Sometimes you feel like ordering in Chinese food, but don’t want to spend the money. Or maybe you feel like it’s not a healthy option. Or maybe you are like us and choosing not to order in during the “stay at home” orders. This recipe for simple “just like takeout” vegetable lo mein, is not only delicious and so simple to make, but chock full of good for you veggies and easy on the wallet too!
I’ve been making stir fry’s for years. Throw a little of this and a little bit of that into a pan, serve over rice and voila, dinner. But I have always wanted to figure out how to make vegetable lo mein and I finally did it. Using ingredients that are mostly pantry staples and vegetables you have on hand, this is a great vegetarian, vegan, 30-minute meal that your family will love!
No more waiting for the doorbell to ring once you learn how to make this recipe…
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What are lo-mein noodles?
Lo Mein noodles are traditionally a chewy Chinese egg noodle. Similar to spaghetti, they are made from wheat flour and eggs. However, they are not a straight noodle like the spaghetti noodles we are all used to. They take on their own shape and have a really nice bite to them. Sometimes they are also referred to as “chow-mein” noodles I’ve been told.
In this simple vegetable lo mein recipe however, we are going to use spaghetti noodles. Sometimes I use thin spaghetti noodles, sometimes the regular spaghetti noodles, it just depends on what I have on hand. I do not recommend angel hair pasta in this recipe. They are just too delicate for the recipe to work well.
Having a hard time finding spaghetti noodles on the shelf? Go ahead and use ramen noodles. That’s right, the ones from the package you ate in college. Toss the flavor packet, cook the noodles as directed and drain a minute or two early. Tada, cheap and easy lo mein noodles.
What vegetables work best in homemade veggie lo mein?
Really any vegetable combination you like will work in this recipe. My go to vegetables are broccoli, carrots, edamame, cabbage and sliced water chestnuts, because I typically have those all on hand either fresh or frozen. They are also the veggies that I can almost guarantee my kids will eat on any given night.
Other veggies that go well with stir fry include, peppers (red, yellow or green, doesn’t really matter), mushrooms, bok choy, spinach (only add in the last minutes), baby corn, snow peas, corn, sweet peas. Really, any veggie you like works in this recipe. Play with a few combinations and see which one you like the best.
Or, think about the last time you ordered Chinese food…what came in that lo mein dish? Got it, okay, now just use those veggies to get the comfort you were craving!
How do you make “just like takeout” vegetable lo-mein?
First you are going to want to get the noodles cooking. Follow the directions on the package of whatever kind of lo mein noodles you have decided on.
Then, get a large saute pan going over high heat. Add some olive oil and toss in your veggies. Since I like to use frozen veggies and shredded carrots in this recipe, you can go ahead and toss it all in at the same time. If you are using fresh broccoli and sliced carrots, you’ll want to add the carrots first, then the broccoli and then the frozen stuff a bit later.
The goal is to get fork tender vegetables all cooked and ready at the same time.
While the veggies cook, you’ll mix up the sauce in a small bowl or jar. Add in the sauce ingredients and whisk or shake it all together.
Once the veggies and lo mein noodles are done, add the noodles to the pan that the veggies cooked in and then pour the sauce over it and toss it all together. Let it cook about 5 more minutes so everything melds together and then serve it up!
Tips and Tricks:
- Feel free to add in a protein of your choice. This would pair well with chicken, beef or tofu. I would just saute them in the pan before you cook the veggies. Let them hang out on the side once they are cooked through and add back in when you are stirring the noodles, veggies and sauce together.
- This makes great leftovers, just like any Chinese food does. You could even buy cute little Chinese take out containers and portion this out for lunches all week long.
- Want to make a whole homemade Chinese food feast? I would serve this with homemade egg rolls, wonton soup and fortune cookies. Would make a fun themed dinner party or stuck at home fun “dinner out” idea!
Looking for other easy vegetarian recipes? Check these out!
Simple “Just Like Takeout” Vegetable Lo Mein
- 16 oz spaghetti noodles ramen noodles or lo mein noodles
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 frozen cube garlic
- 1 frozen cube ginger
- 1 cup frozen edamame
- 2 cups frozen broccoli
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 can sliced water chestnuts
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- Lo Mein Sauce
- Soy or Tamari Sauce
- Sesame oil
- 1 frozen cube garlic
- 1 frozen cube ginger
- Make the sauce by putting all the ingredients into a jar with a lid and shaking well until combined. Set aside.
- Prepare the noodles according to directions.
- In a large skillet over medium high high add olive oil, garlic and ginger cubes
- Stir the ginger and garlic until they have melted into the oil (about 30 seconds)
- Quickly add in the edamame, carrots and broccoli and let them start cooking, stirring occasionally makin sure everything cooks evenly
- After about 8-10 minutes add in the water chestnuts and shredded cabbage.
- Once the cabbage begins to wilt and the rest of the veggies are cooked through, add the cooked noodles into the pan.
- Pour the sauce over the the entire mixture and over medium low heat toss until everything is thoroughly coated.
- Serve and enjoy!