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Vesta® Chow Mein Copycat

Introduction & method

I recently reviewed a packet of Vesta® Chow Mein and found it totally disgusting. This version is 3½ million times better - very tasty and quite easy to make. It's not much like a true beef chow mein, but then neither is the Vesta version.

Vesta® Chow Mein Copycat Recipe

Prep the Beef and Vegetables

Remove any fat from the beef and cut into tiny cubes, about 5mm (quarter inch). Chop the onion, celery, carrot and bell pepper into similar tiny dice - a food processor could be useful for this, but keep the onion separate. Place the frozen peas in a bowl and cover with boiling water.

Prep the Noodles

There are two types of noodle in this dish - soft noodles to give it bulk, and fried crispy noodles as a garnish and textural contrast. If the noodles you're using for the soft ones are dried, you'll need to pre-cook them according to the manufacturer's instructions. 'Straight-to-wok' noodles need no prep, just unpacking. For the crispy noodles, I used tagliatelle, but this may not be the ideal product. If you can find wide, flat rice noodles they might work better. For tagliatelle, cook it in boiling water until al dente, 6-9 minutes. Drain and cut into 3cm (1½ inch) lengths.

Cook the Chow Mein

Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a wok. Gently cook the chopped onion for 5 minutes until softened, Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the chopped beef and cook until browned all over, stirring frequently. Add the carrot, celery and red pepper and cook for 2 minutes, then add the beef stock, peas, soft noodles, 5-spice powder and a teaspoon or so of dark soy sauce. Increase the heat to maximum and cook for a few minutes until the liquid has almost disappeared.

Crispy Noodles

Heat 5cm (2 inches) of oil in a pan until the surface shimmers. Pat the pre-cooked tagliatelle dry with kitchen paper. Add to the pan - they will drop to the bottom, then blossom out and rise to the top. Scoop them out and dry them again. Serve on top of the chow mein and sprinkle with soy sauce.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Vesta® Chow Mein Copycat on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 200 grams beef
 100 grams udon noodles
 1 medium onion
 1 medium carrot
 2 sticks celery
 1 red bell pepper
 1 nest tagliatelle
 100 grams frozen peas
 250 ml chicken stock
 1 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
  salt and pepper to taste

Oil for frying. Dark soy sauce, as much as you like.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 2 
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 20 minutes.
Total time: 35 minutes.