Wow ’em with this easy Guyanese-style chicken or vegan chow mein

guyanese veggie chowmein

I’ve mentioned in a few of my posts that my parents are from Guyana. I love Guyanese food; it has a distinct taste, made up of a combination of flavors from Africa, Asia, Europe, and India. One of the dishes my dad makes better than anyone I know is chow mein. I don’t know what he does, but it tastes like magic if food could taste like magic.

One of the flavors in Guyanese chow mein is Cassareep. It’s a sauce made from the juice from cassava root, one of Guyana’s oldest traditional foods. The juice is boiled down to a molasses-dark syrup, which has powerful antiseptic properties that are used in medicine as well. It’s not that easy to find depending on where you live, so in a pinch, I included a substitute.

Listed below the recipe are the full nutrition and health benefits.

Chicken or vegan chow mein recipe

  • Makes: 4-6 servings
  • Total time: 30 minutes, cook time: 15 minutes, prep time: 15 minutes
  • Note: Traditional Guyanese veggie chow mein doesn’t have tofu, but I’m all for extra protein, especially in a carb dish.
Ingredients

Sliced Bell Peppers - Diagonal

  • 1 package of vermicelli, I use Mama whole grain rice brand, if you’re not gluten-free use regular chow mein noodles
  • 1.5 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, sliced or cubed, or 3 packages of medium tofu cubed
  •  1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2.5 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • 2 cups of mixed bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup green beans or snow peas, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 5 heads of green onions, finely chopped
  • Optional: cilantro garnish

For the chicken or tofu

pepper salt thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of cassareep or substitute with 1 tablespoon of tamari sauce (gluten-free soy sauce) mixed with a teaspoon of molasses or brown sugar
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Directions
  • Follow the instructions on the package to cook the noodles.

For the chicken

guyanese chicken chowmein

  • Season the chicken with ingredients above and let marinate for about 1 hour. Prepare the vegetables. Then in a skillet large enough for the noodles, warm oil on medium heat.
  • Add the onions and cook until they are brown and soft. Then increase heat to high.
  • Add the chicken and cook for 5-10 minutes
  • Add the vegetables, except for peppers, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the peppers and cook for 3 minutes. Peppers should be crunchy after cooking. Then add the noodles.
  • Toss together then add chopped scallions.
  • Remove from heat and serve.

For the tofu

guyanese veggie chowmein_1

  • Season the tofu with the ingredients above. Prepare the vegetables. Then in a skillet large enough for the noodles, warm oil on medium heat.
  • Add the onions and cook until they are brown and soft.
  • Add the tofu and vegetables, except for peppers, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the peppers and cook for 3 minutes. Peppers should be crunchy after cooking. Then add the noodles.
  • Toss together then add chopped scallions.
  • Remove from heat and serve.

Approximate nutritional value

  • Calories: with chicken: 465 | with tofu: 371
  • Fat:  with chicken: 9.5g | with tofu: 10.8g
  • Carbohydrates: with chicken: 55.1g | with tofu: 58.1g
  • Protein: with chicken: 43.4g | with tofu: 26.5g

Some health benefits

onion-and-garlic

  • Garlic: improves blood pressure, cholesterol, and immunity, and helps reduce stress
  • Onions: improves bone density and cardiovascular functioning, and is an anti-inflammatory.
  • Bell pepper: An antioxidant, has weight management properties and can help protect against certain diseases.
  • Carrots: Promote eye and heart health, better digestion and skin, and protect teeth and gums.
  • Cassareep: Acts as an antiseptic to reduce the possibility of infection (must be cooked)
  • Protein, carbs and fat:  Are the essential building blocks for your body’s functioning.

33 replies »

  1. Woohoo! I love chow mein, but whenever I get it, it’s always drenched in MSG and leaves me feeling bloated and uncomfortable. However this easy and simple recipe is great! I can eat one of my favorite dishes WHILE using clean and healthy ingredients. Thanks for sharing! Have a great end of the week! xoxo, Steph

    Liked by 1 person

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