The Forum: Variations on chow mein theme

  • By Judyrae Kruse Herald Columnist
  • Thursday, January 8, 2009 9:30am
  • Life

When your appetite or situation calls for a casserole, call on African chow mein. As Forum cooks have previously demonstrated, this dish has endless variations and nearly as many different names, too.

Today, we hear from Monroe cook Terry Daniels, “This might be what Jeanette Huntsman of Camano Island is looking for. We call it hamburger oriental.”

Another version comes to us from longtime helper-outer Helen Clifford of Everett, who tells us, “I’ve never used the pimiento or olives, but the mushrooms are a good addition.”

And yet another faithful Forum contributor, Middy Ruthruff of Snohomish, mentions, “We used this African chow mein recipe quite often at our restaurant, The Balcony.”


1pound hamburger

1cup chopped onion

1cup chopped celery

1/2cup uncooked rice

1/4cup soy sauce

1/4teaspoon pepper

1can each cream of celery soup and cream of mushroom soup

11/2cups water

1can bean sprouts

Crisp Chinese noodles

In a saucepan, brown together the hamburger, onion, celery and rice. In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, pepper, soups, water and bean sprouts. Combine burger and soup mixtures, mixing well, and turn into a casserole.

Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 30 minutes. Top individual servings with the crisp noodles.


1pound hamburger

2cups chopped celery

1cup chopped onion

1can cream of mushroom soup

1soup can water

1/2teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste

2tablespoons soy sauce

3/4cup uncooked rice

Pimiento for color

Olives or mushrooms (optional)

Brown hamburger; add celery, onion, soup, water, salt, pepper, soy sauce, rice, pimiento and, if desired, olives or mushrooms. Turn into casserole and bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour.


1pound hamburger

1cup chopped celery

1onion, chopped

1/2cup chopped green pepper

1can each chicken noodle soup and cream of mushroom soup

1cup water

1teaspoon soy sauce

1/2cup uncooked rice

1can (4 ounces) mushrooms, undrained

Crisp Chinese noodles

Brown hamburger, then add celery, onion and green pepper and let cook for a little bit. Add soups, water, soy sauce, rice and mushrooms; mix well, turn into casserole and bake at 350 degrees about 1 hour. Serve topped with noodles.

The next Forum will appear in Wednesday’s Good Life section.

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