It’s the ultimate single person temptation: you’ve had a long day at work, you don’t feel like cooking so you just want to call for Chinese takeout. But if you have 20 minutes and some basic ingredients, you can make your own version of lo mein. You can use practically anything from your fridge. You can make it with meat or just vegetables (bean sprouts, onion, green beans, zucchini, broccoli, spinach…). You can make it spicy or mild. You can use other types of sauces like black bean sauce or peanut sauce. The version I made tonight is vegetarian with wide egg noodles (not traditional, but it was what I had in the pantry), green beans, and zucchini.
What makes stir-fry convenient is the speed. But because it’s such a fast cooking technique, do prepare all your ingredients before you heat up that oil in the wok (cleaning and chopping veggies, setting out all your sauces and spices, etc).
Spicy Vegetarian Stir-Fried Noodles
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 clove of garlic, crushed (short cut: 1 tbsp ready minced garlic)
1 tsp grated ginger root (short cut: 1 tsp powdered ginger, although the fresh does taste better)
1 dried red chile, chopped
1/4 lb green beans, ends trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 medium zucchini, halved length-wise then sliced into half-moons
4 oz egg noodles, cooked to package directions and drained
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce
salt and pepper to taste
drizzle of sesame oil
Heat 1/2 tbsp of oil in a wok and fry garlic, ginger, and chile over high heat for about 2 minutes or until garlic starts to brown. This makes the oil spicy so that the flavor penetrates the rest of the ingredients.
Add remaining 1/2 tbsp of oil, green beans, and zucchini to wok. Stir fry 4 to 5 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
Add in cooked egg noodles, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and season with salt and pepper. Lower heat to medium-low, and mix all ingredients in wok for another 2 minutes or so (or until the noodles are evenly coated by the seasonings). Drizzle with a little sesame oil and serve.
Serves 1 very hungry person, but I usually have enough leftover to take to work for lunch the next day.