Chinese food part 2: vegetable lo mein


I knew I wanted to challenge myself, and guess what I got to use for the first time ever?

A WOK!

This is cool because I didn't even know we had one of these. Turns out, it's been hiding on a top shelf in a cabinet I never  go into, for like 30 years. When I asked my mom how to use it, she had no idea.

So, after googling "how to use a wok" (this is a judgement free zone, folks), I was ready to make a delicious side dish to go with my sweet and spicy takeout chicken.

You will need:

  • A box of lo mein noodles (alternatively, spaghetti would work too)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup sliced red bell peppers
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup baby corn, cut in half (bite-sized)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder

Start by cooking your noodles as directed on the box. While that's happening, chop your veggies and assemble everything else.

Ok, so if you're familiar with using a wok, disregard this next part because I really only watched 30 seconds of the "how to use a wok" video. 

Sarah's fabulous method of wok cooking: 

First you put the ring do-dad on top of the burner, and set the wok on top of that. Turn the heat up, and once you start seeing smoke you're going to want to clean the wok (especially if it's been in the cupboard for three decades) with a damp paper towel. Don't burn yourself.

When it's all shiny and clean, pour in 1/4 cup vegetable oil. It'll start smoking pretty soon, and that's when you add your vegetables, minus the green onions. For this lo mein I chose vegetables that I actually eat, but go ahead and sub whatever you like. Stir fry those until they are tender, and then add the green onions.

In a small bowl, mix together the corn starch and chicken broth. Add to stir fry. Mix in the hoisin sauce, honey, soy sauce, grated ginger, cayenne and curry powder, and cook until the sauce has thickened.

 Add the noodles and toss.

Cooking with a wok is fun! It's not too different from a normal pan, but it's exciting to try new things. Granted, I have no idea if I used it the correct way. If you're reading this and you notice that my technique was terrible, or even mildly incorrect, let me know!

As for the recipe itself, I really liked it. It was sweeter than I anticipated but I didn't mind, especially when paired with the spicy chicken we made. The only changes I would make would be to add more color using more vegetables, maybe reduce the amount of honey I used, and to double the recipe so that I would have more leftovers to eat for lunch! 🙂

Because this little experiment was such a delicious success, I'm going to continue this weekly cooking adventure. Next week we're going to attempt some French cuisine, so that'll be fun.

Have a great weekend!

Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

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