Noodles are an essential ingredient in Chinese cuisine. Noodles, miàn, 麵 (also “mien” or “mein”) come in different forms and are used in many Chinese dishes.
The earliest written record of noodles dates back to the Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). Due to military demand, the Chinese government implemented food processing technologies that made food transport and storage easier and more affordable. This is when “laomian” emerged. Made with starch rich buckwheat, millet, and flours, laomian’s lower water content made it easier to store and transport.
The Chinese noodle that most of us are most familiar with is Lo Mein. It’s the delicious soy saucy noodle stir-fried with vegetables (and maybe meat) that we find on any Chinese buffet or enjoy from a takeout container from our favorite Chinese restaurant.
It’s super easy to make at home. You can choose your favorite vegetables and meat and toss them with some noodles and soy sauce and eat them as a meal or with another Chinese dish or two.
Servings: 4 – 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 – 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 – 15 minutes
- 6 oz of shredded carrots or 2 carrots peeled and cut into 2 inch strips
- 2 stalks of celery cut into 2 inch strips
- 1 head of broccoli cut into 1 inch pieces
- 6 oz of mushrooms sliced
- 1 medium onion, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
- 2 stalks green onions (scallions) into 2 inch strips
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 4-6 drops of sesame oil
- 2 TBS of vegetable or grapeseed oil for stirfrying
- 16 oz of dried Asian noodles – ramen, egg. If you don’t have Asian noodles, any round noodle will work i.e. spaghetti or linguine. That’s what we used in Kentucky!
Other vegetable ideas – cabbage (shredded), bell pepper (cut into strips), bok choy, snap peas, snow peas, baby corn, bean sprouts
Meat and Marinating Ingredients (optional)
- 3/4 – 1 pound boneless, skinless pork loin, cut into 2 inch strips (other options: chicken breast, chicken thighs, flank steak)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp White Pepper
- 1 TBS Soy Sauce
- 1 TBS Cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1 TBS Cooking Wine
- For stir frying – 1 TBS of vegetable or grapeseed oil
- If you plan to include meat in your lo mein, cut your meat into 2″ strips and marinate with salt, white pepper, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, sesame oil, and cooking wine. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles one minute less than advised by package. Drain and set aside.
- Heat 1 TBS of oil in a wok or large nonstick pan. Stir fry your meat on medium high heat until it is half cooked. Put partially cooked meat back in marination bowl and set aside.
- Heat 2 TBS of vegetable or grapeseed oil on medium high heat in wok or nonstick pan.
- Add garlic and all vegetables except green onions in and stir fry for 3 minutes until vegetables are slightly soft.
- Add green onions and stir fry for an additional minute.
- If you have cooked meat, add back in and complete cooking with vegetables.
- Mix in soy sauce and white pepper.
- Add cooked noodles into vegetable (and meat) mix and stir fry for additional minute.
- Taste and add additional soy sauce and white pepper based on taste and color preference. If you want it saltier and a darker lo mein, add more soy sauce.
- Remove from heat, serve. You can enjoy with other Chinese food or a standalone meal.