The Lunar New Year celebration starts on the eve of the moveable feast. So, I’m cooking Vegetable Lo Mein. In case you’re still undecided what to cook for this Asian event, I shared some recipe links in a previous post which you can check out.
This noodle dish is ideal, whether it’s for two or more than a dozen friends coming for dinner. Noodles are extenders to the dish. And noodle recipes are always crowd-pleasers. This particular lo mein dish uses fresh wheat noodles which I always buy from the Asian supermarket, in the refrigerated section. They’re already pre-boiled and all I need to do is blanch the noodles for a few quick minutes.
This is basically a stir-fry dish, and for the sauce base, I used homemade shrimp stock – which I made by boiling together shrimp heads, usually discarded and tossed after peeling fresh shrimps. But if you are opting for an all-vegetable, plant-based, vegetarian meal, then use store-bought vegetable stock, which is delicious. I always have shrimp stock in my freezer, for specifically these dishes. I find the stock adds an extra savoriness.
Use fresh vegetables like baby bok choy, carrots, broccoli, or add on whatever you have on hand, like peas, green beans, cabbage, or more leafy greens.
The Lunar New Year symbolizes new beginnings, and a fresh outlook for the months ahead. Let’s try to look past the challenges of the current times, and be hopeful for peace, prosperity, and good fortune for everyone in our circles.
Happy Lunar New Year!
Gong Hey Fat Choy! (Cantonese)
Gong Xi Fa Cai ! (Mandarin)
Vegetable Lo Mein
- 1 large wok or skillet (12 inches diameter)
- 1 medium-stockpot (4 quarts)
- 450 grams fresh lo mein noodles
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 whole medium-sized onion, white or yellow; chopped
- 2 stalks scallion whites
- 1 ½ cups shrimp stock or vegetable stock
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 whole medium-sized carrot, peeled, sliced in 1-inch strips
- 1 whole small head of broccoli, cut into florets
- 4 to 6 bunches Baby Bok Choy, edges trimmed; each sliced into 4 shredded pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 stalks scallion greens, sliced
- 1 whole fresh lemon, sliced
For shrimp stock:
- 250 grams shrimp heads, with shells
- 2 cups water
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
To prepare Lo Mein noodles:
- Remove fresh noodles from the package. Drop them in a medium-sized stockpot of briskly boiling water. Blanch for about 2 minutes.Remove the noodles from boiling water and set aside. Discard the water.
To stir-fry the Vegetable Lo Mein:
- In a large wok or skillet, over medium-high heat, add the oil.Stir fry the garlic, onions and scallion whites for about 2 minutes.Pour the shrimp or vegetable stock, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Mix well.Simmer for about 2 minutes.
- Add the carrots, and broccoli florets. Cover and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes till soft.Add the sliced Baby Bok Choy leaves.
- Incorporate into the vegetable mixture, the fresh Lo Mein noodles. Mix well.Season with sesame oil, salt and black pepper. Cover and continue cooking for 5 to 6 minutes more. The noodles will puff up and expand to a larger size.Garnish with scallion greens and sliced lemons. Serve warm.
To cook shrimp stock:
- In a medium-sized stockpot, over medium-high heat, combine the shrimp heads, and water. Sprinkle the garlic powder and salt. Cover and let the liquid come to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 12 to 15 minutes. Discard the shrimp heads, and reserve the shrimp stock liquid for cooking. Freeze any leftover shrimp stock for other dishes.
- The shrimp stock adds a full-bodied flavor to the noodle dish. If not convenient, or if there are shellfish allergies, use store-bought vegetable stock instead.Other vegetables you can add: Mushrooms, Napa cabbage, bean sprouts, celery, sugar snap peas and other leafy greens in season.For noodles, you can also use dry noodles, but follow package directions for cooking and incorporating into the stir-fry.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided in the recipe links is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
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