It’s so easy to make vegetable lo mein, a Chinese restaurant favorite, and this homemade version is filled with green goodness.
Make this with a half a cabbage or use prepared coleslaw to make the recipe even more of a snap. Broccoli, green beans, and mushrooms mingle deliciously with noodles. Make sure to see the variations at the end of the recipe.
Noodle notes: I like using Japanese soba noodles for this dish, but you can use udon or even ordinary spaghetti. Soba noodles incorporate buckwheat flour, which gives them a slightly heartier flavor and that handsome tawny color. Look for soba and udon noodles in the Asian foods aisle of well-stocked supermarkets and natural foods stores.
Instant succotash side dish: As shown in the photos, you can make a succotash with an Asian spin combining corn and edamame. No recipe needed — just combine two veggie in more or less equal amounts; drizzle in a little sesame oil and season with salt and pepper.
- 8 ounces soba or udon noodles, or spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon safflower or other high-heat vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil, optional (but highly recommended)
- 1/2 small head green or napa cabbage, cut into long, narrow shreds (or see shortcut in Notes)
- 2 cups small broccoli florets
- 2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half (see Notes)
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms, optional
- 3 to 4 scallions, cut into 1-inch-long segments
- Soy sauce, tamari, or teriyaki marinade, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Cook the noodles according to package directions in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil and 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil in a stir-fry pan (or replace one or both with broth). Add the cabbage, broccoli, and green beans. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and scallions and stir-fry over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender-crisp. Add a small amount of additional broth or water, just enough to keep the pan moist.
- Add the cooked noodles to the stir-fry pan and toss together. Add the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil, if using, then season with soy sauce and grind in pepper to taste. Serve at once.
When you’re in a hurry, you can substitute 8 ounces of preshredded coleslaw (preferably with carrots included) for the green or napa cabbage.
Fresh, slender green beans are hard to come by for much of the year, so I give you my full blessing to use frozen organic whole baby green beans, which are consistently excellent — and also save you the time and trouble of trimming the ends.
- Use whatever you’ve got in the fridge in place of or additional to some of the veggies listed here —romaine lettuce, mung bean sprouts, and/or bok choy in place of cabbage; broccoli rabe or Chinese broccoli instead of regular broccoli — it’s all good!
- Turn this into a heartier dish by adding 8 ounces seitan, cut into narrow strips, along with the other ingredients in the first step.
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