Vegetable lo mein is such a satisfying vegetarian one-pot meal. The mushrooms add a “meaty” texture and flavor. I like to vary the vegetables for whatever is in season at the time, as this dish is nourishing and delicious whether it's winter or summer. In the warmer months, I’ll add fresh bell peppers and zucchini that’s thinly sliced, but this base recipe includes everything you need to make a heavenly lo mein completely from scratch.
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Technique Tip: When you drain the noodles you must thoroughly shake out all the water. If the noodles have excess water when you stir-fry them, the stir-fry will turn into a soggy braise. After the noodles are cooked it’s helpful to cut the noodles into 6- to 8-inch sections with kitchen scissors to make it easier to combine with the vegetables when you stir-fry. For cutting the scallion shreds, most home cooks use a chef’s knife or a cleaver and it can take a little time to get the perfect shreds. There’s an amazing inexpensive gadget called a negi cutter that makes scallion shreds in a few seconds.
Swap Option: Instead of fresh egg noodles you can use dry spaghetti and cook according to package directions.
- 4 Chinese dried shiitake mushrooms
- 6 large leaves napa cabbage, about 12 ounces
- 1 pound fresh egg noodles
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and julienned
- 2 scallions, finely sliced
In a medium bowl, soak the mushrooms in 1/4 cup cold water for 30 minutes, or until softened. Drain and squeeze dry, reserving soaking liquid. But off and discard stems and thinly slice the caps.2.
Wash the cabbage leaves in several changes of cold water and allow to thoroughly drain in a colander until dry to the touch. Trim 1/4 inch from the stem end of the cabbage leaves and discard. Stack 2 to 3 cabbage leaves at a time and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch wide-shreds.3.
In a 4-quart saucepan, bring about 2 quarts water to a boil over high heat. Add noodles, return to a rolling boil, and boil according to package directions. Rinse under cold water and drain the noodles throughly. Transfer to a medium bowl, add sesame oil and 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and mix well. Set aside. In a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce and oyster sauce and set aside.4.
Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and ginger, and stir-fry 10 seconds. Add the carrots, scallions, and mushrooms and stir-fry 1 minute or until vegetables are just limp.5.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and cabbage, and stir-fry 1 minute, or until cabbage begins to wilt. Add the noodles, and reserved mushroom soaking liquid, and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes, or until noodles are heated through. Swirl in the remaining soy sauce mixture and toss to combine.