Veggie Packed Chicken Lo Mein for Crowd

Ingredients:

for the chicken:
6 chicken thighs (about 1 3/4 lb), cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1 1/2-inch knob ginger, grated
2 big cloves garlic, thinly sliced

sauce:

1/4 cup Shaoxing wine
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon corn starch (optional)

for the veggies:

1 small onion, sliced into half-moons
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 napa cabbage, sliced
2 zucchini, thinly sliced into batons (I actually used 8 baby zucchini)
2/3 cup matchstick carrots
1 cup mung bean sprouts
8 ears (fresh) baby corn, halved lengthwise
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup snow peas

20 oz dried lo mein noodles

Directions:

THE NIGHT BEFORE (or at least 8 hrs) you want to make the lo mein, place all of the chicken ingredients in a marinating container or resealable bag. Refrigerate.

When you want to make the lo mein. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the noodles. Whisk together the sauce ingredients, set aside.

Add the chicken and the marinade to a large, high walled skillet and saute until the chicken is cooked. Remove to a bowl and cover to keep warm.

Add the onions and garlic to the pan the chicken was in. Saute until the onions were softened. Add the remaining vegetables. Saute until the vegetables start to cook. Add about half of the sauce. Cover for 5 minutes or until the cabbage is well-wilted. Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package instructions, drain. Uncover the vegetables and saute until tender. Remove the vegetables to a very large bowl and cover to keep warm.

Return the chicken to the pan and cook over medium heat for 1 minute. Stir in the noodles and remaining sauce. If it looks dry, add a drizzle of any (or all) of the sauce ingredients except the cornstarch) Toss until well combined. Add the chicken and noodles to the vegetable bowl. Use tongs to toss and evenly distribute all ingredients. Serve immediately.

Yield: about 6-8 servings

My thoughts:
There are a few things to keep in mind about this recipe. One, it is really, really delicious! Two, it is a fair amount of work for a dish that (three) is almost certainly cheaper to buy at your local American-Chinese takeout place.
That said, it is totally worth making (at least once) because it is very tasty and I always think it’s fun to make homemade versions of my favorite takeout dishes. You can really customize it with whatever vegetables you like in lo mein. I lucked out and found some mung beans and a mix of “baby” vegetables (snow peas, baby zucchini, and baby corn) marked down for quick sale when I went to pick up some snow peas so I used that instead of a whole large zucchini and added in baby corn which was really cute and added some crunch. I also cheated and picked up a bag of matchstick carrots so I didn’t have to cut them up. Another trick is to spiralize the carrots and/or zucchini and then cut the “noodles” into 2-inch pieces. So much is going on right now, I’ve been trying to give myself a break and use some prepped vegetables like the carrots when it isn’t much more expensive and the results would be the same as me doing it myself. Is that self care? 
The results were amazing–all of my favorite lo mein vegetables and super flavorful marinated chicken thighs–and super filling! It made a ton. Way, way more than two people needed, even with lunch the next day so halve this recipe for save it for a day when you are feeding a crowd. All of the lo mein noodles I can find at any store are 10 oz a bag which is a little small for 4 servings as a main (read: only) dish but doubling it leaves you with a huge amount of food. Not a bad problem to have when it is is this good! 

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