Simple yet different: Himalayan Chow Mein

Chef Babz Goldman

Last week, my culinary adventures took me to New York City. Aside from simply being the amazing and inspiring island of Manhattan, it is also the home to some of my favorite eating adventurers. Although I was only there for a few days, I was met by my favorite Aunt Georga Osborne as well as my best friend and culinary talent Chef Leah Bruton.

There are some folks who simply take food to the next level, effortlessly. Aunt Georga has always shown me the tiniest hole in the wall restaurants that rock my socks off; tiny spots I never would have known about otherwise. These little spots usually have a simple, small menu, and a special touch that makes the food taste like food of grandmothers and mamas we would have gladly had. Leah has always had a touch for finding spots with historic legacies and traditional flavors, but spots I never would have found otherwise.

My first full day in the city, Leah took me to Chinatown. The streets are filled with anything random you can imagine. Fake purses, t-shirts, models posing for fashion shoots, hanging red lamps, fish markets, chicken feet, long busy streets, and a few sneaky little roads. We turned down a winding cobblestone road covered in beautiful paintings. This was the oldest street in Chinatown. No cars, only people allowed. Where the road curved a little restaurant called nestled in the crest. The Nom Wah Tea Parlor, Chinatown’s oldest dim sum restaurant had resided since 1920s. Filled beautiful chandeliers, antique furniture, iron ceilings, and large mirrors lining the walls. Dim sum, a chinese dish of small steamed or fried, containing various fillings, served as a snack or meal, was the star of the show. But this wasn’t all the created. Along with our dim sum we dined on delicious stir fried noodles, or chow mein.

This wasn’t the first chow mein, that Leah and I had enjoyed together. The meal quickly brought back memories of our cooking adventures in northern India, while we trained under Tibetan Chefs and Monks. Although we learned an amazing variety of techniques and recipes, the ones we utilize the most are the most simple. After class our favorite meal was repeatedly Indian street food, or fried chow mein. The quick fresh quality of this dish has continued to make our tastebuds drool when just thinking about it.

We ordered a fried noodle dish and devoured it. After returning to Leah’s apartment we got out all of her old notes and recipes from our Himalayan cooking class.

Today I have included the delicious chow main recipe we brought back to the states. The recipe can be modified and revised however you want. But these bare-bones flavors offer some of my readers favorite ingredients-quick, easy, and budget friendly. This is one of my favorite things to cook when I come home tired and hungry.

Good luck and enjoy!

Himalayan Chow Mein

serves four

(This is a vegetarian recipe, however any meat may be added

3 tbsp oil 1 onion, diced

2 tomatoes, sliced

1 carrot, diced

1/4 head of cabbage, chopped

1/8 tsp salt 1/8 tsp pepper

1/8 tsp garlic, fresh, diced

1/8 tsp ginger, fresh, diced

1tbsp soy sauce, add more after cooking if you want

noodles, angel hair is a wonderful substitute but egg noodles are traditionally used. Rice noodles may also be used. Portions are up to you. 2 green onions, diced

Put oil in wok or large frying pan on medium to high heat. Fry ingredients. Add noodles, stir

ing now with chopsticks or a fork like wooden spoon that won’t crush the veggies or noodles

Add soy sauce and green onions. Serve immediately.

The recipe and photo used in todays article are from the kitchen of Chef Babz with a little help from Chef Leah Bruton of New York City.

Chef Babz Goldman