What’s your Chinese food takeout order? Mine is orange chicken, egg rolls, and VEGGIE LO MEIN. I f*cking love vegetable lo mein. Maybe it’s the Italian in me, but I can’t get enough of that salty, greasy, umami pasta. Every time the weekend comes around, I find myself craving it like crazy. But I don’t have the budget for takeout every week nor the tolerance for greasy food… thus I created my own version that I can make in under 20 minutes (that’s less time than it takes for Chinese food to get delivered!) with minimal effort.
I’m starting this new series on the blog called Easy as F*ck. It’s fast, simple, and delicious recipes that are heavy on flavor and short on time. They’re easy, reliable recipes that you can add to your repertoire and cook in a pinch. My recipe for Easy as F*ck Veggie Lo Mein is just that: all it takes is boiling the noodles, sautéing the veggies, and covering them in a delectable sweet and savory sauce. It’s takeout Chinese with none of the grease, but loads of fresh vegetable and aromatics. Can you handle that?
The first step is to prep your veggies. We’re going to start our lo mein with a base of grated ginger, minced garlic, and the chopped whites of two scallions. You can get pretty creative with the veggies you throw in, but I’m going with a classic julienned red bell pepper, container of sliced baby bella mushrooms, and handful of snow peas. Carrots, bok choy, water chestnuts, and broccoli work well too!
Next, in a large sauté pan (or wok if you own one??), sauté your garlic, ginger, and scallion whites in some sesame oil. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes if you like some spice.
Once those are nice and fragrant, add your veggies and cook until soft and tender, about 10-15 minutes.
While your veggies are cooking, bring a pot of water to boil and cook your chinese lo mein noodles according to package directions. It’s very important when they’re done cooking to drain and rinse them under some cold water. This does two things: stop the cooking and rid them from excess starch. Now if I was cooking Sunday Italian Dinner, I would NEVER suggest to rinse your spaghetti–but this is a different recipe, a different cuisine. The last thing you would want here is for your lo mein to congeal to one another.
Once your veggies and noddles are both cooked, you can toss them together in the sauté pan with your sauce: a simple mixture of soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar.
Toss until evenly coated over low heat for 2-3 minutes, letting the noodles fully absorb all the flavors of the veggies and sauce. Then, take off the heat and garnish with the greens of two scallions.
And serve! It’s as easy as that. Take-out style Chinese that is fresher, healthier, and faster than getting it from the restaurant you have on speed dial.
It’s so easy, you might even say it’s Easy as F*ck…
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp ginger, grated
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 scallions, chopped and divided into white and green parts
- 1 bell pepper, julienned
- 1 container of sliced mushrooms (shiitake, baby bella's, etc.)
- 1 handful of snow peas
- 1 10z package of chinese lo mein noodles
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- In a large wok or saute pan, saute ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, and the whites of your scallions in sesame oil over medium heat until fragrant.
- Add in your veggies and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
- While your veggies are cooking, bring water to a boil and cook your noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse noodles in cold water after cooking.
- Combine soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar in a separate bowl and mix until sugar is dissolved and everything is combined.
- Add your noodles to the pan with your cooked veggies. Drizzle in your sauce and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Take pan off the heat and garnish with the greens of you scallions.
- Dig in.