Easy Chow Mein

Easy Chow Mein

Chow Mein seems to be a staple at Chinese Restaurants where it’s different versions of it are always on the menu.  It’s a dish of fried noodles and can be made with just about any meat and/or veggies that you want.

In Hawaii we simply call it fried noodles and expect to find char shiu, Chinese barbequed pork,  and Kamoboku, a Japanese fish cake.  Both ingredients are readily found in our local grocery stores as is the noodles which can be purchase dry or fresh.

Chow Mein ingredients are so easy to find just about everywhere specially if you have an Asian supermarket by you.  The first ingredients of course is the noodles and if you can’t find chow mein noodles you can actually use Ramen Noodles or even spaghetti!

As for the protein you can use beef, chicken, pork, seafood or the protein of you choice.  Then you toss in veggies which can be anything from carrots to spinach, just be sure you add fresh cilantro that’s what really pulls everything together!

In  my recipe for homemade Chow Mein, I use Char Shiu pork or chicken which I find at my local grocery store.  If you can’t find it omit it or substitute a different protein such as chicken, shrimp, or a plant based one.  I also use the Kamoboku fish cake mostly because I think it’s pretty, but again you can omit it.  As for my veggies I buy a Chop Suey mix that has bean sprouts, shredded cabbage and carrots, you can easily make your own mix.

To give it that Asian flavor I use Sesame Oil, soy sauce,  and Cilantro also called Chinese Parsley.  That’s really all you need!  Chow Mein can be served alone as a main dish or as a side dish.

So here’s my recipe, adjust it to fit your needs!

Easy Chow Mein


1 Package Noodles (chow mein, ramen, or even spaghetti)

1/2 Lb. Char Shiu Pork or Chicken ( omit or substitute with your choice of protein)

1 Package Kamoboku or fish cake (omit if you want)

1 Package Chop Suey Mix (bean sprouts, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots) or veggies of your choice

1 Onion Diced

2-3 Cloves Garlic minced

1 – 2 cups chicken broth

3 Tbs. Soy Sauce

1 Tbs. Sesame Oil

1 bunch Cilantro chopped

2-3 stalks green onions chopped


Heat Sesame oil in large wok or skillet

Add diced onions, stir until they start to turn translucent

Add garlic and cook until garlic starts to turn golden brown, do not burn

Add meats and veggies and stir until veggies start to soften

Stir in broth and noodles (use more broth if noodles are dry, less if noodles are fresh) cook until noodles are al dente and most of the broth has evaporated.  Keep stirring so you don’t burn it.

Stir in soy sauce.  Toss until everything is well combined.

Remove from heat and place in serving platter.

Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and green onions.

Serve right away.

Try not to have left overs as noodles do not keep well.  If you have to store leftovers place in sealed container in fridge for no more than a day.  To re-heat spread noodles out in a sheet pan and heat in the oven.



Easy Chow Mein
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Easy Chow Mein
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  1. Heat Sesame oil in large wok or skillet
  2. Add diced onions, stir until they start to turn translucent
  3. Add garlic and cook until garlic starts to turn golden brown, do not burn
  4. Add meats and veggies and stir until veggies start to soften
  5. Stir in broth and noodles (use more broth if noodles are dry, less if noodles are fresh) cook until noodles are al dente and most of the broth has evaporated.  Keep stirring so you don't burn it.
  6. Stir in soy sauce.  Toss until everything is well combined.
  7. Remove from heat and place in serving platter.
  8. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and green onions. 
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Filipino Chicken BBQ on a Stick

Filipino Chicken BBQ on a Stick

Barbecue on a stick is a very popular traditional Filipino dish. It is  a popular street food in the Philippines, and is very similar to the Indonesian Satay . It is usually made from chicken or pork which is then grilled in a slightly sweet sauce on skewers. This version is made with chicken.

The recipe I give here may differ from the way others may make this, as almost everyone has their own version. This instructable will show how my family makes it. After reading it, feel free to make a version of your own!

Also, in my opinion, this is THE tastiest way to grill chicken.


Step 1: Find Ingredients

Find Ingredients

You don’t have to stick strictly to the given measurements of each ingredient .

Add as much or as little as you like of each per your personal preferences
( as long as you stick to the general proportions).

Feel free to substitute ingredients

All measurements are approximate.



