Do you have that nostalgic dish that first bestowed you with the confidence that you could handle this thing in life called cooking? The one that made you believe you wouldn’t succumb to decades of packaged ramen? My dish was this slightly sweet, slightly spicy, oh-so-spectacular, and healthy Vegetable Lo Mein.
After tiring of the same routine in my immediate post-college survival days (a rotation between frozen meals and Anything With Eggs), I decided to spread my wings and tackle the vegetable lo mein I adored in Chinese restaurants as a kid.
Little did I know that this all-in-one vegetable extravaganza would be my reliable recipe BFF for years to come.
Simple vegetable lo mein is the saving grace of any health-conscious yet frugal adult in her first post-college job. Judging by how often we still make it, the appeal does not fade with time.
Vegetable lo mein is a healthy and very inexpensive meal. Combine any veggies you have on hand, a box of noodles from the grocery store, eggs, and one or two other things from your pantry, and you are in business.
Just like my Stir Fry Noodles, any leftovers reheat beautifully. Make a big batch for the upcoming week!
And the flavor…. my oh my! My first time making lo mein (I was 22) is when I discovered the glory of sesame oil. It adds a rich, nutty flavor right out of the bottle.
When I tasted how it transformed the eggs and stir fry sauce, I felt like I was an Iron Chef!
If you haven’t tasted sesame oil yet, I am so excited for you to find out just how transformative it can be.
- Sesame oil tastes intensely nutty and toasty. A little of it goes a long way.
- You can find sesame oil in the Asian or international aisle of just about any grocery store.
- I especially love it in healthy lo mein and stir fries with egg, like my Korean Beef Bowl, because the eggs absorb the sesame oil, creating a robust flavor.
- When you have both options available, I prefer toasted (vs. untoasted) sesame oil, because the taste is richer.
Keep that potent sesame oil trick for your stir fry arsenal, along with these guidelines.
Here’s everything you need to know to make the best vegetable lo mein that will ride to your rescue at dinner time.
How to Cook Vegetable Lo Mein
Vegetable lo mein is a classic Chinese comfort meal of stir-fry vegetables and eggs tossed in noodles. Here is the low-down on what makes up lo mein.
- Noodles. Lo mein noodles are cooked separately first before they’re tossed and mixed. I recommend using thicker noodles to withstand the tossing and whole wheat to enhance the nutritional benefits. Soba (udon) noodles or easy-to-find whole wheat spaghetti or whole wheat linguine noodles are great options.
- Sauce. Lo mein sauce is made of sesame oil as the base. You can then make it fancy by adding garlic, ginger, and oyster sauce too. Or you can keep it super simple and only add some soy sauce and olive oil.
- Vegetables. My go-to is bell peppers, mushrooms, and snap peas, but you can make veggie lo mein with cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, or just about any vegetable in your fridge! Chopping them in advance and into smaller pieces speeds up the cooking.
- Protein. I make this recipe using eggs, which are a protein-rich meatless option, and they’re ultra quick and easy.
- Cook the noodles, drain, and set aside.
- Coat the skillet with sesame oil and pour in the beaten eggs. Let cook until set.
- Slice the eggs into strips.
- Sauté the mushrooms with part of the green onions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes.
- Stir in the vegetables and cook.
- Add the noodles and eggs. Pour in the remaining soy sauce and sesame oil, tossing to combine. ENJOY!
- To Store. Refrigerate leftover lo mein in an airtight storage container for up to 5 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm lo mein in a large skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or rewarm gently in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Wok. For perfect stir fries every time.
- Large Pot. Ideal for making pasta, rice, and more!
- Spatula. Heat-resistant and easy to use.
Vegetable lo mein, thanks for teaching me that I’m never more than a few minutes away from a healthy meal! We all need more recipes just like this.
Vegetable Lo Mein
- 6 ounces long noodles such as whole grain spaghetti, whole grain fettuccine, soba noodles, or udon noodles
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus additional for tossing with the noodles
- 3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil divided
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce divided, plus additional to taste
- 4 green onions thinly sliced, divided
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes plus additional to taste
- 8 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
- 2 cups sugar snap peas
- 2 bell peppers cored and thinly sliced (red, yellow, orange, or any mix you like)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook noodles until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, toss with a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking, and set aside.
- Heat a wide, deep skillet or wok over medium heat. In a medium bowl scramble the eggs.
- Once the skillet is hot, add 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil. Swirl to coat then, pour in the eggs all at once. Lift and tilt the skillet so that the eggs form a thin layer on the bottom. Cook in a single layer without stirring for 2 to 3 minutes, until just set.
- With a rubber spatula to assist, slide the eggs onto a cutting board and let cool slightly. Cut into bite-sized pieces or strips.
- Return the pan to the heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium (be careful as it may splatter if the pan is too hot). Working quickly, add 2/3 of the green onions (reserve the rest for serving), the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Stir constantly, just until the very fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Cook 1 minute, stirring often.
- Add the snap peas and bell peppers. Increase the heat to medium high and cook until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the reserved cooked noodles and eggs. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon sesame oil over the top. Toss the lo mein gently to combine. Serve immediately, garnished with the reserved green onions.
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