Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Easy Chinese Takeout From Home!

Clockwise from top: Rangoon, Pork Bun, Scallion Paratha, Lo Mein

I've been craving Chinese food for some time now, the fattening, so greasy that if you touch anything after you eat and light it on fire it would stay lit forever, kind of Chinese food. And I want all of the sides and everything! Since I have been unemployed I have had time to exercise every day, and I certainly didn't want to ruin it with the oh so yummy Chinese take out from down the road so off I went on a little venture to Hong Kong Market. 

I picked up a few things that I needed, specifically, the noodles. There were SOOOO many kinds of noodle to choose from but finally I decided on the flat "stir fry" variety, I also believe these ones do not contain eggs, just an fyi. The directions said that you don't have to boil them first, but I did. You only need to boil them for a minute or two at the most.

I also was thinking that I wanted a steamed pork bun and scallion pancake. Off to the freezer aisles which are completely loaded with gyoza, shumai, egg rolls, pot stickers, pork buns, bean curd buns...oh my! Too many things to name. So I actually settled upon the scallion paratha, which is Indian, but was much cheaper than the scallion pancake (and tasted perfect!). Also, on sale were the roasted pork buns. There are so many kinds; pork with mustard, pork with cabbage, roasted pork (this is my favorite), pork with leeks and so on.

There are going to be a few items that sound scary, like oyster sauce. Its not scary, don't read about it and don't taste it plain (it doesn't taste fishy don't worry) and you will be just fine. If you buy a bottle you will surprisingly use it quite often in asian cooking. Soy sauce? Not so scary but try to go for the reduced sodium, no need for full sodium. Also, the noodles can be made vegetarian and even vegan. Who says veggie or vegan food can't be tasty? Just find the vegetarian 'oyster' sauce then.

When I got home I remembered that I had the ingredients to make crab rangoon, so I added that to the menu as well!

Vegetable Lo Mein (because I totally forgot to add the Chinese Extra Lean Sausage grrr)

6 oz. lo mein noodles
1 tbsp  oyster sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tbsp canola or peanut oil
1 onion diced
1 bell pepper sliced thin (any color, I used red, its what I had geesh!)
1 cup snow peas, can be sliced or left whole
4-5 sliced mushrooms
1 cup sliced bamboo shoot
1 small can water chestnut
1 carrot julienned
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp. sesame oil

Cook the noodles per the directions, drain and set aside. While noodles are boiling you can make the sauce with the oyster sauce, soy sauce chicken broth and crushed red pepper. Set that aside.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over high heat (I used a paella pan since it was much larger and easier to stir fry).  If using meat, cook this first and set aside. Saute the vegetables starting with the onion, carrot, mushroom and bell peppers and ending with the snow peas.  Cook until tender, you don't want the vegetables to be over cooked and mushy. Add in the garlic and saute quickly for about a minute.

Add the noodles to the pan and then drizzle the sauce over and toss. Drizzle with a little sesame oil just before serving.

Easy, Baked Crab Rangoon
1 pkg cream cheese, softened (can be low fat)
1 can pink crab
2 tsp grated onion
2 tsp garlic powder
2-3 tsp white sugar
1 pkg won ton wrappers

Let the cream cheese come to room temp. Don't worry, you can leave this out over night and it won't spoil. Drain the crab and add to the cream cheese along with the onion, garlic and sugar. 

Get your wrappers ready! I find it easiest to hold the wrapper in one hand, and use a cheese spreader to glop the cheese in the middle of the wrapper, but before you do this lightly dampen the edges of the wrapper, this will act as the glue. Fold the wrapper over, it will form a triangle and then fold in the sides and you now have a crab rangoon! Pop the pan in the freezer for about 30 minutes before cooking, this helps to prevent the filling from oozing out during cooking (I just figured this out, derrr)

I always bake mine. Its easier and lower in fat, but if you do so you will have to still brush each one with just a little bit of oil, or spray them lightly with cooking spray, bake at about 375F until golden brown, you may need to flip them or lightly broil.


  1. I really want to make these crab rangoons! Though I did find what you said about leaving cream cheese out OVER NIGHT to be quite disturbing.

  2. They are wicked good. And easy. Like you.

    Come on, celebrity chefs (Ina Garten) leaves her cream cheese out over night!

  3. That lo mein looks like its from the Hawaiian Isle, where they make the best lo mein ever!

  4. why doesn't my name and pic show up like it does under your "followers"? its Laura