Mein II: Hui Mein

As in all Chinese recipes, the vegetables here are only cooked for a very short time. The result is a beautifully crunchy texture that, in Hui Mein (whay mane), contrasts well with the noodles and sinooth sauce.

1 teaspoon salt

1 lb. egg noodles or spaghetti

8 oz. French beans, trimmed

3

½ tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 slice fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped (optional)

4 oz. chicken meat (breast or leg), finely shredded

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon sherry

15 fl. oz. chicken stock

2 teaspoons butter

2 chicken stock cube, crumbled

1 tablespoon cornflour , dissolved in

4 tablespoons chicken stock

Half fill a large saucepan with water and bring it to the boil over high heat. Add the salt and the noodles or spaghetti.

When the water returns to the boil, reduce the heat to moderate and cook the noodles for 8 to 10 minutes, or the spaghetti for 17 to 18 minutes, or until they are just tender. Remove the pan from the heat and drain the noodles or spaghetti in a colander. Set aside and keep warm.

Half fill a medium-sized saucepan with water and bring it to the boil over high heat. Add the beans and boil them for 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and drain the beans in a colander. Set aside.

In a large frying-pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger (if you are using it) and fry, stirring constantly, for 1 ½ minutes. Add the chicken, beans, 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, the sugar and sherry. Increase the heat to high and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Set aside and keep warm.

In a large saucepan, bring the stock to the boil over high heat. Add the butter, stock cube and the remaining soy sauce and stir well. Add the dissolved cornflour and reduce the heat to moderate. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens.

Add the noodles or spaghetti to the saucepan and stir well. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the noodles or spaghetti are heated through. Remove the pan from the heat.

Divide the pasta and sauce mixture between four warmed serving bowls. Keep warm.

Return the frying-pan to moderate heat and stir-fry for 1 minute to reheat the beau and chicken mixture. Remove the frying-pan from the heat and spoon the bean and chicken mixture over the pasta and sauce mixture. Serve immediately.

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