If you’re a fan of stir-fried noodle dishes, this vegetable chow mein will be right up your alley. Easy and adaptable, you can make it a little different each time, according to what vegetables are in your fridge (or even your freezer).
Use your favorite plant protein: For this vegan rendition of chow mein, you can incorporate your favorite plant protein. The recipe calls for packaged plant-based chick’n or baked tofu, but you can also use seitan or soy curls. Or, you leave it out the protein and serve a simple vegan protein dish on the side.
Vary the veggies: Make sure to see the notes section in the recipe box for a few vegetable variations that work well in this dish. And though I call for yakisoba, a long, thin noodle variety that gives the dish an authentic touch, you can use any kind of long noodle.
What does chow mein mean, anyway? according to Wikipedia: “The words chow mein mean ‘stir-fried noodles’, chow meaning ‘stir-fried’ (or “sautéed”) and mein meaning ‘noodles’. The pronunciation chow mein is an English corruption of the Taishanese pronunciation chāu-mèing.” Interesting!
Complete the meal: Serve with a simple slaw or a platter of fresh vegetables. For a fun touch, add some vegetable spring rolls from your grocery’s frozen foods section.
If you love delectable shiitake mushrooms, make sure to explore this roundup of vegan fresh shiitake mushroom recipes.
Photos by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 1/4 cup hoisin or teriyaki sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sriracha or other hot sauce, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 8-ounce package yakisoba noodles (see Note)
- 2 tablespoons safflower or other high-heat oil
- 1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 8 ounces chick’n-style plant protein or baked tofu, cut into bite-sized chunks or strips
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into narrow strips
- 3 large celery stalks, sliced on a diagonal
- 4 to 5 ounces shiitake or other brown mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
- 8 ounces fresh mung bean sprouts
- 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
- 3 to 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- Cook the noodles according to package directions until al dente, then drain. These noodles are very long, so reach into the colander and cut here and there with kitchen shears to shorten.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a stir-fry pan. Add the onion and stir-fry over medium heat until translucent. Add the chick’n and continue to stir-fry until the both it and the onion are golden-brown.
- Add the celery, bell pepper, and mushrooms, and stir-fry over medium-high heat for a minute or two, just tender-crisp.
- Stir in the sprouts, peas, and scallions, and continue to stir-fry just until heated through. Remove from the heat.
- Add the cooked noodles and sauce and mix together with a large fork. Taste to see if you’d like to add any more of the sauce ingredients; or, you can pass around extra soy sauce and hot sauce.
You’ll find yakisoba in the Asian foods section of well-stocked supermarkets. You can substituted an equivalent amount of other long thin noodles, including thin spaghetti.
Variation: Use any other vegetables you have on hand in place of those suggested here. Other good veggies to use are bell pepper, cut into narrow strips; frozen peas and/or corn (thawed), and pre-grated carrot.
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