There isn’t much I like eating more than a big bowl of glistening, slippery noodles. Greasy lo mein is one of my favorite takeout choices.
Yes, chicken and broccoli will always be my number one, but veggie lo mein is definitely in the canon of American-style Chinese dishes.
It’s no secret that mall Chinese food, e.g., Panda Wok, Great Wall Garden, Golden Wonton, is one of my life’s simple pleasures. Good, bad, mostly bad, sometimes really bad, I don’t care, I love it.
I think it’s because when my mom and I would spend a day at our mall – The Crystal Mall – we would get a sectioned paper plate of Chinese: lo mein, egg roll, sticky sweet glazed chicken, orange or General Tso’s.
Then we would take the glass elevator up to Contempo Casuals where she would buy me inappropriate shorts and black velvet chokers. Later, we’d share a Wetzel’s Pretzel, she would deny me entry into Spencer Gifts, and we’d go home. But, I digress.
Lo mein is really kind of miraculous, if you think about it. No matter how much you portion out onto your plate, there is always the same amount left in the carton. It is everlasting, seemingly infinite. 99% of the time there is an old box of noodles that slid between the shelves and the back wall of the fridge. New Year’s resolution number 510: clean refrigerator more frequently. This was extremely satisfying to put together. You have to add a good shot of oyster sauce for that weird, can’t-put-your-finger-on-it Asian flavor. If you have that, you need neither MSG, nor the sweat of a thousand immigrants to season your wok, in my humble opinion.
Vegetable Lo Mein
- 1/2 package spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 3-4 minced garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch bok choy, chopped
- 3 carrots, julienned
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoon dry cooking sherry
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
Cook noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside. Heat a very large skillet over very high heat. Get the oils super hot. Saute garlic and ginger quickly, then add onion, bok choy, carrots, and mushrooms. Stir-fry the veggies, 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together corn starch, sherry, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and hoisin. Pour sauce over the vegetables, then toss with the noodles.