In mere minutes, you’ll be dishing up unbelievable flavor with this 20-Minute Lo Mein. Pair it with your favorite protein for the ultimate weeknight meal.
What is Lo Mein, Exactly?
You’ve seen lo mein on Chinese restaurant menus, and it may even be a regular takeout choice of yours. You know it tastes incredible, but what actually qualifies as lo mein?
Lo mein refers to fresh egg noodles that are fully cooked first, followed by a delicious drenching of awesome sauce. Fresh vegetables and/or protein are often added, making it a fabulous meal in one. It’s also a stellar option for meal prep, as it reheats beautifully.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHOW MEIN AND LO MEIN?
- The main difference between these delicious takeout favorites is in the preparation. Both dishes use Chinese egg noodles, and both are typically tossed with similar proteins and vegetables.
- Though chow mein can be made Cantonese-style with a bit of crunch to the noodles, lo mein aims solely for a soft and chewy texture.
- Chow mein is all about stir-frying everything together in a wok or pan. Lo mein’s star focus is the savory sauce, which is gently tossed together with chewy noodles.
- Here’s our easy chicken chow mein recipe, which can be made with or without the chicken.
Vegetable Lo Mein: Protein options
This Lo Mein is deliciously simple and quick. Just stir up the succulent sauce. Toss together with your choice of noodles and you’re in business. Homemade is always better than takeout.
This lo mein recipe is vegetarian, but if you have meat lovers, feel free to pair your tasty lo mein with a favorite protein and you’ve got a nutritious, delicious meal in no time. Super fast protein ideas you can easily add straight into your lo mein include sauté shrimp, shredded chicken (rotisserie works great,) or chopped ham straight from the deli counter.
If you keep your lo mein meatless, try sprinkling in sesame seeds or chopped roasted peanuts or cashews on the finished dish for some healthy protein.
In less than 30 minutes, you’ve just become a dinner rock star. Plus zilch elbow grease. And if you’re lucky, you’ve got lunch or dinner set for tomorrow.
Common Questions and Answers
Fresh lo mein noodles can be found in most Asian grocery stores. If you can’t find them or don’t live near an Asian grocery store, you can use dry spaghetti or linguine noodles.
Lo mein noodles are not gluten-free. The fresh egg noodles also typically have wheat flour in them. For gluten-free noodles, try rice noodles like what we use in Thai Stir Fry Noodles (Pad See Ew)
We don’t recommend freezing cooked lo mein (nor any cooked noodles) as freezing tends to alter the texture. Instead, leftover lo mein keeps well in the fridge and can easily be reheated on stovetop or in the microwave.
More noodles to eat:
- Chicken Chow Mein: How to Stir Fry Noodles
- Thai Stir Fry Noodles – Pad See Ew
- Taiwanese Beef Noodle Bowl (Gluten-free)
- Asian Cold Sesame Noodles (Nut Free)
- Dan-Dan Noodles (Mein)