When our Chinese friends are cooking, I go into spectator mode. Many of their Asian recipes are new to me and a little intimidating! However, after always asking them to make their delicious Chinese Lo Mein Noodles Recipe, they finally encouraged me to make it myself.
I am happy to say I finally did, and it’s surprisingly easy! So now, it is your turn.
What is Lo Mein?
Lo mein is a Chinese dish typically made with egg noodles. It usually contains vegetables and some type of protein; such as beef, chicken, pork, or shrimp.
It can also be served with just vegetables alone.
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What’s the difference between lo mein and chow mein?
Similar to Lo Mein, Chow Mein is also a noodle dish, but the two are cooked differently.
The chow mein noodle is generally fried and then immersed in sauce. Chow mein noodle’s crispy exterior softens, which gives the fried noodles a chewy texture.
LoMein noodles on the other hand are not fried, but cooked and then combined with sauce and vegetables. The noodle texture is usually soft and plump. Ultimately the difference comes down to the noodle texture.
What kind of noodles do you use for lo mein?
Fresh egg noodles are commonly used for lo mein. The other option is dry noodles.
Choose based on your personal preference and what is convenient to purchase. Dry noodles are widely available and come in lots of varieties. These are typically what we use the most.
I prefer the skinny Canton noodles, approx 1/8 inch thick, but thicker ones work too.
Egg noodles do not need to be precooked before adding to your sauce, but the dry noodles will need to be boiled in water beforehand.
Dry Canton Egg Noodles
In today’s recipe, we’ve combined the two recipe models because we are using dry noodles, yet do slightly fry them to dry them out after boiling.
When you use dry noodles, they are not quite as soft as egg noodles and retain a bite.
Try different varieties and you will definitely find your favorite noodle. Dry is my fav! It’s in the mid-range for texture.
Easy Family Dinner Recipe
Lo Mein Noodles are the perfect family meal. Your kids will love them because they are delicious and fun! They may not suspect how nutritious all those veggies tucked in there are.
Noodles would also be excellent on a dinner party menu or as a potluck dish idea. They are the ideal crowd-pleaser.
Best Main Dish or the Best Side Dish
Chinese Lo Mein Noodles do double duty, they can serve as a perfect and quick main dish OR, can also be an easy side dish.
To make a complete and easy one-dish meal, add your favorite protein and plenty of vegetables. If you need more ideas for what ingredients to add, see below.
If you just need a simple side dish recipe, just add your choice of vegetables, or skip the veggies altogether and go with just noodles and sauce. It tastes amazing either way!
Best Kitchen Tools to make Lo Mein
You can make this dish with a simple frying pan and wooden spoon, or go the authentic Chinese cooking route with a carbon steel wok. The choice is yours!
Most of us here are home cooks though and typically want easy to use and easy to clean.
Below are my low-maintenance kitchen favs to make today’s Chinese Lo Mein Noodles recipe or any of your favorite Asian recipes. (affiliate links in blue)
I love the solid black, high sides, nonstick surface, plus a see-through cover! It is durable, heats evenly, and quickly, and prevents hot spots. Perfect for easy food release, tossing, cleaning, and healthy cooking.
Wok/Stir Fry Pan
A great wok with long-life nonstick, Teflon. I would use this for a variety of cooking, not just Asian stir fry recipes. It is coated 5 times with Teflon print designs and has extra-heavy gauge forged aluminum construction.
Wooden Spoon for Nonstick Pans
I absolutely love wooden spoons. Here’s a good solid, one-piece beech wood variety, and I do own a few of these!
The OXO brand is awesome, it is always top quality. This one is great for woks and other cooking too. It’s got a large, comfortable handle, and is safe for non-stick cookware.
Lo Mein Recipe Variations
Choose your favorite lo mein recipe, simply using vegetables, adding meat, seafood, or tofu!
Vegetable Lo Mein
This version is the easiest of all. Add your favorite vegetables and skip the protein. When we make Lo Mein as a side dish, we just use green onions or whatever veggies we have on hand.
Chicken Lo Mein
Chicken thighs or chicken breasts are the perfect choices for lo mein. Cut the chicken into thin, even strips.
Beef Lo Mein
The best beef for lo mein is either flank steak, skirt steak, ribeye, or top sirloin. Slice against the grain and cook on high heat for just 30 seconds on each side.
