Vegetable Lo Mein. From the best Asian restaurant in town.

There are foreigners among us, where by "foreigners" I mean all my boys, who are of the Vietnamese persuasion, and by "among us" I mean in my house.  And they all LOVE them some Asian food.  So even though my tastes run more toward biscuits and gravy, beans and cornbread, fried chicken and mashed potatoes, and grain alcohol, I have learned over the years to cook things with a semi-Asian flair.  Is it authentic?  Some of it.  RJ's mother has seen to that.  Is it good?  All of it.  Even my redneck-I-only-eat-deep-fried-things-made-from-white-flour-and-cornmeal taste buds water for homemade spring rolls and pho.

My latest undertaking has been vegetable lo mein.  This is definitely the more Americanized restaurant takeout style, not the more traditional "this is a big pile of noodles for your soup" style.  But it is damn tasty, and far better - and better for you - than what you can buy at the China One Buffet King, or wherever.

One pound of lo mein noodles.  Just go into your local Asian food store and ask what kind of noodles are best for lo mein.  They will tell you.  It is not an ancient Chinese secret.  I have heard of people using spaghetti or some such, but that just seems so wrong to me.  If you aren't gonna put meatballs on it, put the spaghetti away. 

This is what RJ came back from the Asian food store with, and it was perfect.

When I first saw this kind, I wasn't sure if they would be good because they were kinda flat noodles, not the round ones that I was used to.  Then I read the back of the box, and I felt much better.  

I can set my mind at ease?  You will safeguard my expenditure?  Well allllllllright!  Nothing to worry about, then.

1/2 tsp. fresh ginger - I keep a big hunk in the freezer.  It will store for months and months.  I lopped off a quarter inch piece and while it was mostly still frozen, zested it up with my microplane.
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1/3 cup soy sauce - I use the low sodium kind, because I read the label on the full-strength stuff one time and realized two tablespoons had my RDA of sodium.  Ummm, I still need my potato chips, ya know... You cannot tell the difference.  Get the low sodium stuff.  Really. 
1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil

I bought the two ingredients above at my local Kroger.  They are yummy.  They are a bit pricey.  A little goes a long way.  They are totally worth it, especially the sesame oil.  I could drink that stuff, but be careful not to overdo it like I did the first time because it does have a strong flavor that will overpower everything else if you use too much.

1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3-4 green onions, roughly chopped
1-2 cups sliced mushooms.  Canned, fresh, whatever
1 cup bean sprouts, or not, if you don't like bean sprouts
1 16 oz. bag frozen stir fry vegetables.  I used the Wal-Mart brand, and they worked just fine.  

1-2 tsp. canola oil, or vegetable oil, or whatever other frying oil you have

Cook the noodles according to the package directions.  My particular package recommended that I "Put noodles into boiling water and stir till water is reboiling up.  While water boiling make flame weak so avoid it over boiling over."   Simple, huh?  When they're done, drain and rinse them and set them aside.

Next in a large pan or wok, heat the canola oil, then begin to saute the onions - both kinds.  After a couple minutes over medium heat, start adding in the mushrooms, the bean sprouts, the garlic and the ginger.  Give that a minute to saute, then add in the frozen vegetables.  Continue to heat it over medium heat until the veggies are warm through, then add in the soy sauce, Hoisin sauce and sesame seed oil.  Heat till it begins to bubble.

Now add in the noodles, a few at a time, stirring and stirring and stirring and stirring until all the noodles are incorporated into the veggies and sauce.  There will be much stirring.  You will think there isn't enough sauce.  There is.  You just need to keep stirring ;-)

Eat it all.  It's delightful.  

If I would have had some leftover roast chicken or pork, I would have thrown that in, too.  This would be a fabulous way to use up any leftover meat or veggies you have lurking in the fridge.  

This is a meal unto itself, but I had some of my famous spring rolls in the freezer, so I thawed some of those to go with the lo mein, and it was good in my mouth.  


1 comment:

  1. Don't you love the Engrish on things at the Asian market? My favorite so far was some kind of savory rice cracker that came in, I shit you not, "burnedmeat flavour". And I envy your microplane.


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