Noodle stir-fries like this Vegetable Lo Mein are some of my favorite weekday dinners. Much like my Chicken Lo Mein recipe, this recipe is super fast, very tasty, and honestly better than a lot of takeout options.
The real concern I had with the recipe is whether my kids would eat it. They will normally eat noodle dishes like this if they have meat in it, but a full-on veggie mix might be a struggle for them. Generally, they have vegetables on the side, but all mixed together like this isn’t something they have on their plate very much.
So, let’s dig in and make some lo mein, and maybe, just maybe, feed the kiddos also!
WHAT ARE LO MEIN NOODLES?
There are many kinds of noodles you can use for stir-fries like this. Lo mein noodles come in a variety of diameters but are typically made with wheat.
In most supermarkets, you can find the fresh noodles in the chilled section of the grocery store, but at a minimum, they will have a dried noodle that you can find in the Asian section. For stir-fry noodles, I recommend using a thicker noodle, not the super thin noodle that you might find in a ramen package.
WHAT IS IN LO MEIN SAUCE?
I keep the sauce for this recipe very simple, but it still has plenty of flavor. It’s a mix of the following:
- Hoisin sauce
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
I like to make a bit more sauce for Veggie Lo Mein than in my Chicken Lo Mein recipe, because there is more volume with the veggies. A little more sauce helps tie everything together.
VEGETABLE SWAPS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
I stick with classic stir fry vegetables for this version: mushrooms, red pepper, cabbage, and carrot. But don’t let that limit you! SO many vegetables would go just fine in this stir fry. Here are a few ideas!
- Chopped asparagus
- Sliced zucchini
- Baby spinach
- Tiny eggplants
WHAT TO SERVE WITH VEGETABLE LO MEIN?
This Vegetable Lo Mein is an entire meal on its own. Pile it in a bowl, and enjoy! That said, if you wanted to make it go farther, this is an excellent side dish to put out along with grilled meats or other hearty entrees.
CAN YOU MAKE VEGGIE LO MEIN AHEAD OF TIME?
This dish is 100 percent best served right out of the skillet on day one, but it does store relatively well and reheats well—so you can make the whole dish ahead and reheat it for dinnertime or to eat for lunch over a couple of days.
STORING AND REHEATING
The lo mein noodles will keep well in the fridge for three to four days. They reheat really well in the microwave, actually. I recommend adding a splash of water or a dash of soy sauce to bring the sauce back to life. You can also reheat these noodles on low heat in a skillet on the stove.
THE DAD ADD
Wasabi Edamame. This is a fun topper that I like for stir-fries of all sorts. I tend to like my food spicy, but my kids won’t eat super spicy stuff. I keep some of these wasabi edamame in the pantry to sprinkle on dishes like this. Seapoint Farms makes a delicious version you should be able to find in most grocery store snack sections.
I wish I could say that I piled up a big heap of this lo mein for my two children and they dug into it, but that is just not the case. To negotiate, I actually divided their plates into noodles and vegetables, and YES, I absolutely did pick out the vegetables from the stir-fry and separate them. Some may consider this insanity, but it’s so much better than dinnertime battles.
Even with this separation, I think you will detect a hint of three-year-old side eye in the above photo. Skeptical is an understatement, but the kids did like the noodles and loved having a little soy sauce to dip things in. Even the vegetables were tried in the tiniest of portions. It wasn’t their best dinner experience, but we made it through, and they got to try some new flavors!
MORE STIR FRY NOODLE RECIPES:
Vegetable Lo Mein Recipe
For the sauce:
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
For the lo mein:
- 10 ounces lo mein noodles, fresh or dry
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 small head napa cabbage, chopped
- Fresh scallion, chopped
- Sesame seeds
- Wasabi edamame (Dad Add)
1 Combine the sauce ingredients: In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, hot water, hoisin sauce, and sesame oil.
2 Cook the lo mein noodles: Fill a large pot with water and set it over medium heat. Add the salt and bring the water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until tender, usually around 4 minutes, but check the package directions for the noodles you are using.
Drain the noodles, transfer to a bowl, and toss with sesame oil to prevent sticking.
3 Cook the vegetables: Set a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add olive oil along with the sliced mushrooms, and stir fry for 2-3 minutes until the mushrooms lose their water and start to brown slightly. Then add the red pepper, carrot, and cabbage. Continue to cook for about 3 minutes, stirring regularly until the vegetables are wilted.
4 Add the noodles and sauce: Add noodles along with the sauce and stir with the vegetables to combine. The sauce should coat the noodles and vegetables. If the noodles seem dry, add more water, a tablespoon at a time.
Taste and adjust the flavor to your liking. It might need another dash of soy sauce, for example.
5 Serve: Serve the Veggie Lo Mein topped with scallions, sesame seeds, and wasabi edamame (if you like it hot) for some nice spicy crunch.
Leftovers! You can store leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days. They will reheat beautifully in the microwave.
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