–  3 lbs of chicken breast or chicken thigh fillets ( used in this recipe)

–  1 to 1 1/3 cups distilled white vinegar

–  1/2 cup tomato ketchup or banana ketchup, or both

–  1/3 to 1/4 cup soy sauce

–  1/3 to 1 cup ginger beer ,ginger ale or  7-UP, Sprite,orange juice,pineapple juice, or any other kind of sweet drink

– 2 to 3 teaspoons garlic powder



-Bamboo skewers

– 1 1-gallon plastic zip-lock bag

Have all the ingredients and equipment? Move on to step 2 to start preparation!


Step 2: Cut the Meat

Cut the MeatCut the Meat

This is almost self- explanatory.

Cut the chicken breast or thigh fillets into small square-ish pieces, or into small, short strips. Remove any fat or skin, and discard the fat if you don’t like big fat pieces (some people do).  It is OK to leave just a little fat on, as it will cook off in the grill.

If you want a tasty treat, save any chicken skin. You can put on the grill to crisp it up while brushing it with the marinade. It is very tasty.


Step 3: Make the Marinade

Make the Marinade

Remember, you can substitute ingredients with similar ones that you may have on hand. For example, you could use rice wine or apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar. You probably got the point by now.

Anyway, combine all the other ingredients ( vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, ginger ale and garlic powder) into the zip-lock bag.


Step 4: Marinate the Chicken

Marinate the Chicken

Put the cut chicken pieces into the bag. Seal the bag, and move it around to help mix the marinade around.

Again, make sure the the bag is sealed, or even double bag it. Place bag on a plate or in a large bowl.

let sit in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.


Step 5: Skewer the Chicken

Skewer the ChickenSkewer the Chicken

Take out the chicken from the bag. Save the used marinade, as we will make it into sauce later.

Put the marinated chicken on the skewers, and put the pieces close together. Make sure you leave enough room on the ends of each skewer so you can hold them while you eat.

You don’t have to soak the skewers, as the chicken, dripping wet with marinade, will soak the skewers on its own.

Step 6: Make the Sauce
Make the SauceMake the Sauce

This is fairly simple. You can do this while you wait for the charcoal to be ready, or any other time before you start cooking the chicken.

Take the marinade that you saved from the chicken earlier (in step 6) and heat it up in a small saucepan on medium heat until boiling.

This is an extra step to ensure that the marinade is safe enough to use as a glaze and/or dipping sauce.

If you want the sauce to become a glaze on the chicken, then add about a teaspoon or tablespoon of sugar to the the marinade when it is near boiling.

Allow to cool down a little bit.


Step 7: Heat Up the Grill

Heat Up the Grill

Heat up the grill to about 300 degrees. While you are grilling the chicken, you will be opening the grill a lot, which means that when you are grilling the gauge will display the temp as about 155- 220 F, although the coals and the grill grate will still be at 300 degrees.


Step 8: Start Grilling!

Start Grilling!
Start Grilling!Start Grilling!

Put the skewers of chicken on the grill. Flip every 2-4 minutes, or continuously flip. Every so often, brush on some of the sauce you made earlier in step 6. 

Cook until well done ( or however you like them).


Step 9: Enjoy!!!


You now have some delicious Filipino BBQ chicken all ready for you to eat!  Now you can either take the meat off the skewers and eat it that way, or you can eat it traditional style: just hold the skewer and eat!

The best way to eat this is with some grilled vegetables and some steamed white jasmine rice.

Feel free to comment if you have any ideas for improvements, or if you think you can make it better, etc.


Filipino Chicken BBQ on a Stick
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Filipino Chicken BBQ on a Stick
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1/3 to 1 cup ginger beer ,ginger ale or 7-UP, Sprite,orange juice,pineapple juice, or any other kind of sweet drink
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Chicken Katsu Donburi

Chicken Katsu Donburi

Chicken Kastu is a Japanese version of battered and fried boneless chicken pieces.  It can be eaten as a main dish or as part of a noodle or rice bowl where slices of the fried chicken is placed on top of noodles or rice.  If you place it over rice it’s called Katsu Donburi which is a Chicken Katsu rice bowl with eggs.

