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.
- 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
- 2.5 tablespoons of sunflower oil
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 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 tofu
- 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
- A teaspoon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Follow the instructions on the package to cook the noodles.
For the tofu
- 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.
- Next, 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: 371
- Fat: 10.8g
- Carbohydrates: 58.1g
- Protein: 26.5g
If you like my Guyanese-style chow mein, try some of my other modified gluten-free and plant-based Guyanese recipes.