Thursday, February 20, 2020

A Month-of-Mediterranean: Lo Mein

I think next February, I’ll take a culinary tour around the Pacific Rim for this blog series. What do you think? So many Pacific Rim dishes are nutritious and delicious. I’ve always liked a variety of Asian foods, but DH doesn’t really like many Asian cuisines except for some Thai foods. Odd, huh?

He’s not a picky eater, so I’ve never been able to understand why he doesn’t enjoy those tastes as much as other cuisines. And Asian foods are so varied. Chinese is different from Japanese which varies from Vietnamese and . . . The spices may overlap, but there are differences. And when meat is used, and it is used much less than in the Western Hemisphere, that can vary, too, from more pork to chicken to beef.

I love hunting down copycat recipes for favorite dishes at restaurants. My chicken lettuce wraps are an amalgamation of the various recipes out there. I wanted easy-to-make but close-to-the-real-thing lettuce wraps. I kept experimenting until I finally have my version. Same with lo mein. I always get lo mein when I eat Panda Express. I like it so much more than the fried rice. And, guess what, lots of people have been trying to recreate the taste of their lo mein. This is my take on Panda Express’ delicious lo mein.

Lo mein can be a vegetarian/vegan main dish or you can add bits of animal protein if that’s how you swing. It also can be served as a side dish alongside a main dish of chicken or pork.

The veggies and low fat content make this Mediterranean Diet-compatible. Another case of eating around the world can be healthful as long as you stick to the guidelines. An added benefit is that once the chopping is done, this cooks up fast!

Panda Express Copycat Lo Mein (serves 4)

¼ cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons chunky garlic (Garden Gourmet)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon ginger paste (Garden Gourmet)
¼ teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
1  7-ounce package Fortune Yakisoba Stir Fry Noodles, discard seasoning packet
1 medium onion, sliced
4 hearts of celery stalks, cut in small chunks
2 cups Napa cabbage, shredded (or use regular cabbage)
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup water

Mix soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, ginger, and pepper. Let sit while you chop vegetables.

Remove noodles from outer packaging and punch five or six holes in the plastic around the soba noodles. Do not open package yet. Microwave for 90 seconds. This will loosen the noodles.

Cut up all the veggies before pouring olive oil into the skillet. Heat skillet on high to get it hot, then turn to medium high for cooking.

Dump celery and onions into the skillet and stir to coat. When onion start to soften, add cabbage. Stir for a couple of minutes more to wilt the cabbage.

Pour noodles onto the vegetables and add sauce over the vegetables and noodles.

Add water. Stir to combine and heat through. Serve immediately.

NOTE: Next time I’m using regular cabbage. It is thicker, so the texture will be different, but more importantly, regular cabbage has more flavor, and more nutrients. Napa cabbage was okay, but we wanted more cabbage flavor.

DH’s Rating: 5 Tongues Up
Yay! He liked this Asian dish! Lots of veggies which always pleases him, and the sauce is tasty, too.


  1. I prefer lo mein to fried rice also, Sharon, but I’ve never made it at home. Saving this one! Thank you!

  2. I'm glad to hear you're finding some new recipes since you've been at this lifestyle for a while. We've been doing Med Diet for a few years, off and on. I'm working on being more consistent. There is no better way out there.