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Mar 21, 2010 09:27 PM

What kind of noodles do you use for lo Mein and share your lo mein recipes.

I just cooked my first batch of Lo Mein. It was pretty good. I'm a little upset with myself. All these years, I have been paying chinese take out prices for $1 dollars worth of stuff.

Anyway I used a package of what my grocery store called chinese noodles. Well they tasted and looked a lot like ramen noodles. These were more yellow I think.

The general recipe I used this time (bear in mind that I haven't settled on my recipe yet.) was as follows.

I marinated strips of meat ( this time pork from a tenderloin, will be different next time) in soy sauce and corn starch (next time will use some wine too like the recipe called for. I didn't have any).

I hydrated some dried mushrooms (I used shitakes, I couldn't find those black ones) in some beef broth.

I cut a few green onions on the bias. I stir fried all e ingredients in a hot non stick fry pan until the meat was done.

I added the pound of cooked, cold noodles to the pan (1/3 pound dry) and added 1/2 cup water 1 tbl soy sauce and a hand full of spinach leaves. You are supposed to add some bean sprouts or more veggies here but I didn't have em. maybe next time).

I stirred every thing around to mix it until the noodles warmed up and the spinach wilted and the sauce was incorporated into the noodles and served it.

I knew you folks would want to know what i did. Any suggestions? I am really curious about the noodles. I have found lots of recipes that just tell you to use spaghetti or even linguine noodles. What do you people think about the noodles. I am tempted to just use ramen next time.

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  1. In Los Angeles I'm fortunate to have access to fresh chow mein noodles in different thickeness' and my favorite is the old style thick noodles you don't really see used anymore. I can get a 10 pound box of fresh noodles for around $6 at Chinese restaurant supply cash and carry. I'll use some and freeze the rest in usable portions.
    I've used the dry kind you're speaking of and they're acceptable.

    I'm going to assume your from somewhere near New York City, because on the west coast lo mein isn't what you're describing as I found out when I moved here from the east coast. It's called chow mein here.

    As for my recipe it all depends on what kind I want to make or what might be leftover. But, I'll skip the soy sauce and add some oyster sauce (some say it's the unami of Asian sauces...but I've been doing it years before unami became a hip term) near the end of the stir frying...adds a good flavor and sometimes a little sesame oil.

    2 Replies
    1. re: monku

      Where in LA? I would like to buy some for our Christmas. I have only been getting them from 99Ranch, but I want fresh from the shop ones like you can get in Hawaii :-)

      1. re: dahulagirl

        We get big bags of then at Marukai in Torrance....

    2. Here's a tip I learned from a famous Cantonese American restaurant that's been in business for 50+ years here and I think they got the best old style chow mein around (like the lo mein I used to get in NYC Chinatown).
      Add a 1/2 tablespoon of sugar to the soy sauce your using in your recipe. I couldn't believe the difference it makes.

      1. Back to your question on noodles. I've had lo mein (chow mein) made with spaghetti and sometimes linguine noodles and it just doesn't seem the same, maybe because I can tell it's spaghetti or linguini. For all I know the ingredients are probably the same as the dry Chinese noodles you may already be using.
        I've never tried using ramen, but I'm wondering if they'll hold up when stir fried. I believe ramen is already fried (like deep fried) then dried and packaged.
        Not knowing if you have good access to Asian products another alternative are Japanese Yakisoba noodles which are already cooked and come in different sized packages. Then there are already cooked fresh chow mein noodles (they've been steamed) and you don't have to do anything but just stir fry to heat them. If you use fresh noodles make sure you don't boil them for more than a few minutes (no more than 3 minutes) otherwise they become useless.
        You want to make "pan-fried" noodles the secret is to make sure your cooked noodles are cold (refrigerated cold is even better), the pan fry them in hot oil. Don't turn or move them until you know they've got some char on them.

        1 Reply
        1. re: monku

          no chinese noodles near me but the costco spaghetti that comes in an 8 pack, i forget the brand, pan frys into a noodle pancake pretty good. i like to sprinkle a bunch of sesame seeds down first, it seems to help prevent sticking. garafolo? and when boiling dont overcook.

        2. Ditto on the oyster sauce, I mix it in with the veggies. I also add sherry to the soy and marinade the beef in that before stir frying. I use whole wheat angel hair pasta, a little bit healthy then the chinese noodles. I've just discovered stir fry is the best way to get those extra veggies in, I use onions, carrots, pea pods, bean sprouts and throw in thinly sliced cabbage near the end.

          1. Ditto on the cold noodles.

            I've used spaghetti in the past (leftover noodles were always in the fridge growing up) and to my taste they were better slightly overcooked by pasta standards.

            Ramen does well when pan-fried, but definitely not so when overcooked. Even a little undercooked is my preference with ramen, as it readily absorbs sauce and softens a bit after you remove it from heat.

            I think my favorite, the noodle that reminds me most of Chinese take-out Lo Mein, is the round chow mein noodle, sometimes called steamed because the noodles are not fried prior to packaging, like ramen is.


            These are available at my Asian market, though maybe not in a mostly American grocery. I can't find fresh chow mein noodles where I live, which would no doubt kick booty.

            A couple things you might enjoy in your lo mein:
            garlic or seasoned "wok oil" to fry in
            chili garlic sauce
            dash of dry ginger and/or mustard
            drizzle of sesame oil, added at the end

            Not gourmet but I could eat like 5 lbs of this stuff.