Katsu Don is one of my favorite Japanese comfort foods.  It’s very similar to my favorite Tendon or Tempura Donburi.  It’s pretty much made the same way, but instead of topping it off with Shrimp Tempura you top it off with  sliced Chicken Katsu.

So to make Katsu Don I make a couple of Chicken Katsu then use my recipe of Tendon.  Easy peasy!

First you make the fried chicken, I prefer to use boneless skinless chicken thighs so it stays tender and juicy.  I also find that thighs are tastier for this type of dish.  But if you want to use boneless breasts you can, just pound it into a thin piece for easier cooking without burning the batter.  I use Panko for breading, if you can’t find it at your grocery store you’ll definitely find it at an Asian Market.  Or you can use plain breadcrumbs.

Once you’ve got the chicken katsu done and set aside just follow the recipe for the Donburi Sauce and the Donburi itself.  In short skip the tempura part of the recipe. 

So here’s what you need to make Katsu Don at home.

Katsu Don


2 Pieces Boneless Skinless Chicken thighs.

1/2 Cup Flour

1 Egg Beaten

1 Cup Panko bread crumbs.  Or plain bread crumbs

Oil for frying

Donburi Sauce – click here for the recipe

Donburi Egg mixture and bowl instructions – click here for the recipe


Dry chicken thighs with a paper towel.

Place flour, beaten egg, and panko in 3 separate bowls.

Line bowls up in this order by your stove – egg, flour, panko – assembly line fashion.  Panko should be bowl closest to stove.

Heat oil in frying pan.

Roll chicken thigh in flour to coat all sides.

Dip in beaten egg.

Roll in Panko to coat all sides.

Shake off excess panko.

Place in hot oil.

Cook until both sides are golden brown.

Drain on rack and set aside.

Make Donburi Sauce and Donburi Bowl click here for those recipes.

Slice fried chicken thighs into 1′ pieces and place the pieces in the bowl on top of rice and fried egg mixture.

Garnish with green onions and seaweed flakes if desired.


Katsu Don
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Japanese rice bowl with fried chicken katsu
2 bowls
2 bowls
Katsu Don
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Japanese rice bowl with fried chicken katsu
2 bowls
2 bowls
Servings: bowls
  1. Pat Chicken thighs dry with paper towel.
  2. Place flour, egg, and panko in 3 separate bowls.
  3. Line bowls up by the stove in this order: flour, egg, panko - panko bowl should be closest to stove.
  4. Heat oil.
  5. Roll chicken in flour to coat all sides.
  6. Dip in egg.
  7. Roll in panko to coat all sides.
  8. Fry in hot oil until both sides are golden brown.
  9. Drain on rack and set aside.
  10. Make Donburi Sauce.
  11. Make Donburi eggs and assemble in a bowl as the recipe instructs.
  12. Slice fried chicken katsu in 1' slices and place in bowl on top of egg mixture.
  13. Garnish with green onions and seaweed flakes if desires.
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Chicken Barbecue

Chicken Barbecue

Barbecued chicken is a variation of Pinoy Pork Barbecue simply because the marinade and procedure are almost the same. However, both has it’s distinct flavor that everyone loves.  Others may call it grilled chicken as it is done indoors under a grill while barbecuing is done outdoors on a barbecue. Whatever it is the process is  just the same cooking it  hot in charcoal or electric grill as I do, since we don’t have any place from the building for charcoal grilling. Nonetheless, my electric grill if just fine for easy grilling of chicken as it has an easy adjustment if you want it cooked low and slow or hot and fast, but for chicken meat it needs both to achieve a fantastic result …well done  from the inside and a bit crispy on the outside.

Just like pork barbecue, chicken barbecue  is fairly simple to make, but it does take a little bit of time to marinate. Please note that the longer you let it marinate the better the taste. If you wish to prepare this dish, marinate it in the evening so as on the next day the chicken is all ready for grilling.

