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HELP! Need Restaurant-Style Lo Mein Recipe

I've searched high and wide on the internet for a lo mein recipe. I can't find one that suits me. I want a general "americanized" restaurant-style recipe that's adaptable for beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, or just veggies. I've bought a plethora of ingredients but have no direction. On hand I have boneless chicken thighs, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, chili sauce, rice vinegar, roasted red peppers (didn't want to spring $4 for a raw red pepper), peanut oil, ginger root, napa cabbage, green onion, yellow onion, carrots, green pepper, and linguine noodles. Basically, I need a good sauce recipe. Any suggestions?

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  1. You'd probably do pretty well with some "lo mein noodles" or even Spaghetti, cooked pre-al-dente, stir-fried up with some onion slices, scallions, thin-sliced meat, and a real basic mix of 2 parts soy to 1 part oyster sauce. Mix in a tiny bit of corn starch slurry at the end to thicken up. It will definitely look/act like american-chinese lo mein. A little chili flaky can't hurt either.

    1. Sounds like you have everything you need.
      It's a matter of personal taste.
      One place I go to uses just soy sauce and sugar and it's good. At home I'll just use some soy sauce and oyster sauce.

      1. I like the sauce from this one:


        I was worried that it would be too sweet, but it was just right.

        1. Hi kcfields, I had this same question a while ago and got some good responses on this thread:


          The most important thing I learned was that the ingredients don't matter so much as the temperature of the wok. Without a super-hot burner it will be hard to get that restaurant-style taste.

          3 Replies
          1. re: RealMenJulienne

            WOW! Didn't know what I was getting into when I opened this can of worms! I don't get the remarks about MSG. Is that sarcasm or sincerity?

            1. re: kcfields

              Sincerity, it actually does make a difference. But anyway, glad to hear your dinner turned out well as posted downthread

            2. re: RealMenJulienne

              I read a tip somewhere, years ago, that if you add a tiny bit of liquid smoke to your stir-fries it will simulate that restaurant-style taste. I think they said that the extra-hot wok creates a bit of char on the food? And the liquid smoke simulates that?

            3. Been using this Johnny Kan recipe for years -- you can sub out the meat (and I add the bean sprouts very last minute) -- simple, basic, good --

              1. Sounds like all you really need is a recipe for a stir fry sauce. Here You go.
                1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
                1/4 cup soy sauce
                2 tsps rice vinegar
                2 tsps sesame oil preferably the dark stuff
                1 tsp hot pepper flakes optional
                1 tsp sugar
                If you want it a little thick, you add 1 tsp corn starch

                With all the research you appear to have done, I suspect this is all you need.
                BTW, you don't need a wok but a 12 inch non stick skillet would be nice.

                You something similar to marinate your meat.

                1. Thanks all for your suggestions. I made lo mein last night which was a big hit with husband and son. Husband had two helpings and son had three! I just winged it. I made a marinade for the chicken of 2 T. rice vinegar, 1/4 c. veg. oil, 1 T. hoisin sauce, and 1 t. chili paste. It smelled so good! I let marinate for 3 hours. Stir-fried the chicken, then added the veggies (yellow onion, green pepper, carrots, napa cabbage, roasted red pepper, ginger and garlic). I made a sauce of 1/2 c. chicken broth with 1 T. cornstarch mixed in, 1 T. oyster sauce, 2 T. soy sauce, and a pinch of red pepper flakes, then mixed in the cooked linguine and chicken. I was the belle of the ball!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: kcfields

                    My family used to own a Chinese-American restaurant....add bean sprouts, julienne snow peas, julienne bok choy, mushrooms and scallions. As mentioned in another reply, a hot, extremely hot wok is the key to any stir-fry meal. Your choice of dry ingredients sound wonderful! Instead of corn starch add a two tb of sherry. Good luck!

                    1. re: joisey al

                      I've never cooked with sherry. Do you use cooking sherry or a "real" sherry"? Is it a wine product?

                      1. re: kcfields

                        Don't use "cooking wine or sherry"! Salt is added.
                        Buy dry sherry in a liquor store. It's a Spanish wine.
                        Your lo mein sounds very good! My lo mein is similar to joisey al's.

                    2. re: kcfields

                      Dark sesame oil really adds a lot to the flavor of the sauce.

                      Now that you know how, you could even keep some in the fridge although it doesn't take any time to throw together. Just don't add the corn starch. You can do that when you use it. Besides the sauce is more versatile without the corn starch. You can use it on lots of things.

                      1. re: Hank Hanover

                        I like my lo-mein dry and well done. Hence; minimal sauce in my noodles. However, the receipes for the sauces in all your replies would be fabulous over pan fried or chow fun noodles!

                    3. I use this recipe and adapt it to whatever protein and veggies I have around.


                      Our favorite combination is chicken thighs, Napa cabbage, mushrooms, and scallions. If you can get fresh or frozen lo mein noodles, they are better but in a pinch spaghetti is serviceable.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: rockycat

                        Where do you get lo mein noodles? I looked at the grocery store in the "international foods" section and in the pasta aisle. Do you have to go to an Asian market?

                        1. re: kcfields

                          I do, but I live in an area where the local markets can be sketchy when it comes to ethnic ingredients. My Asian market has a very good selection - confusing, even, to a non-Asian - of noodles in their refrigerator case.