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Shrimp Lo Mein: A Flavorful Chinese-American Favorite

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Creating a delightful Shrimp Lo Mein dish at home allows you to enjoy the savory flavors and comforting textures of this popular Chinese-American noodle dish. Lo Mein, which translates to “stirred noodles” in Cantonese, typically features a medley of fresh vegetables, tender shrimp, and egg noodles tossed in a savory sauce. This recipe captures the essence of restaurant-style Shrimp Lo Mein while allowing for customization based on your preferences. Here’s how you can prepare it:

Ingredients

For the Lo Mein:

  • 250g (about 9 oz) fresh or dried egg noodles
  • 250g (about 1/2 lb) medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms (shiitake or button)
  • 1 cup snow peas or sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage or Napa cabbage
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

For the Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or water
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water (for thickening)

For Garnish:

  • Thinly sliced green onions
  • Toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

1. Prepare the Noodles
  1. Cook Noodles: Cook the egg noodles according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Toss with a little vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.
2. Cook the Shrimp
  1. Season Shrimp: Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Sauté Shrimp: Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes until pink and cooked through. Remove shrimp from the skillet and set aside.
3. Stir-Fry the Vegetables
  1. Sauté Aromatics: In the same skillet or wok, heat the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  2. Add Vegetables: Add sliced bell pepper, mushrooms, snow peas (or sugar snap peas), and shredded cabbage to the skillet. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until vegetables are tender-crisp.
4. Make the Sauce
  1. Combine Ingredients: In a small bowl, whisk together chicken broth (or water), soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and white pepper (if using).
  2. Thicken Sauce: Pour the sauce mixture into the skillet with the stir-fried vegetables. Bring to a simmer. Gradually add the cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with water), stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
5. Combine and Serve
  1. Add Noodles and Shrimp: Add cooked noodles and sautéed shrimp back into the skillet with the sauce and vegetables. Toss gently using tongs or chopsticks until everything is well combined and heated through.
6. Garnish and Serve
  1. Garnish: Transfer Shrimp Lo Mein to a serving platter or individual plates. Garnish with thinly sliced green onions and toasted sesame seeds for added flavor and texture.
  2. Serve Hot: Serve immediately and enjoy the savory flavors of homemade Shrimp Lo Mein!

Tips for Success

  • Noodle Texture: Cook noodles just until al dente to prevent them from becoming mushy when stir-fried.
  • Vegetable Variations: Feel free to add or substitute vegetables such as bean sprouts, broccoli florets, or baby corn.
  • Shrimp Cooking: Avoid overcooking shrimp to maintain their tender texture.
  • Sauce Adjustment: Adjust the sauce ingredients to your taste preferences, adding more soy sauce for saltiness, sugar for sweetness, or hoisin sauce for depth of flavor.

Variations

  • Protein Options: Substitute shrimp with chicken, beef, tofu, or a combination for different flavor profiles.
  • Spicy Option: Add crushed red pepper flakes or sriracha sauce to the sauce for a spicy kick.
  • Gluten-Free: Use tamari instead of soy sauce and ensure oyster sauce and hoisin sauce are gluten-free.

Conclusion

Shrimp Lo Mein is a comforting and flavorful dish that combines tender shrimp, crisp vegetables, and savory noodles in a delicious sauce. By following this recipe, you can create a homemade version of this beloved Chinese-American favorite that rivals your favorite takeout. Serve Shrimp Lo Mein as a main course for lunch or dinner, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds for a finishing touch. Enjoy the savory and satisfying flavors of Shrimp Lo Mein with your family and friends, and savor the authentic taste of Chinese cuisine at home!

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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