When we get Chinese take-out, we always get lo mein of some sort as a side to our usual Mu Shu Pork and steamed dumplings. Michael likes the “house special” lo mein with chicken and beef and shrimp, but I like chicken lo mein. The kind that gets ordered depends on who calls it in! What to do if you have a lo mein craving and you’re too lazy to drive in to town to the Chinese place? You just make it yourself! (And because I’m the cook here, the house special is a chicken lo mein!!!)
It does require a bit of pre-planning for ingredients, but most will keep in your pantry, fridge and freezer, waiting for the craving to strike! I especially like to make this lo mein (based on Rachael Ray’s “No Pain Lo Mein” from the 30 Minute Meals cookbook) in the spring when the snow peas are coming on in my garden.
You can find snow peas anytime of the year in your local grocery. Pick some up next time you’re there, along with:
- 1 pound spagetti, cooked according to package directions
- 1/2-1 pound chicken, cut into thin strips (Handy Hint: cut chicken when still partially frozen–it’s easier to cut! Also, be careful to wash your hands before and after handling raw meat, as well as using a cutting board that can be sanitized in your dishwasher.)
- 2 TBSP toasted sesame oil, divided
- 3 TBSP vegetable oil
- a pinch or two (or more!) of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 lb snow peas
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 1 package fresh bean sprouts
- 3 green onions, sliced at an angle
- 2 TBSP soy sauce
Cook spagetti, drain, set aside.
While pasta cooks, cut chicken into strips and brown it in a wok or large skillet in 1 TBSP of the sesame oil.
Remove chicken from pan. Add vegetable oil, crushed red pepper, snow peas, onion and bean sprouts. Stir fry for a minute or two. Peas will be bright green and still crisp, onions will start to soften, becoming translucent.
Add chicken back to the wok, then cooked pasta and green onions. Toss to combine.
Drizzle with soy sauce and remaining 1 TBSP sesame oil. Toss through.
Serve with a sprinkling of sesame seeds….and chopsticks if you dare!
Mmmmmm! I love this lo mein; it has a fresher flavor than take-out while still maintaining the tradition Chinese food flavors. When you make it yourself like this, you can make your veggies as soft or crisp as you like. I like to keep my veggies on the crisp side–I like the texture of crisp against the tender meat and noodles. Add more soy sauce or red pepper flakes as you like. Michael likes to add hot sauce to his.
Want it vegetarian? Leave out the chicken and substitute tofu or mushrooms. Prefer red meat or sea food? Go for it! I like it just like it is. Yummy!