Lo mein is one of those dishes we can’t resist on a Chinese take-out menu, but that may not have made its way into your home kitchen. It should—it is just a stir-fry with noodles.
Making it at home means that you can use much less oil than most restaurants do; this is definitely one of those dishes that seems to give off a real shimmer in many Chinese restaurants, and having seen the amount of oil that can be used in some establishments, it’s a good one to bring into your home cooking repertoire.
This lo mein recipe happens to feature shrimp, but in two shakes you’ll see how you can make a vegetarian version, or a chicken version, or a steak or pork version of this ever popular Chinese-American dish.
½ pound thin spaghetti
2 teaspoons salt
¾ cup reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons less-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil divided
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups very small broccoli florets
¾ cup thinly sliced carrots
¾ cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 pound peeled and deveined extra large shrimp
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt to the water, return the water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions, stopping two minutes or so before it is fully cooked. Drain the pasta.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl or container, combine the broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, sesame oil, and pepper.
In a large skillet or wok over high heat, heat 1 ½ teaspoons of the oil, then add the shrimp and sauté until the shrimp are almost (but not quite!) cooked, about 2 minutes. Transfer them to a plate and set aside. Add the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons of oil to the skillet, add the garlic, broccoli, carrots, and red pepper and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until everything starts to soften.
Return the shrimp to the pan along with the drained pasta and the sauce. Toss (tongs are great for this) over the high heat until the noodles absorb some of the sauce , everything is well mixed, and the rest of the sauce is slightly thickened, another 2 minutes or so. Serve hot.