|10 Minute Lazy Day Lo Mein
Of course, going out for Lo Mein isn't always the ideal option for three reasons:
1. Frugality. Even a small family, at an inexpensive restaurant is likely to spend more than $20. for Lo Mein. And for a medium sized family at sit down restaurant, it could EASILY top $50.
2. Health. Many Chinese dishes are stir fried (or prepared in a Wok) with lots of extra oil. Which isn't so healthy. And, of course, there's the temptation to order less-healthy extras, like Cream Cheese Filled Fried Wontons, or Fried Egg Rolls.
3. Time. It takes a good chunk of the day to go out for dinner. There are days when that is good - when you want to hang out with friends and relax. But, there are days when that's not so good - when you have a tight schedule or other priorities for the day.
So, for a long time, I've been thinking that it would be good to have my OWN Lo Mein recipe that I could fix at home.
But, I hadn't quite gotten around to it . . .
Then, one day at the grocery, instead of the Frozen "Stir Fry" Mixed Veggies I wanted, I accidentally ended up with Stir Fry Veggies with NOODLES from the freezer section. The packaging is SO confusing! I kind of felt ripped off having some cheap noodles thrown in with my more expensive veggies, but still having to pay the same price.
But, as they say, when life gives you lemons . . .
I decided I'd figure out what to do with them to use them up & not waste them. And that's how 10 Minute Lazy Day Lo Mein was born.
I did some internet research, and created my own sauce - a blend of the concept of several online recipes.
I microwaved the Veggies and Noodles according to package directions (8 minutes) and added the sauce ingredients - right into the bowl. I stirred it, and tasted it.
It was amazing!
The flavor and texture profile were SO like the restaurant version - not identical - but close enough to make me really happy. And save a bunch of time and money. And cut WAYYYY back on the oil!
Well, after that little success, I tried making a BIG batch of sauce. I boiled regular noodles and veggies in a pot together, drained them, and tossed them with the sauce. Then I served my Daughter Lo Mein for her lunch break (oh, the luxuries of homeschooling!). And she loved it! : )
Now, mind you, traditional Lo Mein must be made with the right sort of Noodles, and Fried in a fair amount of oil, with authentic Chinese veggies. I'm not claiming an authentic, perfect replica here.
But, if you'd like an easy, healthy, and quick, and frugal Lo Mein from home, this is your recipe!
Lo Mein Sauce for One
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (I use Kikkoman)
1 teaspoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Dark Sesame Oil
Pinch Ground Ginger
Pinch Garlic Powder
Microwave Stir Fry Veggies with Noodles according to package directions.
Top with Sauce ingredients (no need to pre-mix sauce unless you want to)
Lo Mein Sauce, Family Size Batch
(I like to keep this big batch in the fridge, to make meals for one several days in a row)
3/4 Cup Soy Sauce (I use Kikkoman)
2 Tablespoons Sugar
1 Tablespoon Dark Sesame Oil
1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
Combine in Jar & Shake to mix.
In Saucepan Bring Water to a Boil. Add Preferred Veggies & Noodles, and cook according to directions for Noodles (If you like your veggies more tender, let them boil for a few minutes before adding Noodles)
Drain, and add sauce to taste.
(For our family, I cook 1 1/4 pounds of Pasta and 1 pound of Stir Fry Veggies, I toss those with 1/3 to 1/2 of a "Family Size Batch" of sauce. I keep the remaining sauce on hand for lunch "bowls" : )
AND Save Time, Money and Health! : )
HUGE Batch LoMein
To make a HUGE batch for taking to a potluck, I made 2 1/2 pounds of spaghetti (I do 1 1/4 pounds at a time in the microwave cooker - a "Pasta Boat"). Then I rinsed it very well and put it in a large bowl (My 21 cup/5 Liter bowl was completely full with this recipe). I microwaved a 2# package of stir fry veggies and added it to the bowl. Then I made a double Family Sized Batch (above) of sauce and put it in a glass jar. At the potluck, I microwaved the bowl of pasta & veggies for 5-6 minutes, just to heat, and poured the sauce over & tossed. It worked out great : )
Just a side note: This sauce is also SPECTACULAR on Veggies and RICE : )
Tip for Dining with Omnivores: Add Shrimp or cubes of leftover Chicken, or Pork to Omnivore's portion.
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