Pearl's Shrimp Sub Gum Chow Mein


Still on my quest to make good Chinese-American carry out (take out) at home, I started thinking about my childhood when there was only one Chinese restaurant around. It was called Pearl's Garden and every few weeks we'd either dine in or Dad would travel the 6 miles or so up Woodward Avenue for carry out. I always ordered Shrimp Sub Gum Chow Mein. It was a mushy mash of celery, bean sprouts and a handful of those super small salad shrimp served over crispy chow mein noodles. I loved it even though there was never enough shrimp and the dish was rather bland. Last night I decided to try my hand at it. I obviously put in more shrimp and prepared it by "velveting" it which is a process of coating the shrimp with egg white, cornstarch and a few other items before cooking it. Velveting helps to prevent over cooking and keeps the shrimp juicy. I cooked the vegetables quickly to keep them crisp and added the velveted shrimp at the very end. Now around here this dish is chow mein if served with crispy noodles, lo mein if served with soft noodles and chop suey if served with rice....I like chow mein !!!

What you will need

1 1/2 pounds rock shrimp or small gulf shrimp (40 - 50 or 36 -40), peeled and deveined

1 egg white

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon dry sherry

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

About 2 to 3 cups vegetable oil for frying

1/2 cup whole roasted or raw almonds

2 cups boiling water

4 cups 1/2 inch sliced celery

1/2 large onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 pound mung bean sprouts

1 8 ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained

6 tablespoons soy sauce (low sodium is fine)

1 to 2 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons corn starch mixed with 4 tablespoon water for the slurry

The previously made shrimp

2 tablespoons dry sherry

Crispy chow mein noodles for serving ( 24 ounce can) or 12 ounces cooked Asian wheat noodles

Additional soy sauce for passing


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