Chicken on the Grill


  • 6 pcs. chicken , cleaned
  • 1/2 cup of Mama Sita’s barbecue marinade
  • 1 whole garlic, peeled & smashed
  • 1 medium size lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. Maggi magic sarap
  • 1 pinch MSG (optional)

Instructions for Cooking

  1. Make the marinade by combining the garlic, mama sita’s marinade, juice of 1 lemon, msg., maggi magic sarap, and ground black pepper in a bowl. Stir to mix.
  2. Put the chicken leg quarters inside a large freezer bag, and then pour-in the marinade.
  3. Shake the bag gently to coat the chicken with marinade then remove the air inside the bag. Seal the bag then refrigerate overnight.
  4. Remove the chicken from the bag and transfer the remaining marinade to a bowl and put a little oil  for basting.
  5. Put on the chicken into bamboo or metal skewers for easy turning.
  6. Heat-up your grill and start grilling the chicken under medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes per side or until the chicken is completely cooked. Do not forget to baste the chicken with the remaining marinade mixture.
    Note: Chicken takes a long time to cook. Grilling it in high heat will cause the outer part of the chicken to cook earlier leaving the inside raw.
  7. Remove from the grill and transfer to a serving plate.
  8. Serve with steamed rice.
  9. Share and enjoy!


Baste the chicken with the remaining marinade to further enhance the flavor while grilling. Basting the meat will also help to keep it moist through the entire cooking process.

Chicken Barbecue
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Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish

Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish


Maqluba is a Levantine dish popular in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Palestine.  The name literally means “upside down” because the meat, vegetables, and rice are stacked in a handleless pot to cook, then flipped over and placed on a large tray for serving.

These days Maqluba is described as a one pot dish, which I suppose it could be; assuming you don’t count the pot you stew the meat in, and the pan you fry the veggies in.  Not to mention the bowl you soak the rice in, and if you’re adding vermicelli and pine nuts the pan you brown the pasta and nuts in.

Maqluba is very similar to Paella which is also a one pot dish composed of meat or seafood, veggies, and rice.  Considering that many parts of Spain was under Moorish rule for a total of about 800 years it would be fair to say that Paella is the Spanish version of Maqluba or vice versa.

It is honestly the only Arabic dish I can claim to have mastered.  After years of making Maqluba I’ve finally gotten it right every single time.  It’s really not that difficult to make, it’s just tedious due to all the steps in the recipe and the time it takes to make it.  If you count the time it takes to soak the rice this dish takes all day to make, at the very least about 3  hours.  But it is truly worth the time and effort.

Maqluba is typically made with stewed meat, either lamb, beef, or chicken; fried vegetables such as potatoes, cauliflower, or eggplant; and rice.  All the ingredients are stacked in that order into a large deep pot preferably without handles.  Of course you can omit the meat and make a vegetarian dish.

There are “enhancements” you can add to make the dish fancier.  Some folks like to mix vermicelli and even garbanzo beans in the rice before cooking, then sprinkle it with pine nuts before serving.  And of course in our family I slip tomato wedges between the meat before cooking, and some of us like to top the cooked dish with corn kernels and plain yogurt.  In short I suppose each family has it’s own version on how to cook and eat Maqluba.  But one thing is certain, it’s delicious!

Here’s how we make it at our house, but first here’s a quick tip.  When making Maqluba use a deeper pot with no handles (a maqluba pot is the best, but hard to find in the US, you may find one at a middle eastern grocery store) and a lid, or a pot with removable handles or handles that aren’t too close to the pot lip.  This will make flipping it over easier as handles can block the tray you flip it on to from laying flat on top of the pot.  The pot has to be deep enough to layer the ingredients and still have enough space for the rice to expand as it cooks.



4-5 Cups Long Grain Rice

1 Tbs. Turmeric Powder

1/8 Cup Olive Oil

8-10 pieces of meat (lamb, beef, or bone in chicken thighs)

1 Large Onion, cut in chunks

1 Tbs. Garlic, crushed

1 Tbs. + 1 Tsp. Ground Cumin

1 Tsp. + 1 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 Box Stock (beef or chicken depending on the meat you use)

1 Large Cauliflower, cut into chunks

1 Large Eggplant, cut into rounds

3 Potatoes, peeled and cut into rounds

Oil for frying

Cooking spray

2 Tomatoes cut in wedges

6 Cloves of Garlic, peeled

Vermicelli (Optional)

1 Can Garbanzo Beans, drained (Optional)

1/2 Cup Pine Nuts (Optional)

Butter (Optional)

1 Can Corn Kernels (Optional)

1 Cup Fresh Plain Greek Yogurt (Optional)


Place rice in a big bowl and cover with water.

Add Turmeric to water and stir until it is evenly distributed and water turns yellow.  Set aside for at least 2 hours. Check periodically as the rice will absorb the water.  If all the water is absorbed add more and stir.

