Recipe: Sheet-pan chow mein | Spruce Grove Examiner

Kasey Wilson was thrilled to find a sheet-pan chow mein in To Asia, With Love, an exciting new cookbook by author and photographer, Hetty McKinnon.

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I may live in the best place in Canada for authentic Chinese food, but I have a sentimental attachment to the Canadianized Chinese of my Winnipeg childhood.

We loved to order takeout from Chan’s on Main Street, and then, one winter, my mother took a Chinese cooking class at a local high school. We especially loved her barbecued pork with plum sauce, sweet and sour pork and chow mein.

I was thrilled to find a sheet-pan chow mein in To Asia, With Love, an exciting new cookbook by author and photographer, Hetty McKinnon. Versatile sheet-pan meals require minimal prep and cleanup. As McKinnon says, her flavours are “not strictly Chinese; but they are Asian-ish.”

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Sheet-pan chow mein

A rimmed sheet pan is a handy way to rustle it up in this North American adaptation of a traditional Chinese dish. Thin egg noodles are best as they crisp up nicely, but you can use whatever noodles you have on hand. You may also substitute Asian greens for broccoli and sugar snap or snow peas for asparagus. (Adapted from To Asia, With Love by Hetty McKinnon)

1 bell pepper (any colour), seeded and finely sliced

1 carrot, peeled and finely sliced diagonally

3 ½ to 4 cups broccoli florets (from 1 large head)

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided

Grapeseed oil

9 ounces (255 g) dried thin egg noodles

1⁄4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos

1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetarian stir-fry sauce

1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) white pepper
1 small garlic clove, grated

1 can (398 mL) cut baby corn, drained

5 ounces (140 g) asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces

1 green onion, finely sliced

Handful of cilantro leaves

2 tbsp (30 mL) toasted white sesame seeds

Sea salt

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Place the bell pepper, carrot and broccoli on a rimmed half-sheet pan, drizzle with 1 tablespoon sesame oil and a splash of grapeseed oil and season with sea salt. Toss to coat and bake 10 minutes, until the vegetables are starting to soften.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package instructions until al dente, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and cool under cold running water. Drain again and pat dry with a clean tea towel.

Combine the remaining sesame oil, soy sauce, stir-fry sauce, white pepper and garlic in a small bowl and set aside.

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Remove the sheet pan from the oven and push the vegetables to the side. Add the noodles, corn and asparagus. Drizzle the noodles with grapeseed olive oil, season with sea salt and toss well to coat. Return the sheet pan to the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the noodles are crispy on the top and bottom.

Remove the sheet pan from the oven. Drizzle on the sesame oil mixture and toss well. Scatter on the scallion, cilantro and sesame seeds and serve.

Serves 4


Barbecued pork tenderloin with plum sauce

This tasty, do-ahead appetizer is my adaptation of a dish my mother learned to cook in her long-ago Chinese cooking class.

1½ lb (700 g) pork tenderloin

1/3 cup (75 mL) honey

1 cup (250 mL) soy sauce or tamari

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Hot mustard

Sesame seeds

Plum Sauce

1 ½ tsp (7 mL) dry mustard

1 ½ tsp (7 mL) cider vinegar

Dash of salt

Pinch of dried red pepper flakes

Silver of garlic

½ cup (125 mL) apricot jam

½ tsp (2 mL) soy sauce or tamari

1 tsp (5 mL) grated fresh ginger

Method:

Spread honey over tenderloin and marinate for 2 hours in soy sauce in a plastic bag for 2 hours.

Remove tenderloins from marinade (reserve) and grill over medium-hot coals, turning several times and brushing with marinade, for 20 to 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer registers 150°F to 155°F in the centre. (Alternatively, sear tenderloins in a cast-iron skillet and roast at 400°F until done, 20 to 25 minutes.)

Transfer to a plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Meanwhile, made the plum sauce: Combine the mustard, vinegar, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic, jam, soy sauce and ginger in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Set aside to cool.

Transfer chilled tenderloins to a cutting board and cut crosswise into slices about ¼-inch thick. Arrange on a platter and serve with hot mustard, toasted sesame seeds and plum sauce.

Serves 6


Kitchen Hack: Soy sauce vs. tamari

Tamari is a Japanese form of soy sauce and is a little thicker and less salty than Chinese soy, which leaves a burst of salt on the tongue. The two sauces are similar in colour and flavour and both are produced from fermented soybeans.

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Theresa D. Begay

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