Noodle stir-fries like this Vegetable Lo Mein are some of my favorite weekday dinners. Much like my Chicken Lo Mein recipe, this recipe is super fast, very tasty, and honestly better than a lot of takeout options.
The real concern I had with the recipe is whether my kids would eat it. They will normally eat noodle dishes like this if they have meat in it, but a full-on veggie mix might be a struggle for them. Generally, they have vegetables on the side, but all mixed together like this isn’t something they have on their plate very much.
So, let’s dig in and make some lo mein, and maybe, just maybe, feed the kiddos also!
WHAT ARE LO MEIN NOODLES?
There are many kinds of noodles you can use for stir-fries like this. Lo mein noodles come in a variety of diameters but are typically made with wheat.
In most supermarkets, you can find the fresh noodles in the chilled section of the grocery store, but at a minimum, they will have a dried noodle that you can find in the Asian section. For stir-fry noodles, I recommend using a thicker noodle, not the super thin noodle that you might find in a ramen package.
WHAT IS IN LO MEIN SAUCE?
I keep the sauce for this recipe very simple, but it still has plenty of flavor. It’s a mix of the following:
- Hoisin sauce
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
I like to make a bit more sauce for Veggie Lo Mein than in my Chicken Lo Mein recipe, because there is more volume with the veggies. A little more sauce helps tie everything together.
VEGETABLE SWAPS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
I stick with classic stir fry vegetables for this version: mushrooms, red pepper, cabbage, and carrot. But don’t let that limit you! SO many vegetables would go just fine in this stir fry. Here are a few ideas!
- Chopped asparagus
- Sliced zucchini
- Baby spinach
- Tiny eggplants
WHAT TO SERVE WITH VEGETABLE LO MEIN?
This Vegetable Lo Mein is an entire meal on its own. Pile it in a bowl, and enjoy! That said, if you wanted to make it go farther, this is an excellent side dish to put out along with grilled meats or other hearty entrees.
CAN YOU MAKE VEGGIE LO MEIN AHEAD OF TIME?
This dish is 100 percent best served right out of the skillet on day one, but it does store relatively well and reheats well—so you can make the whole dish ahead and reheat it for dinnertime or to eat for lunch over a couple of days.
STORING AND REHEATING
The lo mein noodles will keep well in the fridge for three to four days. They reheat really well in the microwave, actually. I recommend adding a splash of water or a dash of soy sauce to bring the sauce back to life. You can also reheat these noodles on low heat in a skillet on the stove.
THE DAD ADD
Wasabi Edamame. This is a fun topper that I like for stir-fries of all sorts. I tend to like my food spicy, but my kids won’t eat super spicy stuff. I keep some of these wasabi edamame in the pantry to sprinkle on dishes like this. Seapoint Farms makes a delicious version you should be able to find in most grocery store snack sections.
I wish I could say that I piled up a big heap of this lo mein for my two children and they dug into it, but that is just not the case. To negotiate, I actually divided their plates into noodles and vegetables, and YES, I absolutely did pick out the vegetables from the stir-fry and separate them. Some may consider this insanity, but it’s so much better than dinnertime battles.
Even with this separation, I think you will detect a hint of three-year-old side eye in the above photo. Skeptical is an understatement, but the kids did like the noodles and loved having a little soy sauce to dip things in. Even the vegetables were tried in the tiniest of portions. It wasn’t their best dinner experience, but we made it through, and they got to try some new flavors!