This is our very own King Prawn Chow Mein – which is as close to real Chinese takeaway as you’re going to get without buying Lucky Boat noodles and adding MSG. The beauty of cooking this dish at home instead fo getting a takeaway is three fold:
- It’s healthier – you control the amount of oil and ingredients.
- It’s quicker – takes 20 minutes from start to finish. The average takeaway takes around 45 minutes to reach your door at peak times.
- It’s absolutely incredible.
You won’t believe how easy it is to make something this close to a takeaway in your own home. We show you how to get that rich dark brown colour on your noodles, we show you how to add MSG without ‘adding MSG’ and we teach you how to stir fry every component properly. It will transform your stir fry game completely with some transferable skills.
Tips and Tricks to Master
- Use a wok, it’s easier to use than a frying pan due to the deep nature of the pan.
- Don’t be afraid of heat. Crank that heat up too full. Just don’t add the oil until you need it – leaving oil in a hot pan unattended is dangerous and can cause fires.
- Prepare EVERYTHING first. Have all the components to the dish in bowls ready to hand so they can be added to the wok instantly.
- This dish cooks quick due to the heat, but can also burn quick. Avoid this by using a wooden spoon or spatula to stir it constantly.
- The prawns only need a bit fo cooking. Add them when the onions are just starting to turn translucent – they only need 2-3 minutes of cooking.
- Don’t add the beansprouts in with the onions. The beansprouts add texture with crunch, and adding them too early softens them too much. Add these in with the noodles and stir fry together for a couple minutes until piping hot.
- Aside from the industry standard lucky boat noodles (good luck finding anything less than a 3kg pack), we have found that fresh egg noodles are the best alternative and cook a lot easier. There are no boiling steps for these as they are straight too wok. Feel free to buy the dried noodles if you want, just get cooking these when you start cooking the onions (usually take 4 minutes). Do try to find fresh egg noodles though.
- Dark and Light Soy sauce is essential. Dark soy is thicker and more syrup like, but less intense. Light soy is thinner, but has a more intense flavour. The light soy is added to the onions and prawns to season them and inject a little natural MSG into the dish (the takeaways added powdered MSG – which is a taste not easy to replicate without it). The dark soy is added to the noodles and beansprouts to add seasoning and umami flavour, but also colour – this is where the rich brown colour comes from. You do not get this colour using light soy sauce alone.
Remember these tips and tricks, couple those with the video below and the detailed recipe card and we guarantee you’ll be making some incredible chow mein in no time. If you have any questions shoot us an email and we will get back to you as soon as possible!
Real Takeaway King Prawn Chow Mein
- Wok / Large Frying Pan
- Wooden Spoon
- 500 g Fresh Egg Noodles can use dried noodles, but cook them firsts according to packet instructions.
- 200 g Raw King Prawns Always raw. Can be frozen, just defrost. Add mroe if you want to.
- 1 Large White Onion
- 2 Spring Onions
- 200 g Fresh Beansprouts
- 5 tbsp Dark Soy large tbsp's
- 1 tbsp Light Soy
- 2 tbsp Oil for cooking not olive oil or sesame oil.
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Peel the onion and remove the first layer. Slice into strips roughly 5-6mm thick. Once cut, pull them apart so they are loose. Top Tip - pulling the onion layers apart after slicing allows them to cook quicker and more evenly.
- Optional - De-Vein the prawn using a sharp knife. Slide the kinfe down the back of the prawn roughly 2-3mm deep and pull out the black vien. Totally optional, it won't harm you if you eat it, but may have some gritty sensation fi you don't. We didn't as we coudln't be bothered!
- Chop the end off the spring onion. Slice in half. The whiter half, cut lengthways in half and half again. Use this to cook with.The greener half, slice into discs and use for garnish.
- Measure out the soy sauces into different bowls.
- Put all the ingredients into bowls and close to hand for cooking.
- Heat a wok on full. Top Tip - having the wok on full heat is essential to cooking this quickly. Be prepared with all the ingredients.
- Once smoking hot, add the oil to the pan Note - not olive oil or sesame oil.
- First add the white onion and the spring onion (white parts). Cook until beginning to go slightly transulcent. Top Tip - Stir constantly to prevent burning. This is essential.
- Add the prawns and cook until just pink on both sides. Roughly 2-3 minutes.
- Add the light soy sauce and mix well into the prawns and onions.
- Add the noodles and beansprouts to the pan. Cover generously in the dark soy. Add 1/2 tsp salt (makes a difference).
- Stir fry everything together until well combined and piping hot - about 2 minutes.
- Serve immediately in bowls topped with the fresh green spring onion.
- Fresh egg noodles definitely taste the best and get us closer to those takeaway noodles. Plus, without boiling them makes this recipe so easy.
- Dark Soy and Light Soy are both needed here. Use both. Dark soy adds the richness and colour, Light Soy adds the MSG without adding extra MSG.
- Heat the wok/pan on full. Don't be afraid, it's supposed to be smoking hot to begin with. Just be careful. This dish will cook in minutes.
- As this dish cooks in minutes have all your ingredients to hand ready to throw into the pan. This is essential to not burning anything.
- Mix the dark soy well. Use tongs to carefully toss and turn the noodles into everything, and make sure they are all covered in that rich dark soy.
- Feel free to cook the white parts of the spring onion, but reserve the green parts for garnish. They add an amazing acidity and fragrance to the finished dish.