China: Pan Fried Noodles

pan fried noodlesThe first time I tried pan-fried noodles, I was with my Vietnamese friends having Dim Sum in New York’s Chinatown. One of my friends ordered the pan-fried noodles, and I helped myself to a serving, anticipating nothing out of the ordinary. Was I ever wrong. I couldn’t believe how good the dish was. The crispy noodles underneath a mountain of chicken and vegetables. The taste combination was unbelievable. The sauce mixed with the crunchy noodles had such surprising appeal, that the next time I went to a Chinese restaurant, I looked for pan-fried noodles on the menu. Funny thing is, you can’t really find this dish at most Chinese restaurants. Why? I have no idea. The last place I was able to find it was at a Vietnamese restaurant. And yes, I ordered it. And yes, it was fabulous.

Kid Approved. If I were to ever use the word “Yumo” in describing any kind of food (and I wouldn’t, under any circumstances), it would be for this dish. Little Boy G loves it. Licks the plate clean. He prefers that I use duck instead of chicken, but will eat the chicken, which he usually gets, just fine.

The recipe I use is pretty easy. You will need to buy EGG NOODLES, like the ones in the picture to the left. I get mine at Asian groceries, but they might also sell them in the Asian section of your supermarket.



What you’ll need:

  • 1 Chicken breast cut into bite size pieces (Duck and Turkey will work, too)
  • 1 roll of Egg Noodles
  • Fresh veggies that your little one loves (Broccolli, carrots, celery, bok choy, baby corn, etc.–I wouldn’t recommend sweet bell peppers–they’re too sweet, which doesn’t work well with the savory sauce.)
  • Pollo (Chicken) Seasoning (yes, I use this stuff for everything)
  • Water
  • Corn Starch
  • 2 TBsp Butter

Here’s what you do:

Boil some water.

The Poultry:

Melt butter in a sauce pan. (You don’t HAVE to use butter, but it makes any sauce so much better. If you’d rather not use it, simply use enough olive oil or Pam, or whatever, to cook the poultry and veggies.)

Add the poultry. Cook thoroughly.

Mix half a cup water with some cornstarch and pour it in the sauce pan.

Add two TBsp Pollo seasong to the poultry mixture. Stir well. Taste. It should be savory but not too salty. If it’s too thick add more water and taste again. Add more seasoning if necessary. If it’s too thin add more water/cornstarch mixture, and then taste again. Etc.

Add the vegetables and let simmer.

The Egg Noodles:

Add the egg noodles to the boiling water. Stir to loosen the noodles once they’re soft enough. Cook until soft, about five or seven minutes.

Drain the noodles and let them dry on a few paper towells. Dab the top of the noodles with another paper towell to remove most of the moisture.

In a skillet, heat two TBsps vegetable or canola oil.

Using a wide spatula, gather the noodles and place them in the very hot skillet. Spread them out so they look like a flat disk.

Turn the noodles over when the bottom side turns golden brown. Add a little more oil if you need to–not too much–and fry the other side of the noodles until cruncy, golden brown.

Serve It:

Remove the noodles from the skillet and place on paper towells if you want to remove some of the grease. Then place on a plate and add the poultry/veggie mixture, ensuring that you get a lot of the savory, tasty sauce. Let your little one use chopsticks with dish, and be sure to help them cut the noodles as that might be a little tricky for them.

Yum….er, Delicious!!


UK/US: Chicken Pot Pie

History. The most common type of savory pie found today is the pot pie. A pot pie is some sort of vegetable or meat stew that is baked into a pastry crust. The origins of the name can be traced to medieval times, when the iron alloys in the pot would often leave a metallic taste in food. Therefore, a simple crust was used to line the pot, not to be eaten, but to protect the flavor of the stew. This vestige remained a part of the dish, which continues to be prevalent on menus in northern Europe, especially in the British Isles. 

(Dan Can Cook: Curried Paneer Pot Pie by Dan Castleman Arts | 1/17/06)


I used to love when my mom made chicken pot pies. Of course, “making” them meant popping the frozen ones in the oven and baking them. I suppose Swanson was a girl’s best friend back in the day (before the microwave versions were available).

Kid Approved. I tried giving the microwave versions to Little Boy G. He’d eat some of it, but he’d also pick the peas and carrots out, which really annoyed me. So, while they say revenge is a dish best served cold, I must disagree. My quick and easy recipe includes all the things he loves, chicken, green beans, a savory sauce, and a delicious crust. Whenever I make it, he practically licks the bowl and always asks for more.


Serves 2

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 425F

  • Two chicken breasts chopped into small, bite size pieces
  • Green Beans, or Peas, or Carrots, or a combo of each
  • 1 tablespoon Pollo (Chicken) seasoning
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 tablespoon Corn Starch
  • Ready made pie crust
  1. If your chicken is frozen, thaw it. Cook it in the microwave too, if you like, to save time.
  2. Heat a skillet. Mix one tablespoon corn starch with one cup of water. Add one tablespoon Pollo seasoning and pour it in the skillet. Stir until it gets thickened. Taste it and adjust  to your liking.
  3. Cut the chicken into bite size pieces if you haven’t already done so, and add to the skillet. Add the veggies. Let simmer for a bit if the chicken is already cooked, and for a few minutes longer if the chicken is not cooked.
  4. Get your ready made pie crust and cut out a circle and press it into a small, single serving dish–I like to use a ramekin. 
  5. Transfer some of the chicken mixture into the lined ramekin. 
  6. Cut another circle in the pie crust and press the edges with the tines of a fork. Lay it on top of the chicken mixture. 
  7. Bake until the crust is golden brown.

Eat it, Eat it Sam I am…

Before becoming a parent, I was told how hard it was to be a good one. Never once did I suspect that feeding my child would be the most difficult aspect. But it has been, and I know plenty other parents who feel the same way.

All my son ever wanted to eat was macaroni and cheese. And not just any macaroni and cheese: Michelinas’ frozen macaroni and cheese. Any other brand just wouldn’t do. So, I did this for a while, and even threw in some Michelina’s frozen fettucini into the fray, which he seemed to like. I didn’t feed him these things all the time, of course. I tried some homemade recipes, too. The problem was, he hated them! My son is picky. And if he tries to eat something that he hates, he will vomit. The projectile type. We’ve done this hundreds of times, and it’s always the same story: A big mess for mom to clean up and all the contents of his once filled belly now on the floor, which does nothing to ease my sense of him getting enough to eat.

I started to realize that comfort food is what kids (my kid anyway) crave. Mac and cheese definitely fits in with that theory. As does fettucini and the all too popular Chicken Nuggets. So, I searched my cookbooks and the Internet for the types of food that were quick and easy to make, and which he would love. I decided that rather than rely solely on American favorites, I would use the recipes of mothers around the world to create my arsenal of kid quisine that was sure to please. And here are the fruits of my labor:


Let’s start with a recipe from the land of my birth, The United Kingdom, Cottage Pie (It’s called Shepherd’s Pie if you use lamb). Please see my next post for the delicious and simple recipe.