One of my goals for 2014 was to incorporate more Asian cuisine into our menu. Some dishes, I’m really excited about (hot & sour soup, eggrolls, thai shrimp), but vegetable lo mein wasn’t high on my list. See, when I think of it, my mind immediately goes to the sad vat of colorless vegetables and greasy noodles at Panda Express, where, when given the choice, I always choose the fried rice. However, I’m a sucker for a vegetable dish, so I decided to start my quest with this dish. I’m so very glad I did because it was wonderful. The vegetables were crisp, the noodles were flavorful, and the whole dish was really comforting. Also, I typically associate Asian cuisine with spice, which I adore, but my dear toddler does not. This dish isn’t spicy at all and my little girl really liked it, so that makes it a win for sure.
I was able to find all of the ingredients at my standard grocery store. The chow mein noodles came in 6oz. packages, sort of a tray wrapped in cellophane. I bought 3 of them, so I had a little more than a pound, which was fine.
Vegetable Lo Mein
1 lb. chow mein noodles
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T fish sauce
2T oyster sauce
2T sesame oil
1 bell pepper
4T olive oil
1/2 lb. shiitake mushrooms
1/2 lb. broccoli
1 inch of fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves
1. Boil the noodles according to package directions (about 4 minutes). Strain and toss with about a tablespoon of oil (vegetable, olive, whatever) to keep the noodles from sticking together. Chop the onion, bell pepper, zucchini, and mushrooms. Peel and mince the garlic and ginger. Cut the broccoli into small pieces, removing most of the stems.
2. Whisk the oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and 1/4 cup of water together in a small bowl and set aside. Heat 2T of olive oil in a large skillet (or better yet, a wok or dutch oven) over high heat and cook the onion and bell peppers until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and zucchini and stir fry until they start to brown, about 3 more minutes. Scoop the vegetables onto a plate or bowl and set aside.
3. Add 1T of olive oil to the hot pan and cook the ginger and garlic for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Then add the noodles and cook for about 4 minutes, turning occasionally. Then, add the vegetables back in and toss in the broccoli. Pour the sauce over the whole thing and use tongs to toss the mixture together until the liquid is absorbed and the broccoli is slightly tender.
Source: Adapted from Williams Sonoma.
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