March 10, 2010

Pork Lo Mein


Ingredients:
1 lb char siu, cut into 1/4 inch thick, 2 inch long slices*
2 carrots, julienned
2 stalks celery greens included, diagonally sliced to 1/4 inch pieces
2 cups shredded napa cabbage
4 oz sliced bamboo shoots
10 (fresh) shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 small shallot, sliced
1 bunch green onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch knob ginger, minced
2 tablespoons canola oil

for the omelet:
2 eggs
1 bunch green onion, sliced
drizzle sesame oil

for the sauce:
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon shaoxing

to serve:
1 lb (fresh if possible) lo mein noodles
1 small bunch green onion, chopped (for garnish)

Directions:
Cook noodles according to package directions. In a small bowl, mix together all of the sauce ingredients, set aside. In another small bowl, mix together all of the omelet ingredients. Pour into a small hot nonstick skillet or crepe pan. Allow to cook through in a single layer to form a sort of egg pancake. Remove to a plate and slice. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet or wok. Add the pork, ginger and garlic and stir-fry until the pork is just about heated through then push meat to the side and add all of the vegetables and the omelet. Stir-fry until the pork and vegetables are warmed through. Add the sauce and cook 1 minute. Toss with the noodles, garnish with green onion. Serve hot.

*We followed this recipe with the addition of a bit of red fermented bean curd mashed into the marinade. To make dinner a little quicker, we marinated the pork overnight on a Thursday, roasted it on Friday then refrigerated it overnight and used it to make lo mein on Saturday. This made the meal come together very quickly, there was no "downtime" on Saturday while the pork was roasting. The pork does not have to be hot when you add it to the wok.

My thoughts:
I don't think I have ever been in a American Chinese takeout joint where at least one customer wasn't eating or ordering lo mein. And why wouldn't they? You can't get more comforting or familiar than a heaping mound of noodles, vegetables and meat. Unfortunately, the lo mein found in most restaurants is a either a. very salty, b. very greasy, c. lacking many vegetables or d. all of the above. Luckily, lo mein is one of the easiest things to make at home. The most difficult thing to part is finding the fresh lo mein noodles but just about any Asian (we have the most luck at the Chinese and Korean stores) grocery or even a very well stocked "regular" supermarket will have them in the refrigerated section. Dried lo mein noodles are an acceptable substitution but the texture won't be quite the same and frankly, I don't find them any easier to find than the fresh variety. Anyway, making lo mein at home is a revelation if you've only had the takeout variety, it is fresh tasting and while the sauce tastes pretty much the same, it is grease-free.

3 comments:

  1. Fabulous! I always order lo mein at Chinese restaurants for the exact reasons specified.

    I also think recipes like lo mein and fried rice are perfect for whatever left over meat you have from another night. I actually refried some pork shoulder that was left over from a Columbian restaurant (because I was making stuffing for ravioli) and it tasted EXACTLY the way pork tastes in good fried rice. It was an excellent discovery.

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  2. Ever since my pregnancy I have had an insatiable craving for Lo Mein. Just when I think I've finally hit the spot, I see this pic and the craving starts all over! I have been wanting to try making it at home, and now I'm going to have to!

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  3. I'm in love with all these Asian recipes you're posting. Keep them coming!

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