Heat olive oil in a stock pot.

Saute onions in hot oil until it starts to turn translucent.

Add crushed garlic and cook another minute, stir to keep from burning.

Add meat, 1 Tbs. Cumin, 1 Tsp. Nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  Cook until meat starts to brown.

Add stock and then add water to completely cover the meat.

Let simmer until meat is tender and fully cooked.  About 2 hours.  Set aside when done.

Meanwhile place about 1″ oil in frying pan.

Fry your veggies until cooked and drain on paper towels.  Set aside.

If using Vermicelli and/or Pine Nuts:  Melt about 1 tbs. butter in a small frying pan.  Add vermicelli and cook until it starts to turn brown, stir constantly to keep from burning.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Repeat this procedure with Pine Nuts.

When ready to stack meat in the pot:

Spray bottom and sides of pot with cooking spray.

Drain rice then stir in vermicelli noodles and/or garbanzo beans if using.

Starting with the meat, remove meat from pot it was cooked it, reserve the broth do not discard.

Arrange meat at the bottom of the pot.

Slip garlic cloves and tomato wedges between the meat.

Sprinkle meat with 1 tsp. cumin and 1 tsp. nutmeg.

Arrange veggies on top of meat.

Pour rice mixture over the veggies and smooth out to make the top flat.

Gently pour reserved broth over the rice.  Fill until the broth just covers the rice, if you don’t have enough broth add water.

Cover with lid and simmer over medium heat until rice is cooked.  Check every 10 minutes or so to make sure the liquid has not all evaporated before the rice is cooked.  If you need to add more liquid, either broth or water.  This takes about 30 minutes.

If the rice is cooked and you still have liquid remove lid and raise the heat for about 5 minutes so that the rest of the liquid evaporates.  Be careful not to burn the bottom.  Or you can carefully drain extra liquid before flipping.

When rice is cooked and there is no more liquid remove pot from lid.  Let rest about 5 minutes.

Flip over onto a large tray.

Garnish with cooked Pine Nuts on the meat if desired.

Serve with bowls of corn kernels and plain yogurt.



Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish
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Hawaiian Chicken Long Rice

Hawaiian Chicken Long Rice

Chicken Long Rice is a staple at most Hawaiian Luaus where it is served as a side dish.  It’s a favorite island comfort food, something in between Chicken Noodle Soup and Chicken Stew, and usually eaten with steamed white rice.

Chicken long rice uses clear bean thread noodles.  Those are noodles made with mung bean starch and are thin and clear.  They’re also called Chinese Vermicelli, Cellophane Noodles, or Glass Noodles.  You can buy them at any Asian Market.

The dish is pretty much the same as its Filipino counterpart called Sotanghon.  Both originated in China and was brought over to the Hawaiian islands by Chinese and Filipino immigrants. Whatever its origins it’s one of my favorite go to comfort food.  Best of all it’s super simple to make.  It’s great on chilly or rainy days and wonderful when you have a slight cold.  Try it out next time you’ve a yen for Chicken Soup!

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Chicken Long Rice


5-6 Chicken thighs with bone and skin


1 Tbs. Oil

1 Tbs. Fresh grated ginger root

1 Tbs. minced garlic

1 Cup Chicken Stock

1 Tsp. Salt

2 Tbs. Soy Sauce

1 Package Bean Thread Noodles

1/4 Cup chopped green onions

2 cloves garlic thinly sliced (optional)

1/2 Tbs. Oil (optional)


Heat oil in a stock pot.

Saute garlic and chicken thighs until thighs start to turn yellow.

Add enough water in the pot to cover the chicken with water.

Add chicken stock, ginger, and salt.

Simmer until chicken is very well cooked and falling off the bone.

Remove chicken skin and bones.  Discard skin and bone.  Shred chicken meat into large pieces and return to pot.

Add noodles, soy sauce, and 3/4 of the chopped green onions.

Stir and cook until noodles are soft and transparent.

*Optional – fry garlic slices in 1/2 tbs. oil until they turn brown.  Drain on paper towels.

Remove from heat and garnish with remaining with remaining green onion. Garnish with fried garlic.




Hawaiian Chicken Long Rice
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Hawaiian Chicken Long Rice
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