Picture this: you finally get a quick break in the middle of piled up school or office work and you’re in dire need of a delicious dish to fuel you for the rest of the day. With two key ingredients and only 15 minutes of your time, a quick and easy-to-make stir-fried Lo Mein noodle recipe is your best bet!
ALL ABOUT LO MEIN
Like most wheat flour noodle dishes, Lo Mein’s origins can be traced back to China from as early as the Han Dynasty. It comes from the Cantonese word “lōu mihn” meaning “stirred noodles” and is traditionally served long and uncut on birthdays or special occasions to symbolize a long and prosperous life.
Today, people enjoy it whenever they want and almost anytime because of how simple it is to prepare!
CHOW MEIN VS. LO MEIN
Now, we know you love noodle dishes. That’s why you’re here in the first place! But when looking at your favorite Chinese restaurant’s menu or looking up recipes online, don’t mistake Chow Mein for Lo Mein!
Both are made with stringy Chinese egg noodles, but in terms of preparation, fresh egg noodles are used in Lo Mein while fresh or dried noodles are used in Chow Mein. But to make the distinction easier, you’ll know that you’re having Lo Mein when the sauce is the highlight of the recipe!
DARK SOY SAUCE VS LIGHT SOY SAUCE
Lo Mein sauce only comes with two main ingredients: sesame oil and soy sauce. These two are more than enough to add a deep umami flavor to your stir-fried noodles. However, if you want to take the recipe up a notch, you can consider using two kinds of soy sauces: light soy sauce and dark soy sauce.
Light soy sauce is a thin and reddish-colored seasoning that’s also referred to as “fresh” soy sauce. Most often than not, when the packaging doesn’t indicate “Dark” in its label, it’s considered as light soy sauce!
On the other hand, dark soy sauce is thicker in consistency and darker in color. It is also slightly less salty than light soy sauce but has a deeper and almost sweet taste due to its long aging process.
TIPS FOR COOKING LO MEIN
As with all stir-fried dishes, you’ll want to prepare all your ingredients beforehand. Chop all your vegetables, measure and make your stir-fry sauce ahead, and have any other seasoning and garnishes within reach because you’ll be working fast!
Be mindful of the heat and your ingredients’ cooking time. If you’re adding protein, like shrimp, beef, or other meats, you’ll want to pre-cook them first and set them aside before incorporating them in your stir-fry. This prevents it from overcooking or burning in your hot wok.
For vegetables, toss in firm ingredients like carrots and red peppers before moving to the lighter and leafy veggies like bok choy or cabbage. You want your vegetables to be crunchy instead of soggy!
Finally, try your best to use high-quality ingredients. It may be a simple recipe but it will be more satisfying to choose the right ingredients to nail your homemade noodle dish. Plus, you’ll be needing sesame oil and soy sauce for a lot of other recipes, so having both in your pantries will do you great!
HOW TO MAKE LO MEIN NOODLES
Try this yummy 15-minute Lo Mein recipe from Pinch of Yum along with links to all the ingredients you need available at Karman Foods!
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce or Kikkoman Tamari
- 1 tablespoon Kikkoman light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Kadoya pure sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sugar
Lo Mein Stir Fried Noodles Ingredients
- 4–6 ounces uncooked ramen noodles or Annie Chun’s Maifun Rice Noodles
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 2–3 cups julienne cut or chopped vegetables like carrots, red peppers, cabbage, bok choy, mushrooms, or broccoli
- 1–2 tablespoons Kikkoman Aju Mirin
1. Mix all your sauce ingredients in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved.
2. Cook your noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
3. Heat the sesame oil in a wok or skillet.
4. Stir-fry green onions and vegetables to the hot wok first.
5. Add mirin to prevent browning.
6. Add the cooked noodles and half of the Lo Mein sauce and toss.
7. Depending on your taste and color preference, gradually add more Lo Mein sauce.
8. Serve with scallions or green onions!