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Lo Mein

Recipe Info

Difficulty: Easy
Mess Level: Moderate
Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 3 min
Cook Time: 20 min


  • ½ Cup Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Large Clove Garlic
  • ½ Head Small Green or White Cabbage
  • 2 Scallions
  • 2 teaspoons Sesame Oil
  • ½ lb Lo Mein Noodles


  1. Mince the clove of garlic.
  2. In a small sauce pot, combine the soy sauce, garlic, and sugar. Bring to a boil and let it reduce by half, then set aside.
  3. Meanwhile thinly slice the cabbage and set aside. Slice the green part of the scallions on a bias and set aside for garnish.
  4. Cook the pasta according to package directions being careful not to overcook it.
  5. Drain the pasta well, and if not using immediately, run it under very cold water, tossing it to stop the cooking process. Then cover it with a generous coating of grapeseed or canola oil (do not use sesame!). This will keep it from sticking together. Don’t be afraid to get in there with your hands, this is the best way to make sure all of it is coated.
  6. To assemble the lo mein, get a non-stick or cast iron skillet very hot but not smoking. Add the soy sauce-garlic reduction, it should sizzle immediately. When it sizzles, dump in the pasta, cabbage, and sesame oil.
  7. Use tongs and toss the mixture quickly and frequently. When it is warmed through turn off the heat and keep it moving for a few minutes to keep any pieces on the bottom from sticking.
  8. Taste and add another teaspoon of sesame oil if needed. Garnish with scallions. Enjoy!

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Ramblings of a Line Cook

What is the difference between “lo mein” and “chow mein?” Chinese restaurants seem to use the terms interchangeably for the same thing which always confused me. So last week I finally bit the bullet and typed my question in Google’s search engine.

Turns out chow mein is deep-fried, crunchy noodles and lo mein is boiled. Ta da! Glad I got that extensive research out of my way. So on to making lo mein – What actually is that flavor? It’s hard to put your finger on. So I just began with soy sauce, which gives us salt and umami, and to that, I added sugar. To round out the flavor I added a minced clove of garlic as well.

The secret after collecting these three ingredients? Boil them till the mixture is reduced by half. This will thicken the sauce and intensify the flavors, making it the perfect sauce for lo mein. Then all you need to do is select a cabbage from the grocery store, accidentally drop it on the floor because you didn’t get a cart, assuring yourself that you were only getting a few things, and realize at checkout that you got (and dropped) the expensive kind of cabbage and could have had a ribeye for the same price… oh well… chop it up and move on with life. And trust me this lo mein is worthy of a ten dollar, floor cabbage.

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