Monday, January 30, 2012

Recipe Makeover - Veggie Lo Mein

When I was a kid, my parents always took us to Philadelphia's Chinatown for dinner and I LOVED it. I couldn't get enough of the tea, the wonton soup, the fried noodles with duck sauce and spicy mustard, and my favorite dish to order was Vegetable Lo Mein. Still, to this day, I always get Lo Mein when having Chinese food.

I have made Lo Mein at home before, but could never get the sauce just right... until last week that is! I think I finally figured out what makes the sauce. Besides the right flavors, it's flour! Flour mixed in with the broth and other liquid ingredients makes the sauce stick to the noodles and veggies. My Lo Mein was perfect!

Here is what I did -


  • 1 head of broccoli chopped into florets
  • 1/2 red pepper, julienned
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sm can water chestnuts
  • 1 sm can bean sprouts
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 lb thick spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp oil (I used olive oil; vegetable oil would work well)
  • 1.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp flour
  • Approximately 1/2 c low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp mirin


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop broccoli in for 2 minutes; remove and run under cold water. Drain and squeeze gently to get the excess water out.
  • Cook paste in the water you used to blanch the broccoli.
  • In a large saute pan or wok, heat oil over high heat
  • Add carrots and peppers; saute 3-4 minutes.
  • Add broccoli, garlic, bean sprouts, and water chestnuts. Saute 2-3 minutes.
  • In a bowl, mix the broth, soy sauce, and mirin with the flour. Add to the pan and bring to a steady simmer.
  • Add pasta and toss everything to coat.

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  1. looks gorgeous! And your photos are getting so professional looking! How do you have time w/raising a child? I found it impossible that first year! Another trick for the sauce is to use cornstarch as the sauce thickener. You get a clearer sauce and it doesn't have a floury after-taste. The other trick is to make a slurry with a cold or cool liquid, so the flour or cornstarch doesn't make lumps, then stir it into the pan to finish and tighten the sauce! Bravo on another great creation - and for yet another inspiration!

  2. I have found memories of my mom taking us to eat at a Chinese restaurant growing up. My dad isn't really into Asian food so if he wasn't going to be around for dinner one night my mom would take my sister and I for a special girl's dinner out at the Chinese restaurant complete with tea in the little cups! Love!

    Anyway, I too enjoy lo mein, but I agree, the sauce is hard to copy at home! I will definitely be trying this recipe soon! Thanks for sharing!