Whenever I attempted Lo Mein in the past, it always turned out too dry and the noodles would end up sticking together. I could never figure out why until I tried this recipe — its about the sauce! Most recipes skimp on the sauce, and that means once the noodles are added to the veggies in the hot wok, there is not enough liquid to keep things moist during the last stage of mixing everything up. This results in gummy noodles.
So as usual, I boiled some water, threw the noodles in till done. That’s pretty obvious by now I guess. That’ll be about 8-10 minutes for dried noodles, but we were lucky enough to get our hands on some fresh egg noodles at the Korean Mart (they are frozen-fresh if that makes sense!), and although it took longer than the homemade pasta, it was still done within 3-4 minutes, after which the noodles were drained and set aside.
The sauce was next, since it would have to be added to a hot wok of veggies, shrimp and noodles later. First, I took the chicken stock and mixed it with the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sriracha. I mixed that well, and then in a separate bowl, mixed the cornstarch and cold water to create a slurry. Once the slurry was slurry-ish, I mixed it in with the rest of the sauce.
Next, I heated the wok up, threw in half of the oil, half the garlic, half the shallots, and half the ginger, and sauteed till translucent — about 3 minutes or so. I then tossed the shrimp and seasoned with a pinch of salt — not too much, because the sauce would be adding a lot of sodium later. Once the shrimp was done, about 1-2 minutes per side, I removed them and the ginger/scallion/garlic from the wok and set aside.
I cleaned the wok and then once again, heated the rest of the oil, shallots, scallions, garlic, dried chili, celery and ginger. This time, after they had cooked for a bit, I tossed in the carrots, cabbage and mushrooms. I continued to stir on high heat for about 5 minutes until they had caramelized slightly.
Into the vegetable mixture the sauce went, along with the noodles and the shrimp. I turned the heat down to very low, mixed well, and served.
Note: It may be better to start off with half the sauce, stir in the noodles, and then pour the rest of the sauce gradually — its quite a lot of sauce, and you don’t want to over-sauce the dish from the get go. You’ll probably end up using most of it, though.
250 grams dried chinese egg noodles, or 500 grams fresh
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup oyster sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sriracha chili sauce
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons cold water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium carrot, julienned
1/4 cup scallions, diced
2 shallots, diced
1/2 cup cabbage, julienned
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/4 celery, diced
2 dried chilies, coarsely chopped
1/2 kg medium shrimp, peeled & deveined