This Vegetable Chow Fun recipe is one for all the vegetarian Woks of Life readers out there! Sometimes the meat-eaters get it all: Beef Chow Fun, Pan Fried Noodles with Chicken, etc, etc. To date, one of our only other vegetarian/herbivore-friendly Cantonese noodle dishes is Cantonese Soy Sauce Pan Fried Noodles––and it’s always been one of our most popular recipes! So veggie lovers, this one’s for you.
Pan-fried noodles are always satisfying, but a good vegetarian chow fun noodle dish is long overdue. Our version isn’t just the sad plate of noodles with carrots, celery, and broccoli the chef throws together to appease each passing vegetarian guest. This dish is an ode to vegetarians; and for you skeptical carnivores out there, this dish is just as good as dishes with meat!
For this vegetable chow fun, I decided to make it with eggplant–lightly fried to give the dish a richer texture. Plus, when coupled with shiitake mushrooms, it rounds out the umami flavors. Which reminds me, if you’re a vegetarian and have not discovered vegetarian oyster sauce yet, you need to go out and get some! This is a game-changer for vegans, especially. Check out our “Chinese Sauces” Ingredients page for a picture of one of the brands we use, and look for it in your local Asian grocery store or order it online!
Take the fresh rice noodles out of the refrigerator and allow to sit on the counter until they are at room temperature. Cut them into 1½-inch wide ribbons.
In a small bowl, dissolve ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon sugar in the hot water. Add the soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce (or vegetarian oyster sauce), sesame oil, and white pepper. Set aside.
Heat your wok over medium high heat, and add ¼ cup oil. In a bowl, mix the flour, cornstarch, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon white pepper, and toss the Japanese eggplant in this dry mixture until well coated. Place the eggplant slices evenly in the pan and fry for 2 minutes on each side until brown. Turn over each of the pieces, and when browned on both sides, remove to a plate or sheet pan and set aside.
Heat the wok over high heat, and add the ginger slices. Spread 1 tablespoon of oil around the perimeter of the wok. Let the ginger fry to 10 seconds to infuse the oil, and stir in the garlic and the white portions of the scallions.
Next, add the fresh or reconstituted dried shiitake mushrooms along with the red holland peppers. Stir-fry for another 20 seconds.
Then, add the Shaoxing wine and the rice noodles. The heat should be at the highest setting to get that wok hay.
Give the noodles a quick stir for 30 seconds, and pour the soy sauce mixture over the noodles. Continue gently stir-frying the noodles using a scooping motion for 2 minutes.
Make sure you scrape the bottom of the wok with your spatula to prevent the noodles from sticking. The high heat of the wok should also prevent the noodles from sticking.
Next, add the eggplant, fresh snow peas, fresh bean sprouts, and the rest of the scallions.
Continue stir-frying until the noodles are heated through and the snow peas turn a bright green – about 2 minutes.
Plate and serve your Vegetable Chow Fun with your favorite hot chili oil!