15 Minute Lo Mein Recipe

by Ella

Lo Mein, a beloved dish in the world of Chinese cuisine, captivates our taste buds with its harmonious blend of tender noodles, crisp vegetables, and flavorful sauces. A staple of Chinese takeout menus, Lo Mein has also found its way into home kitchens, offering culinary enthusiasts the opportunity to create this delectable dish from scratch. In this comprehensive guide, we embark on a journey to demystify the art of crafting perfect Lo Mein noodles. From selecting the right ingredients to mastering cooking techniques, we unveil the secrets to achieving restaurant-quality Lo Mein in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Understanding Lo Mein: Origins and Variations

Lo Mein, which translates to “stirred noodles” in Cantonese, is a popular dish that originated in China. It is characterized by its distinctively soft, wheat-based noodles that are stir-fried with an assortment of vegetables, proteins, and savory sauces. While a traditional Chinese dish, Lo Mein has evolved over time and has gained popularity in various cuisines around the world. Different regions and cultures have put their unique spin on Lo Mein, resulting in a diverse array of flavors and ingredients.


Lo Mein noodles

Lo Mein noodles, with their irresistibly tender texture and rich flavor, are a staple in Chinese cuisine. Creating these delectable noodles at home allows you to customize the ingredients and flavors to your liking. Follow this step-by-step guide to master the art of making Lo Mein noodles from scratch.
Prep Time2 minutes
Active Time13 minutes
Course: Main Course
Keyword: Lo Mein noodles
Yield: 2
Cost: $2


  • 1 Wok or Skillet
  • 1 A pair of tongs or spatulas


  • some Lo Mein Noodles (Fresh or Dried) (Fresh or Dried)
  • some Vegetables (e.g., bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, snow peas)
  • some Protein (e.g., chicken, beef, shrimp, tofu)
  • some Aromatics (garlic, ginger, scallions)
  • some Cooking Oil (vegetable or canola oil)
  • some Lo Mein Sauce (soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil)
  • some Optional: additional seasonings and sauces (hoisin sauce, chili sauce, rice vinegar)


  • Prepare the Ingredients: If using dried Lo Mein noodles, follow the package instructions to cook them until slightly undercooked. Drain, rinse under cold water, and set aside. Slice the vegetables into thin, uniform pieces. Cut the protein into thin strips or bite-sized pieces. Mince the garlic and ginger, and finely chop the scallions for aromatics.
  • Preheat the Wok or Skillet: Place a wok or large skillet over high heat. Allow it to get hot before adding oil.
  • Stir-Fry the Aromatics: Add a tablespoon of oil to the hot wok. Add the minced garlic, ginger, and chopped scallions. Stir-fry the aromatics for about 30 seconds until fragrant, being careful not to burn them.
  • Cook the Protein: Push the aromatics to the side of the wok and add the protein. Stir-fry until almost cooked through. Remove the protein from the wok and set it aside.
  • Stir-Fry the Vegetables: Add a bit more oil to the wok if needed. Stir-fry the sliced vegetables until they are crisp-tender and vibrant in color.
  • Combine Ingredients: Return the cooked protein to the wok with the vegetables. Add the blanched Lo Mein noodles to the wok.
  • Add Sauce and Seasonings: Pour the prepared Lo Mein sauce (a mix of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil) over the noodles and ingredients in the wok. If desired, add additional seasonings or sauces to enhance the flavor profile. Mix everything well to evenly coat the noodles and ingredients with the sauce.
  • Toss and Cook: Use a pair of tongs or spatulas to toss and stir-fry the ingredients together. Ensure that the noodles are evenly coated with the sauce and heated through.
  • Adjust Seasoning: Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. You can add more soy sauce, oyster sauce, or other seasonings to achieve your desired flavor.

Serve and Enjoy:

Once the noodles and ingredients are well combined and heated through, transfer the homemade Lo Mein to serving plates or bowls.


Garnish with chopped scallions, sesame seeds, or additional toppings of your choice.


Is there a substitute for lo mein?

Yes, there are several substitutes that you can use for Lo Mein noodles if you don’t have them on hand or if you’re looking for alternative options. Here are some options to consider:


1. Egg Noodles: Egg noodles are a close substitute for Lo Mein noodles, as they share a similar texture and chewiness. They are widely available in most grocery stores and come in various thicknesses.

2. Spaghetti or Linguine: Regular spaghetti or linguine noodles can be used as a substitute. While they may not have the exact same texture as Lo Mein noodles, they can still work well in the dish.

3. Udon Noodles: Udon noodles are thick Japanese wheat noodles that can be a great substitute for Lo Mein noodles. They have a chewy texture and can absorb flavors well.

