Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Ginger Chicken Chow Fun #Recipe by Leslie Karst

I have a weakness for Chow Fun. Those fat, toothsome noodles, pan-fried with vegetables and tender morsels of chicken or pork till everything takes on a slightly smoky flavor, make for a dish that’s simply irresistible to me.

And you know what? Chow Fun is pretty darn easy to prepare, as long as you have a wok or large skillet in your kitchen. And the dish can be made with any number of different vegetables and meats—or tofu. The trick is to pre-cut all your veg, cut up your meat or tofu and let it marinate for at least an hour before cooking, and pre-cook the noodles, then drain and toss them with oil so they don’t stick together while waiting to be added to the wok.

Then all you have to do is stir fry the ingredients in the order it takes for them to cook—starting with things like carrots and celery, which take the longest, and ending with leafy greens such as chard or bok choy leaves, which need only be wilted. 

Ginger Chicken Chow Fun
(serves 4)

Here’s a list of the ingredients I used, but feel free to change up the veg and meat to your own liking. (The amount of ginger I used—a 2” piece—makes for a quite gingery dish. If you don’t want it so spicy, use only a 1” piece.)

For the Marinade

1 T white vinegar
1 T oyster sauce
1 T soy sauce
1 T white sugar
1 T toasted sesame oil
1 t black pepper

For the Stir Fry

2 large chicken thighs or breasts, cut off the bone and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 T vegetable oil (for frying)
2 T sesame oil (1 to toss with the cooked noodles, 1 for frying)
3 T oyster sauce (to add at end of frying)
1 packet chow fun noodles (or 8 oz other noodles of your choice)
2 carrots, sliced into thin discs
5 spears celery, chopped
1 med. onion, sliced
1 bunch bok choy, chopped (separate the green from white)
1 1-2” piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
chili pepper flakes for garnish (if desired)

Here are the ingredients I used (the plumeria blossom is merely decorative):

(I forgot to include the vinegar in this photo):

And here are the veg, chopped:


Mix the marinade ingredients together in a medium bowl, add the chicken pieces, and toss together. Set aside. (If it’s going to be more than an hour before you cook the dish, put the bowl in the fridge, covered.)

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package, making sure not to cook it past al dente (i.e., still having a bite to it), as it will be cooked more, later on.

Drain the pasta, then return to the pot and toss with 1 T sesame oil. Set aside.

Heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat, pour in 1 T vegetable oil, and heat till the oil starts to shimmer. Add the carrots and cook till they soften and start to brown on the edges, stirring often.

Add the celery to the pan, and continue frying and stirring often, till the celery starts to soften.

Next add the onions, and continue to stir-fry till they soften and start to brown on the edges.

Add the chicken along with the marinade.

Stir fry till the chicken pieces are cooked through and starting to brown. Then add the ginger and garlic.

Continue stir-frying for two minutes, then add the white part of the bok choy.

Cook for 2-3 more minutes, till the bok choy softens, then add the cooked chow fun noodles, along with 1 T more sesame oil.

You may want to crank the heat up to high at this point, as you stir fry the noodles along with the rest of the dish. Fry until the noodles start to brown and crisp up some, then add 3 T oyster sauce and stir it in.

Finally, add the green part of the bok choy:

Stir the greens into the chow fun, turn off the heat, and serve immediately. Top with chili pepper flakes, if desired.

Chī hǎo hē hǎo! (Enjoy your meal!)

The daughter of a law professor and a potter, Leslie Karst learned early, during family dinner conversations, the value of both careful analysis and the arts—ideal ingredients for a mystery story. Putting this early education to good use, she now writes the Sally Solari Mysteries, a culinary series set in Santa Cruz, California. An ex-lawyer like her sleuth, Leslie also has degrees in English literature and the culinary arts. She and her wife and their Jack Russell mix split their time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.

Leslie’s website  
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Leslie also blogs with Chicks on the Case 
All four Sally Solari Mysteries are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.



  1. This looks delicious. And wonderfully adaptable.
    Spell Check let you down: "1 T toasted sesame oik"!
    You suggest thighs or breasts. There's a noticeable difference in meat amount between those. Plan accordingly.

  2. This does look very good. Once in awhile, I have cravings for this kind of dish.

  3. Taste-tested and proven GOOD!