6ounceslong noodles such as whole grain spaghettior whole grain fettuccine, soba noodles, or udon noodles
1/4cupreduced sodium soy sauceplus additional to taste
4clovesgarlicminced or grated (about 1 heaping tablespoon)
1tablespoonfinely chopped fresh ginger
1/2teaspooncrushed red pepper flakes plus additional to taste
1tablespooncanola oilor peanut or grapeseed oil
2medium carrotspeeled and cut into thin coins
1head broccolicut into small florets (about 3 cups), or 3 cups thinly sliced cabbage
1red bell pepper cored and thinly sliced
18-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
4green onions thinly sliceddivided
2teaspoonstoasted sesame oiloptional
For easier slicing, place the beef in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up. Cut the beef across the grain into very thin (1/4-inch or smaller) slices. Cut any long slices in half cross wise (each strip should be around 3 inches or so long).
Place the beef in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, stir together the baking soda and 2 tablespoons of the water. Pour over the beef and toss to coat. Let sit 5 minutes (this helps to tenderize it).
Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted water, cook the noodles just until al dente. Drain and rinse under cool water. Set aside.
In a small bowl or larger liquid measuring cup, stir together the soy sauce, hoisin, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Keep handy near the stove.
In a wok or large, nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium high. Add the beef and cook until crisp on the outside but still pink on the inside, about 3 minutes. The beef will give off liquid, which is fine. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the sauce and let cook 30 seconds. With a large spoon, scoop the beef onto a plate (any cooking juices left behind will cook away).
Add the carrots, broccoli, and bell pepper. Cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of water and let the vegetables steam until the broccoli turns bright green and most of the liquid has cooked away, about 2 minutes more.
Stir in the water chestnuts, half of the green onions, and 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce mixture and let cook 30 additional seconds.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the noodles and beef and pour the remaining soy sauce mixture over the top. With tongs, stir and toss until the noodles are heated through.
Drizzle the sesame oil over the top (if using) and sprinkle on the remaining green onion. Toss to combine. Enjoy!
TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover beef lo mein in an airtight container for 4 days.
TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat or gently in the microwave. Splash a little water or broth onto the nooldes to keep them from drying out.
TO FREEZE: Freeze in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.