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:
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
1 lb (fresh if possible) lo mein noodles
1 small bunch green onion, chopped (for garnish)
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.
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 frequently lacks as many vegetables as I’d like.
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 pan-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, as you can make it exactly how you like it, to order!