Chow mein noodles - Takeaway style

My house is a mess.  Not just a mess.  A jungle.

We bought our house 2 years ago and it was a big deal to us.  We had just turned 23, suddenly with this beautiful old victorian terrace in our names and a lot to learn (sounds like the beginning to a really cheesy movie.)

It wasn't exactly the way we wanted it, but who has the money to do everything they want in their first home?

Things we would "leave until we had a bit more money" became the "never touching that mess" situations that all people love.  Then we decided to set a date for our wedding, and before I knew it, all our money was going on that, and all the space was taken up with pom poms, dresses, suits, shoes and boxes upon boxes of wedding crap.

Suddenly "After the wedding, we'll sort that out" became our motto.  It was a good motto.  It enabled me to live in a literal storage den without pulling my hair out.  After every toe-stub on the corner of a box, after every struggle to get to a window to open it, every night when we tripped over stuff to get to the bathroom and when the coat hooks fell out of the wall again we would sigh and say "After the wedding, we'll sort that out".

Mess is like a virus, it had spread throughout the whole property.  So we set on curing our house of it's awful disease.

I won't bore you with the intricate details of our clean up, but there is a lot of stuff being thrown away, and to give you a sneak peek into our lives at the moment, we now know how to remove 30 year old wallpaper and we're learning to distress wood (harder than it looks) and do all that other self sufficient jibjab that I get jealous other people can do on top of normal life.

Now I don't know about you, but being super busy, and having a super messy house makes me tired and not much in the mood for standing over an oven for hours.  It happens sometimes.  Like I say, I'm only human.  Back in my junk food loving days, my first impulse would be to go and grab a takeaway.

But you know what?  Now I don't need too.  This super-easy dish, tastes just as good but is about 1.4 billion times better for you (those are official calculations) and takes less than 10 minutes to make.

That has to be the longest intro to the actual food on a blog post ever.  Welcome, if you skipped all that to get to the pictures -wink-

Best thing about this recipe, is there isn't much clean up.  You will need a big wok.  If you don't have one, you are going to need a big frying pan.

This serves four.

3 nests of whole wheat dried noodles (roughly 220g dry noodles if you don't have nests)
1 can of chickpeas
1 tablespoon cooked edamame beans (optional)
2 packs of stir fry veg (this is for quickness, you can prepare all the veg separate if you want, but this is for speed)
2 cloves of garlic, grated
5g ginger root, grated
1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 veggie stock cube, crumbled
2 tablespoons boiling water
2 teaspoons 5 spice powder
1 teaspoon coconut oil (or any other oil you like)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
drizzle of roasted peanut oil

If you are using dried noodles, place them in a saucepan of boiling water.  They should only take a few minutes.  Whilst they are cooking, set your wok on a high heat and put the coconut oil in.  Once the noodles are cooked, drain and leave to one side.

Drain and pat dry the chickpeas, add them to the wok with the edamame, garlic and ginger.  Drizzle the peanut oil over and cook for a few minutes, keeping the wok moving over the heat.  Next add in the stir fry veg and cook for roughly 1-2 minutes.

In a jug, mix together the soy sauce, stock cube, boiling water and 5 spice powder.  Give it a good mix.  Add to the stir fry veg.  Whilst mixing it in, add the sesame oil and the honey.

Finally, add in the noodles, making sure the sauce covers everything.  Leave to cook for 1-2 more minutes before dishing out on a big plate.

You can serve it on the plate as a noodle mountain for people to help themselves (as I did here) or you can portion it out into 4 bowls.

My main point in this post is that sometimes it's hard to live life to the standards that are expected of us.  Perfect diet, perfect body, perfect exercise routine, active social life, beautiful clean home, perfect style and the pressures that come with that.

I'm slowly coming to realise that as long as you're surrounded by people you love, who make life fun, the rest of that stuff doesn't have to be perfect.  I can greet my friends at the door wearing my pajamas.  I spend very little time on what I wear and my house is a bit of a pig sty right now...

But you know what?  I look after myself, and I'm happy.

So I'm off to juggle life, the best I can.  You know what's on tonight?  A bowl of leftovers and a Doctor who marathon.  Life is awesome, guys.

I've added this recipe as part of Supergolden Bakes #cookblogshare link party :)  Go take a look at some of the other awesome recipes!


  1. Very very delicious and good for you too! I see lots of chickpeas and beansprouts it! Thanks for sharing!

  2. You 'after the wedding' motto sounds a bit like my 'after my exams' motto haha....only mine's nowhere near as extreme as yours- my mess only spans my tables (since I still live at home and am probably nowhere near as busy as you!). Your chow mein looks delicious!

  3. Man that looks good. P.S. jibjab - this is why I love your blog! xx

  4. I thought it was just me!!! Messy house, too busy and sometimes I want a quick fix (minimal washing up also essential). Great idea.

  5. This looks much better than take out! Plus any excuse to use coconut oil is right up my alley right now. :)

  6. I'm glad my husband and I are not the only ones like this. We're in a house now but we were in a flat and also put things off until after the wedding. Finally we were forced to clear some space and get rid of things when I became pregnant. I love the look of your noodles too. Very colourful and tasty looking.

  7. This looks so fresh and tasty. I was so tempted to get a takeaway last night but made my own Chinese instead and felt so much better for it. X

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