kruizing with kikukat

Monday, October 22, 2012

Oyster Sauce Chicken Chow Mein

Last weekend, the Ds, The Help, and I headed to Honolulu to see Cirque du Soleil's Quidam.  I had seen Cirque's Mystere production a few years ago in Las Vegas, and I thought the Ds would enjoy the spectacle.  Our trip was just overnight, but we were able to do what we wanted.  We started the weekend off with lunch at my fave dim sum place, Legend Seafood Restaurant.  It was the first time The Help tried jellyfish, and he said it was something he would eat again.  The jellyfish came on a cold platter with thin-sliced pigs feet.  Yum!  Of course, we also had the egg custard tarts, and I was happy when both Ds said they enjoyed mine more. 

We didn't have much time before we had to head to the Blaisdell for Quidam.  Quidam was much better than Mystere.  Mystere had too many of the slow-moving acts.  That gets old after a while.  Overall, everyone enjoyed the show, and the candied nuts in the cone were really good.  The pecans were my favorite.

After the show we did a quick shopping run to TJ Maxx.  TJ Maxx is now D1's favorite store.  Unfortunately, we somehow forgot 1 of our bags at the counter, and The Help had to go back the next day to retrieve the bag.  D1 showed tremendous initiative by taking it upon herself to call the store to see if the bag was there.  Of course, she solicited a "finder's fee" for her good deed.  I complied because I had a Michael Kors blouse in the bag.

We ate a late dinner at Shokudo.  I tried taking pictures of the food, but none of the pics turned out.  D1 was so excited to dig into the honey toast.  I was more curious about the shrimp tempura, which, according to Honolulu Magazine is the crunchiest shrimp tempura in town.  The honey toast, in spite being of humble origins, was very good.  I know I can make a decent copy of it at home.  The tempura was rather disappointing.  It was full of batter.  Crispy batter, but still, batter.  I ate some kind of sushi with a ponzu sauce.  It was good, but after the shrimp tempura disappointment, we were going downhill fast.

We had brunch at another place featured in Honolulu Magazine, YogurStory.  YogurStory was a cute place located near Pagoda Hotel.  We parked in the same parking lot behind Sorabol where some idiot immigrant man backed his van up into my Nissan Stanza (I'm really dating myself now) twenty years ago.  Edz suggested I try the red carpet waffle.  It was alright, but the chantilly waffle was even better.  D1 and I shared a hurricane rice bowl too.  I would go back to YogurStory again, and next time, I'd like to try the fat pig fried rice.  I was going to have that this time, but at the last minute, I changed my mind.  Still, YogurStory was a nice change from Chinese food, which is what we normally eat in Honolulu and at home (see below digital scrapbook).
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The one thing that gets me about the Ds is that whenever we have Chinese food, no matter where, no matter how fancy or how ghetto, they always need to order some kind of broccoli noodle dish.  Most of the time, they order beef broccoli cake noodle, but at Legend, they will get beef broccoli pan-fried noodle.  And here is the kicker. . .they will not eat the beef!  The broccoli and noodles get cleaned up, but the meat and gravy end up going on The Help's rice (I won't eat the beef, but I wouldn't order it with beef either if it was for myself).

At home, since I'm doing the cooking, I make it with chicken.  Hilo has no real (real=Chinese) noodle factory, so I buy what comes from Honolulu (Chun Wah Kam), which is ready-to-eat chow mein noodles.  This is not the same crispy stuff La Choy sells in a can.  These are egg noodles which have been boiled then pan fried.  The orange shreds in the picture below are carrots, which also remains uneaten by the Ds.  The broccoli will be gone at some point during the meal.  Like D2 tells me, "You can't put in enough broccoli, mom."

click on recipe title for printable recipe

     1-2 lbs chicken breast, deboned and cut into 1" cubes
     1 tbsp shoyu
     1/4 c flour
     30-32 oz ready-to-eat chow mein noodles
     2 tbsp oil
     2 cloves garlic, crushed
     4 c broccoli spears
     1/2 c sliced carrots
     1/2 onion, sliced thin
     1/2 c oyster sauce
     1 tbsp sugar
     2 c water
     1 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon powder
     1 tbsp cornstarch
     1 tbsp water

Combine chicken cubes with shoyu.  Toss in flour and let stand for 10 minutes.  Stir together oyster sauce, sugar, w c water, and chicken bouillon powder.  Set aside.  In a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and 1 tbsp water.  Set aside.  Heat noodles in 250 degree oven for 10 minutes.  While noodles are heating, heat oil in wok.  Brown garlic and discard.  Brown chicken.  Remove when cooked.  Add vegetables and stir-fry fir 1 minute.  Return chicken to wok.  Add oyster sauce mixture.  Add cornstarch mixture.  Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.  Pour over noodles.

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