Ahpoh is my grandma on my dad’s side. She is well-known for her mean cooking skills, especially not using any recipes and only her talent, cunning, and experience to create her legendary food.
After she quit the restaurant biz, she took on the task of babysitting me, my sister and cousins after school. Ahpoh’s house was just a quick 5 minute walk from our elementary school so we would go home for lunch. While our classmates were stuck eating sandwiches and Lunchables (remember those???), us kids would skip home for lunch to eat fried rice, dumplings, ramen noodles in soup, and hotdogs wrapped in Indian buttery parathas (brilliant). She even figured out how to make spaghetti bolognese for us Canadian grandkids. We were so spoiled.
But my personal fave is still her yam mein (means ‘tossed noodles’). When D was craving home-cooked Chinese food, I knew that this would satisfy. What makes this different from ‘chow mein’ is basically you just toss all the cooked ingredients together and add sauce rather than stir-frying the meat, veg, and noodles. It’s so easy to whip up – this was the first Chinese dish I cooked on my own.
Normally, this dish is made with wheat noodles and ground pork. In my version, I use gluten free white rice pasta spaghetti style from Tinkyada and ground chicken. To make sure it’s GF, use a GF tamari soy sauce and check the ingredients on the oyster sauce bottle, both of which you can find in most Asian aisles of your grocery store or health food store.
Ahpoh's Yam Mein (Tossed Noodles)
- 1/2 package of rice spaghetti
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 6 cloves garlic minced (about 2 Tbsp)
- 1/2 lb ground organic chicken (a mix of white and dark, all white meat will be dry)
- 3 sprigs green onion (scallion, finely sliced)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp GF tamari soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- salt to taste
- Bring 4 liters of salted water to boil. Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions (keep an eye on them - cooked too long and rice pasta becomes mushy). Rinse with cold water and set aside. Heat a non-stick wok to medium high heat and add oil. Add garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant but not browned. Add chicken and stir, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon or spatula. Continue cooking until meat is cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add cooked spaghetti and green onions to the chicken and add the soy sauce, oyster sauce, salt (to taste) and pepper. Remove from heat and serve with Sriracha hot sauce or garlic chili sauce (optional).