I learned something new recently—chow mein refers not so much to the specific types of noodles used (though it sometimes does use wider and sometimes shorter noodles than lo mein), but that the noodles are stir-fried along with the veggies. The amount and varieties of vegetables can be varied. Why call for take out when it’s so easy (and less greasy) to make this at home? Serve with a simple tofu dish and a salad or slaw dressed in sesame-ginger dressing for a great meal. Photos by Evan Atlas.
Vegetable Chow Mein
- 8 oz wide Chinese wheat noodles see note, or substitute soba for a gluten-free variation
- 2 tbsp safflower or other high-heat oil
- 1 large onion quartered and sliced
- 3 large stalks celery or bok choy sliced on a diagonal
- 1 medium broccoli crown cut into bite-sized florets
- 1 red bell pepper cut into narrow strips
- 8 oz cremini or white mushrooms cleaned and sliced
- 2 to 3 scallions white and green parts, optional
- 2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce or more, to taste
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- dried hot red pepper flakes or hot sauce for serving optional
- Cook the noodles in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain.
- Before starting the stir-fry, have all the vegetables cut and ready.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a stir-fry pan. Add the onion and stir-fry over medium heat until translucent.
- Add the cooked noodles to the pan, turn up the heat, and stir-fry until they're lightly browned here and there.
- Add the celery, broccoli, bell pepper, and mushrooms and stir-fry over almost high heat until all are just tender-crisp. Stir in the scallions.
- Remove from the heat. Season soy sauce and plenty of pepper. Serve at once, passing around extra soy sauce, as well as hot pepper flakes or hot sauce if desired.
Note: You can also use a whole-grain spaghetti or linguine; really, any long noodle.