Shrimp Lo Mein
Cook the shrimp separately and set them aside. Add back in at the end, so you don’t overcook them.
Ingredients for an Authentic Chinese Lo Mein Recipe
Below are a bunch of tasty ideas to create your own classic lo mein dinner.
Vegetable Ideas for Lo Mein Noodles
What are the best vegetables for lo mein? Below are lots of colorful vegetable varieties to get you started.
Lo Mein Sauce Ingredients
Here’s what you will need to make the delicious lo mein noodle sauce. If you like it super saucy, double the recipe!
Light Soy Sauce (Sometimes called Regular) These two names are used interchangeably. This is the most common type of soy sauce you will find in the United States.
Light soy sauce is what you find at the typical grocery store or get with Chinese takeout. It is quite thin in consistency, light in color, and salty in flavor. Dave likes this Lee Kum Lee Premium Soy Sauce.
Dark soy sauce This type of soy sauce is darker in color, slightly opaque, and thicker in texture than light soy sauce.
It tastes richer, sweeter, less salty, and savory than its lighter counterparts. Lee Kum Lee Premium Dark Soy Sauce.
Oyster Sauce Yes, oyster sauce is actually made from oysters! It is a rich, savory, dark sauce with a hint of sweetness.
It is commonly used in stir-fries and other Asian-style dishes. Lee Kum Lee Oyster Sauce. As you can tell, I like and trust this brand and its quality!
Sesame oil This oil is derived from sesame seeds. It has the most amazing nutty smell and flavor. I could drink it, but that’s probably not a good idea.
Sesame oil is best as a finisher, so this is added at the end of the recipe. Kadoya Pure Sesame Oil is the one we have been using.
Chinese Lo Mein Noodles Instructions
1 In a large pot, boil water for the noodles. Cook the noodles until al dente, following the package instructions.
Drain in a colander and rinse well in cold water. (Skip this step if using lo mein egg noodles, because they do not require pre-cooking.)
2 In a small bowl, combine light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. Whisk together and set aside.
3 Heat 1-2 teaspoons of oil in a non-stick skillet or wok over high heat. Add your choice of veggies. Stir fry all on high heat until crisp-tender, approximately 3-5 minutes. Remove vegetables from the pan and set them aside.
You may want to fry some veggies longer, for example, carrots. If so, start with the firmest vegetables. You can add in the more delicate varieties as you go.
We used bean sprouts and green onions in the photo instructions above and it was delicious, but you can add as many or few vegetables as you want!
Try bean sprouts, carrots, garlic, mushrooms, and red, yellow, or green peppers.
4 Add more oil, if desired.
Stir fry the first side of the noodle pile. Gently move noodles around with tongs or chopsticks, pulling apart noodle clumps, separating, so the noodles are individually cooked and “dried out” for approximately 30-45 seconds. The sizzling is the moisture you are removing.
Flip over the entire pile of noodles and cook on the other side for another 30-45 seconds, while continuing to pull apart and separate noodles.
Set aside along with your vegetables, and repeat with the other half of the noodles.
5 When all noodles are fried, return all noodles and vegetables to the pan. Pour half of the liquid sauce over the noodles. Mix and stir, then taste. Pour in more sauce until you get the flavor strength you desire. The color will be a good indicator. I prefer medium-brown. 🙂
6 In the photo above, we added just the white halves of the green onions first. We added the darker green halves of the green onion last. Serve immediately. Enjoy!Print
More Easy and delicious Chinese Recipes
Click the names of the recipes below for additional Asain recipes that you will love!
Chicken Pork Dumpling Recipe
A delicious, easy, and authentic Chinese pork dumpling recipe straight from Shanghai to your kitchen.
Chinese Braised Pork in Brown Sauce
Tender, flavorful & delicious! Chinese Braised Pork in Brown Sauce has amazing flavor & is very popular in China.
Delicious Dipping Sauce
This secret sauce has an exceptional flavor, one taste and you’ll be sold. Harry’s Delicious Dumpling Dipping Sauce is a keeper.
I hope you try creating your own version of this Chinese Lo Mein Noodles Recipe. What’s your favorite noodle? Let me know in the comment section below.
Thanks for visiting!
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