Paneer Chowmein. Spicy stir fried indo chinese style noodles tossed with green chillies, colorful peppers and lightly browned paneer batons in a sauce made with soy, ginger and spices. The savory flavors of these noddles combined with milky softness of paneer and kick from fresh green chilies is just heavenly.
If you go to Delhi, you will find how paneer strangely finds its way into almost everything! Therecould not be a better example of how, us , dillivalas can create mouthwatering recipes with paneer. There are many indo chinese dishes popular with paneer - from chilli paneer to machurian and these chowmein are lip smackingly good!
I studied at Delhi College of Engineering in the campus located in the outskirts of the walled city.. When you live away from the main hub, the eateries around the campus become a huge part of your student life. This chowmein was the star dish at this place called Apsara restaurant. Strangely so, I vividly remember the seating, neon walls, huge wall decals and layout of the place even after more than two decades. It was the coolest place with fun milkshakes, ice creams, chaat, street food and some bomb indo chinese. We thronged it often and paneer chowemin with serious amounts of green chilies was my favorite thing to order.
What is Paneer Chowmein?
Nothing fancy, these are indo chinese style noodles. Indo Chinese cuisine is one of its kind and is brainchild of indians who took cues from the cuisine of chinese visitors who came via the silk route. Over time, Indians developed one of a kind of fusion of cuisines. These noodles bear resemblance to the chinese chowmein in that the noodles are stir fried in a kick ass sauce. However, this dish isn't remotely chinese - much like most indo chinese dishes.
Boiled Hakka noodles are tossed with vegetables, paneer and a stir fry sauce. The stir fry sauce is made with indo chinese condiments.
Ingredients Needed For Paneer Chowmein
You Will Need common indo chinese sauces for the stir fry sauce, paneer, vegetables and Noodles.
- Noodles :-Any good chowmein needs to have a great sauce, vegetables cut in a certain way and in my opinion, the quality of noodles matters the most. The noodles have to be thick enough to crisp during stir frying but not too doughy. I like using Chings Hakka noodles. Or choose chowmein noodles available at asian or American stores.
- Vegetables - I use colored bell peppers, however thinly sliced cabbage and carrot sticks will work great too.
- Paneer - Milky Un aged Indian Cheese. Easily available at indian stores or at Whole Foods (Gopi Brand)
- For The Sauce You will need:-
- Ching's Green Sauce
- Maggi Hot & Sweet Sauce - Replace With Sriracha & bit of tomato paste
- Dark Soy Sauce
- Pinch of Coriander & Red chili powder
- Ground Black Pepper
- Pinch of Ajinomoto (can be skipped)
Visual Steps of Making Paneer Chowmein
This is a very simple & quick chowmein recipe with few steps. Just keep a few things in mind. Here are few of my tips.
- Whichever kind you choose, make sure the noodles are neither too thin or too thick. While selecting, keep in mind that the noodles should crisp up a bit when stir fried on high heat.
- The way you cut the vegetables for the stir fried noodles make a huge difference. Do no cut the vegetables in chunks. Try to thinly slice them lengthwise at an angle. This also makes sure that the vegetables don't over or under cook.
- I always say this and repeating again that indo-chinese food gets its taste from indian condiments. Substitutes great work but the taste is worth a visit to Indian store.
Other Indo Chinese recipes to try
- Chicken Manchurian
- Green Chili & Garlic Noodles
- Gobi Manchurian
- Vegetable Hakka Noodles
- Chili Chicken
- Vegetable Manchurian
Paneer Chowmein Recipe (Noodles)
- Stir fry Wok or Pan
- Chopping Board & Knife
- 200 g hakka noodles
- 3 tablespoon oil
- 2 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 3 scallion, white & green parts chopped separately
- 4-5 chopped or whole thai bird green chillies, adjust to taste
- ½ cup bell peppers, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 100 g Paneer, cut into small batons
For the Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Chings dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon Chings green chili sauce
- 1.5 tbsp Maggi Hot & Sweet Sauce
- ½ tablespoon honey, or to taste
- generous pinch coriander powder
- red chili powder, to taste, optional
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar, or to taste
- Add all the sauce ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Set aside.
- Cook noodles as per package instructions. Drain, massage with little oil and keep ready.
- In a large wok, add oil and heat up. Add onions, ginger, garilc, scallion white part and green chillies all at once to the wok.Stir fry on high heat for about 2 minutes. Don't brown too much.
- Next add the paneer to the wok, sprinkle a pinch of salt and stir fry on high heat just for a couple minutes till it crips a bit. Add the bell peppers and toss for 2 minutes.
- Next add the noodles to the wok.Pour over the sauce.
- Using tongs or chopsticks or two forks, toss everything together until the noodles are coated in the sauce and everything is heated through. Let stir fry for about 2 minutes on high heat so that the noddles crisp up a bit.
- Remove from heat and add the green part of scallions. Serve immediately.