Chow mein is a dish of infinite variations. The only essential ingredient is the noodles; beyond that, anything goes: sliced meat (any type), sliced vegetables (any type) and a pour-over of sauce (soy sauce and anything else).
Toyomi Shoji, by way of daughter Joyce Shoji, wanted something somewhat specific: pork chow mein that started with pork bones simmered into a stock. This is a recipe request after my own heart, as I am a big proponent of homemade stock. I never let bones go to waste.
To start, you need a cut of pork with a bone in it. If you can use the extra meat, a pork roast would work. This recipe is scaled to make use of everything in one dish, so I’m suggesting bone-in pork chops. Easy to find and you can buy just enough for the chow mein.
The bones go into the stock pot, the meat is sliced and lightly marinated.
I like a colorful mixture of vegetables that includes lots of shiitake mushrooms, but really any combo will work. My only rule is the vegetables should be twice the volume of the meat.