Northern Classic: Chow Mein Hot Dish

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We all have stories of our cooking adventures when we are starting off on our own.  This is one of those stories…

Growing up, my grandmother would make Chow Mien Hot Dish in double batches, and we would eat the leftovers for a week! It was delicious. The smell of it cooking evokes memories from my youth and times of crazy shenanigans with my cousins. Brings a smile to my face just thinking about it!

I lived in an apartment with my cousin in college. We were your typical college kids, surviving on box Mac & Cheese, Ramen and Fast Food. We wanted to cook something that we loved as kids, and that we would have leftovers to eat later. I had brought my families cookbook, so we pulled it out and paged through.   We found the Chow Mein Hot Dish, and we were sold. Bonus, it was cheap to buy the ingredients for!!!

One thing I perhaps didn’t mention… Neither one of us are great cooks… We assumed that following the recipe would be just fine. Well, we didn’t know enough to know the recipe in the book apparently had a typo!   The real recipe, which we found out later, calls for 3-4 TBSP of soy sauce, the typo said ¾ cup of soy sauce.   We couldn’t figure out why it was so salty – or liquid!!

We laughed once we figured it out and now, we have a story that we tell when people doubt our poor kitchen skills!

That’s the great thing about food… The memories and stories created. So here is the recipe, corrected!








Chow Mein Hot Dish

2 lbs ground beef

1 white onion – chopped

1 ½ Cup Celery – chopped

2 tsp Brown Sugar

2 Cups White Rice

3-4 TBSP Soy Sauce

1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 Can Cream of Celery Soup

1 C. Slivered Almonds (optional)

15 oz package crunchy chow mien noodles – hold for topping


Start by soaking the 2 cups of rice in 3 cups water.   Set aside.

Brown ground beef and drain off excess fat

Drain rice.

Mix all ingredients together and press into a 9×13 lightly oiled casserole dish.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour, stirring halfway through.

Top with crunchy noodles and serve hot!


*This is delicious with Cottage Cheese!

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