4. Ramen Noodles: Instant ramen noodles (without the seasoning packet) can be used as a substitute. Be sure to cook them without the seasoning and rinse them thoroughly before using in your Lo Mein.

5. Rice Noodles: While not traditional for Lo Mein, rice noodles can still be used if you prefer a gluten-free option or if you enjoy the lighter texture they provide.

6. Soba Noodles: Soba noodles, made from buckwheat flour, can add a unique nutty flavor to your dish. They’re a good option if you’re looking for a healthier alternative.

7. Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles): For a low-carb and vegetable-based option, you can use spiralized zucchini noodles as a substitute. They will provide a different texture but can still be delicious in a stir-fry.

8. Bean Thread Noodles: Also known as cellophane or glass noodles, bean thread noodles are made from mung bean starch. They have a translucent appearance when cooked and can be a unique substitute.

Key tips for preparing lo mein:

Here’s a quick overview of our top tips for preparing noodles:

Before you start, make sure that the lo mein is cooked or raw! We all got the wrong package, so just make sure you don’t re-cook the lo mein, or fry the raw noodles!

Lo mein packages can be frozen for up to 1 month or refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Read the cooking instructions on uncooked noodles. Manufacturers have different cook times, which can be a good starting point or reference point for boil times.

Cook the noodles right before you prepare them so they don’t dry out. If you must cook them further ahead of time, cover them with a damp towel.

Do not leave while the lo mein is cooking. Things go fast and you don’t want to overcook the noodles.

When done, immediately remove the lo mein from the boiling water and drain. Don’t wait, or the noodles may be overcooked and mushy.

Rinse the drained noodles with cold water after cooking. This removes the starch on the surface and keeps the noodles from sticking.

After rinsing and boiling, drain the noodles thoroughly and shake the colander to drain excess water. Then quickly place the noodles in neutral oil to separate the noodles.

If using cooked noodles, make sure they come to room temperature before using. This keeps the pan warm while stir-frying and makes it easier for them to fall apart. If you are in a hurry, you can submerge the noodles in hot water for a quick warm up. Drain well before frying.

The best way to reheat lo mein (after frying) is in the microwave!

FAQs About Making Lo Mein

Q1: What is the difference between Lo Mein and Chow Mein?**

A1: Both Lo Mein and Chow Mein are popular Chinese noodle dishes, but they differ in preparation. Lo Mein features soft, stir-fried noodles, while Chow Mein involves both stir-frying and crisping the noodles to create a slightly crunchy texture.

Q2: Can I use other types of noodles for Lo Mein?

A2: While Lo Mein noodles are traditional, you can experiment with other egg-based or even whole wheat noodles. Just ensure they have a similar texture and cook quickly.

Q3: How do I prevent my Lo Mein noodles from sticking together?

A3: After blanching the noodles, rinse them under cold water and toss them with a bit of oil. This helps prevent them from sticking together during stir-frying.

Q4: Can I make Lo Mein ahead of time?

A4: While Lo Mein is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the components ahead of time and assemble when ready to serve. Store the blanched noodles, stir-fried vegetables, and cooked protein separately in airtight containers.

Q5: How do I know when the noodles are cooked just right?

A5: For fresh Lo Mein noodles, follow the package instructions. For dried noodles, slightly undercook them during blanching, as they will continue to cook during stir-frying. Test the noodles for doneness by tasting—they should be tender yet slightly chewy.

Q6: Can I use frozen vegetables in my Lo Mein?

A6: Yes, you can use frozen vegetables, but keep in mind that they may release moisture as they cook. Thaw and drain the vegetables before stir-frying to prevent excessive moisture in the dish.

Q7: Can I use olive oil for stir-frying Lo Mein?

A7: While olive oil has a lower smoke point compared to vegetable or canola oil, you can use it for stir-frying Lo Mein. Just be cautious of using high heat, as olive oil may break down and become bitter if overheated.

Q8: Can I make Lo Mein without a wok?

A8: Yes, you can use a large skillet instead of a wok. The key is to ensure the skillet is hot and that you’re able to stir-fry the ingredients quickly to achieve the desired texture and flavors.


Crafting your own Lo Mein noodles is a rewarding endeavor that allows you to indulge in the art of Chinese culinary tradition. With the guidance of this comprehensive guide, you’re equipped to embark on a flavorful journey of preparation, cooking techniques, and creative exploration. By selecting quality ingredients, mastering stir-frying, and infusing your Lo Mein with aromatic sauces, you’re well on your way to creating a masterpiece that rivals the finest restaurant offerings. So don your apron, embrace the sizzle of the wok, and savor the aromatic symphony of flavors as you craft your very own Lo Mein masterpiece.



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