Vegetable Lo Mein

March 17, 2022
6 Ratings
Photo by WoonHeng Chia
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 2 to 3
Author Notes

Lo mein translates as “stirred noodles.” This beloved Chinese dish is easy to make at home and customize based on the ingredients you have around. I especially like the wide variety of vegetables that I can put toward this recipe, although it’s best to use sturdier vegetables such as broccoli, napa cabbage, bok choy, or snap peas. This version relies on bok choy, but feel free to swap or add, depending on what’s in your fridge. Traditionally, lo mein uses egg-enriched wheat noodles that are boiled, then tossed with a savory sauce. To make this vegan, I opt for eggless, oiled yellow noodles for the same texture and taste (An-Tai brand works well). When that is not possible to find, I use flat, dried wheat noodles (such as Wu-Mu brand) and cook those most, but not all, of the way before stir-frying; in that case, start with ½ pound instead of 1 pound. This allows me to keep that great chewy texture even after combining it with the sauce. If you’re not vegan, feel free to get more classic lo mein noodles. The sauce here has two types of soy sauce (light for flavor and dark for color and saltiness), oyster sauce for the umami, and sugar to balance all the savoriness. After a quick stir-fry, the sauce clings to every noodle, glistening. —WoonHeng Chia

What You'll Need
  • Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian or vegan oyster sauce (ideally mushroom-flavored)
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon mushroom seasoning
  • Noodles & Vegetables
  • 1 pound fresh vegan yellow noodles or lo mein noodles (see Author Notes)
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil (such as canola), plus more as needed
  • 1-inch pieces ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 7 ounces fried tofu (store-bought or fry your own), thickly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 7 ounces bok choy (about 1 large bunch), or another hearty green
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 2 scallions, ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Chile oil, for serving (optional)
  1. To make the sauce, whisk all of the ingredients with ½ cup of warm water until the sugar is dissolved. Taste and adjust if needed.
  2. To prepare the noodles, blanch in boiling water for about 1 minute to refresh and remove excess oil, then drain. (The specifics of this might vary depending on your product and brand, so always check the package first.)
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large wok over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the ginger (it should sizzle with wisps of smoke) and cook until light brown and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tofu and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, tossing occasionally, until it browns. Add more oil as necessary if the pan seems dry. Add the garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds until aromatic, then add the bok choy and carrot.
  4. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until the bok choy is slightly softened but still crisp (it will continue to soften when you add the noodles and sauce). Add the sauce, then the noodles. Using a pair of chopsticks or tongs (aided with a spatula or wooden spoon), quickly toss the noodles until well coated—the goal is to avoid overcooking the noodles.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed (say, more dark soy sauce for saltiness and a deeper color). Remove from the heat and toss in the scallions. Serve immediately, with chile oil if you’d like.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • brushjl
  • Sylvia
  • Jane
  • Christina Heinrich
    Christina Heinrich

5 Reviews

brushjl June 29, 2023
Great lo mein, loved the tofu. You can use any sturdy vegetable, I threw in a cup or so of sugar peas, the bok choy is mandatory. I used vietnamese rice sticks which worked really well. The sauce is delicious.
Sylvia April 11, 2022
Made the vegan version and it's delicious!
Jane March 31, 2022
Fantastic recipe.
Christina H. March 26, 2022
What is mushroom seasoning?
Jane March 31, 2022
I used Mushroom Porcini Powder. Somehow, I happened to have this in my store cupboard.