Vegetable Chow Mein

Chow mein uses wider and sometimes shorter noodles than lo mein. The amount and varieties of vegetables can be varied. Before starting to stir-fry, have all the vegetables cut and ready. Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook.

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 12 ounces wide Chinese wheat noodles
  • 2 tablespoons olive or peanut oil
  • 1 large onion, quartered and sliced
  • 3 large stalks celery or bok choy, sliced on a diagonal
  • 1 medium bunch broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets and stems
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into narrow strips
  • 8 ounces fresh mung bean sprouts
  • 15-ounce can straw mushrooms, liquid reserved
  • 6- or 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, liquid reserved
  • Liquid from straw mushrooms and water chestnuts (about 1 to 1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

Cook the noodles in plenty of rapidly simmering water until just tender, then drain.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a stir-fry pan. Add the onion and stir-fry over medium heat until translucent.

Add the celery, broccoli, and bell pepper and stir-fry over medium-high heat until all are just tender-crisp. Stir in the sprouts, mushrooms, and water chestnuts, and continue to cook until everything is well heated through.

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the reserved liquid from canned vegetables with the cornstarch and stir until dissolved. Stir in the remaining liquid and the soy sauce. Pour the sauce into the pan and cook just until it has thickened.

Remove from the heat and gently stir the cooked noodles together with the vegetables. Serve at once, passing around extra soy sauce, if desired.

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