Chow Mine

September 12, 2013

Author: Lauren Stacy Berdy

Chow Mine-300x225.jpg

When I was a puppy, my father often took us to Nathan’s in Brooklyn. Since my grandmother lived so close to Coney Island, this was an ordinary Sunday outing for so many years. I was not then a hot dog eater. How I was able to know about ordering such an unusual chow mein sandwich was probably my mother’s doing. She was an adventurous eater.


Frankly, this was everyday fare chez Nathan’s. It might still be. I don’t know…This is what I do know: I have since grown up but my childhood eating memories still have reach. I am a trained chef- so this recipe is filled with fresh tastes and has been re-invented with care. I am calling this Chow Mine because it is the crafted realization of a sandwiched memory. This recipe now performs an amusing thought with honesty. I often make this recipe in miniatures, on homemade buns. While still warm, the filled sandwiches are twisted inside deli paper and passed. They are always a hit at the Bar/Bat Mitzvahs as part of the children’s food. However, adults would often sneak some to their tables as well. This recipe makes a two-handed sandwich all family members will enjoy. All the ingredients are in front of you while cruising in the produce section. The crispy Chinese noodles might already be part of your larder.All in all, this is an inexpensive, amusing, tummy filling, quick recipe. And it’s really good!

Excerpt from Remaining Kosher Volume One, a cookbook for all with a hechsher in their heart

© 2013 Lauren Stacy Berdy


1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)

plus 1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 white onion, sliced

2 stalks celery: washed and sliced

1 cup carrots, julienned (store bought)

1 tablespoon peanut oil (or vegetable oil)

plus 1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 two inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves: peeled and finely chopped

4 cups Napa cabbage: washed, checked, sliced

3 cups bok choy: washed, checked, sliced

(½) of an 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts

2 cups cooked chicken, julienned

(or any leftover meat, or just vegetarian)

2 cups chicken stock

1½ tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

12 Chinese pea pods, cleaned

½ tablespoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon fresh black pepper

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 overflowing cup Chinese bean sprouts

1 package hamburger buns

Yield: 6 servings

Special Equipment: frying pan, bowls, metal spatula


Prepare the vegetables: place the white onion with the root end on the cutting board.

Slice from the top to the bottom. Place both halves cut-side-down on cutting board, then slice into ½ inch half-moons. Place in a bowl.

Cut the celery stalks on a diagonal to make elongated thin slices. Place with onions.

Measure out the packaged carrots sticks, add to bowl.

Peel the ginger and slice. Roughly chop the slices up into small pieces. Place into a small bowl or plate.

Mash the peeled garlic and roughly chop. Add to the ginger.

Cut the Napa cabbage lengthwise in half. Set aside one half, cut the remaining half lengthwise in half again: then cut into ½” slices. You need 4 cups.

Cut more of the remaining cabbage, if needed.

Cut off the bok choy stem’s root ends and discard. Cut and detach the leafy part from the rib.

Roll the leave up to make a fat cigar. Cut the “cigar” into ½ inch slices. Place in with the Napa.

Cut the bok choy ribs lengthwise in half. Slice the ribs into ½ inch slices. Add to the Napa.

Julienne the cooked chicken.

Place the cornstarch into a bowl.

To avoid lumping, whisk in the chicken stock by slowly pouring in a thin stream. Add

both soy and sugar. Stir.

Place all the primed ingredients at the stove along with: the water chestnuts, pea pods,

bean sprouts, kosher salt, pepper, your oil choice and sesame oil.


Place a bowl large enough to contain all the ingredients near your cooktop.

Heat the 1 tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Add in the white onions, celery and carrots.

Stir and cover. Cook for 5 minutes.

Remove the skillet from heat, empty the cooked ingredients into the bowl.

Place the skillet back on medium heat; add in the 1 tablespoon oil and 1 teaspoon

sesame oil. Add in the ginger and garlic. Stir for 10 seconds. Add in a pinch of kosher

salt and a pinch of ground black pepper.

Add in the Napa cabbage and the bok choy. Cook and occasionally stir for 3 minutes.

Re-stir the chicken stock, corn starch, soy and sugar: pour the mixture into the skillet.

Add in the water chestnuts, cooked chicken and all the cooked vegetables. Add in the

pea pods.

Bring the liquid to a boil, then let cook for 30 seconds. The liquid should now thinly coat

a spoon.

Stir in ½ teaspoon of sesame oil. Take off the heat.

Taste for seasoning.

Toss in the fresh bean sprouts, stir.


Place the bottom of each hamburger bun on the plates. Spoon a generous portion of

filling on the bottom half of the bun.

Sprinkle liberally with Chinese noodles. Add the bun top.

Note: eat this recipe within a couple of hours of making. The vegetables begin to look tired if they sit too long.