes, baking bread can be a real art form! I'd love to master it one day, but for now we're sticking with the basics too... as you mention, it can be easy to get ahead of ourselves! Like, we bought this book a couple years ago, lol!)

  4. Hi VW!

    I just found your blog because of your comment left on mine... I really love what I see here. I'm kindof new to this...How do I become a follower of your blog?

  5. Hi Marcia, Thanks for coming by! There's a "subscribe to post" thingamajig at the top right of the blog. I'm pretty new to blogging too. I look forward to walking the vegan journey with you. :-)

    Laloofah, you crack me up! Price tags often dash my daydreaming too, LOL!
    I admire your strict organic, non-GMO lifestyle. I am walking towards that direction now too as much as I can. Hopefully our planned veggie garden will help with that!

  6. Oh, and I haven't seen an organic version of the sauces yet, but will let you know if I do.

    The mushroom "oyster" sauce is suppose to mimic oyster but tastes like mushroom to me. Then again, I don't remember what meat stuff taste like. :-D

  7. Hey, VW!

    LOL.. yeah, mon, those stupid price tags totally cramp our style! :-)

    Thank you, but we're not as worthy of your admiration as you may think. :-) We do our absolute best to avoid GMOs, and we buy organic as much as possible, but when we can't find organic versions of the produce items we need we sometimes buy them conventionally grown. However, we have a firm rule about a few things we'll only buy organic, including anything made with or from soy or corn, because along with cotton, they're the most genetically modified crops in the world. So if they're not certified organic (or at least non-GMO), there's a very high probability they're GM. You'd asked me if the MRH broccoli seeds were GMO, so I figured you'd want to know about corn and soy if you weren't already aware. As for other produce, I keep a very handy list from Environmental Working Group in my purse, to help me decide which things I will or won't buy if they're not available organically. You can print one out here. They have a wallet guide of the 12 cleanest and "dirtiest" produce items, and a longer list with all 40-something foods they've tested. I carry both, for I am a merciless shopper. LOL

    I can't wait to read your future posts about your veggie garden! We have a little one, about 10x10, and have had great luck in past years (despite our ridiculously short growing season), but haven't been able to grow much - if anything - the past couple of years for a variety of reasons (like grasshoppers!). You should have bumper crops where you live! Know what you're going to plant yet? My friend Robyn got a greenhouse last year, the lucky wench!! :-)

    There are oyster mushrooms (I guess they look like oysters, but I have no idea what they taste like, I've never had one! Have you?) Maybe those are in your sauce?

  8. Thank you VW!!!

    I look forward to reading more on your blog. I need all the help I can get, and I appreciate your ideas and recommendations!

    Talk to you soon,

  9. P.S. Sorry to swamp your comments section again! But I wanted to add that the EWG list only deals with pesticides, not GM. I'd found this handy info on a web site a year or so ago and copied it, and I'm glad I did because the web site page I copied it from no longer exists!

    You know those little stickers on bulk produce sold in grocery and health food stores? PLU codes for organic (and biodynamic) produce have 5 digits and always begin with the number "9". PLU codes for non-organic produce have only the last 4 digits. Genetically Engineered produce has a 5-digit code starting with "8", but since labeling of GE foods is voluntary, and most producers DON'T want consumers to know the food is (or contains ingredients that are) genetically modified (and have been fighting labeling laws with ruthless vigor), don't expect to find produce with THAT code any time soon!

    Also, in case anyone has ever wondered, the glue on the stickers is food grade and contains no animal ingredients. (And the stickers themselves are non-toxic).