Saturday, July 28, 2012

Simply Saturday Chicken Lo Mein Revised!!!

I'm experimenting with making Lo Mein.
Lo Mein like I buy at a Chinese restaurant.
Lo Mein that tastes WONDERFUL...

With a sauce that clings and leaves you wishing for more.

I think I"ve got it and it's fairly easy. Therefore it qualifies for "Simply Saturday!"

First, here are your ingredients:

2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cups water
1 1/2 Tablespoons Chicken base or 3 bouillon cubes
1 Tablespoon garlic (granulated or a couple of cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon ginger
1 package Broccoli Slaw or Rainbow Salad
1 can water chestnuts, chopped (drained)
1 can bamboo shoots, chopped (drained)

For sauce:
Chicken broth from above
Splash of Sesame oil
1/2 cup Soy sauce
1/4 cup corn starch
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons Oyster sauce

1 lb. spaghetti style pasta (or fettucine, or linguine, or angel hair) cooked al dente.

Heat water in large frying pan. Add a spritz of sesame oil. The brown splotches you see here:

Add chicken seasoning, garlic and ginger. Mix. Add chicken, bring to gentle boil, cover and simmer about 5-10 minutes until chicken is just cooked through. Remove chicken to platter. Save liquid from chicken in small saucepan.

Cook pasta according to label directions, but don't overcook. Lo Mein is better with a firm pasta. Drain when done. While that's cooking:

Add a splash of olive oil to the now empty frying pan. Heat. Add the vegetables, all of them. Stir fry quickly over medium high heat, giving them just enough time to warm through and become slightly tender. You want a bit of crunch going on. 

And in a two-quart saucepan on the smaller burner do this:

Add corn starch to soy sauce and blend with whisk. Add all ingredients into the 2 quart pan with the chicken broth from cooking chicken and heat. Mixture will thicken as it heats.

Pour over vegetables. Toss lightly.

Add chicken. Toss again. Mix entire pan with drained pasta.


The nice thing is that Lo Mein can be done meatless KAV!!!!  :)  And you can flavor the broth with veggie broth instead of chicken. I'm not sure how to get around the oyster sauce. This is a "secret" ingredient that gives Lo Mein that yummy indefinable background flavor and adds to the "clinginess" of the sauce. 

We liked this even better than my first attempt at Lo Mein a few weeks ago. This was restaurant worthy and shrimp or beef or pork could be substituted for the chicken. 

This easily fed six people on two chicken breasts. I mean really.... who can't celebrate that????


  1. Ruthy, you were my hero(ine) before but now... NOW my family understands.

    YUM. I'm making this TOMORROW.

    1. It's amazing. And I started with a couple of Internet recipes and just kind of merged and deleted stuff we wouldn't eat and substituted... But the end product is so stinkin' good that Dave had seconds... after giving the first helping a weird look like I might be poisoning him.

      As if.

      He doesn't have enough insurance.

    2. Oh, Ruthy, I don't know if you're familiar with Mexican culture but they actually believe the emtions of the cook affects the food. As in, if I'm mad, hubby doesn't want me to touch his food. Seriously. He has an uncle who made his wife really angry, and she coooked him dinner and the guy DIED. They all believe it was the wife's fault.

      Which is fine with me, because if I;m that mad, I'm not makng him dinner anyway!!

    3. Sorr, emotions, is what I meant. Huge, sweaty, sleeping toddler on my lap.

    4. so if you dont' feel like cooking you just act mad?! wow that's a good one! :-) mgiht be something to it though - I'm not superstitious but I believe people can put emotions into cooking, crafts...people have gotten prayer shawls and quilts when they're sick and they say they feel the love that went into it..dunno...better safe than sorry I guess!

  2. P.S. I spent 20 years avoiding Chinese food becuase I discovered I have an MSG allergy that gives me migraines. I am so loving the MSG-free receipe here!

    1. Ugh, migraines... horrible things. And I just checked the oyster sauce, and no msg.... YAYAYAYAYAY!!!!

  3. I googled vegetarian lo mein and all the recipes included mushrooms and bean sprouts so I'm guessing that might give it an alternative umph to the chicken. I've never tried making this at home but I think you've inspired me. :-)

    1. You know, I'm putting bean sprouts in the next one. I forgot to have Dave get them, Kav, so I have the same idea, that they'd be a great addition. Celery would be good, too, but I wasn't after the extra crunch that night. And I might pre-cook that a little in the microwave because of the added crunch. To stir-fry the celery properly, I'd have to have a brain and do it first.

      Really, that's too much work, LOL1

  4. I like the tweaks you made in the recipe, Ruthy. I'll have to try again (I even have the oyster sauce in the fridge!). My family liked the last version I tried - but there was room for improvement!

    I'm with Virginia on the MSG, except it doesn't give me migraines - just a bunch of other problems. My dear husband and I went out to eat last night (date night + gift card from a famous restaurant = dinner out), and I had something with MSG. I was miserable for the next four hours. I'm not sure fancy restaurants are worth it.

    So, back to cooking at home!

    1. You know, I have that experience at certain restaurants. I can't eat at the national famous seafood place because I get sick every time. I don't know if it's msg, or seasoning, or what, but it's happened there and one other place. So now we avoid them.

      But I can cook the stuff at home and be fine. So there's clearly some additive they use to firm up old fish or enhance flavor (like msg) that bothers me. But I've had msg in other things, and no problem. I'm guessing it's a texturizing additive. They want the fish/seafood to feel firm and fresh when it's not.

      I love the taste of prime rib, but can't eat it because my stomach rebels. But a porterhouse steak, grille? No problem.

      Go figure.

    2. You know, I can't eat at a certain national famous seafood place either. I drool over their commercials, but I know if I go there I'll be sorry. Maybe you're right - - but now my mind is thinking of what kinds of things would pass FDA regs and still be a problem for some people - - it isn't pretty.

    3. Uh oh - I think that certain national famous seafood place is where my daughter is having dinner tonight! YIKES!!!!

      She's actually upset because she's the vegan and she doesn't want to go there because there's nothing on the menu but salad that she can eat, but it's her friend's birthday and friend chose it.

      Hmmm - thinking a text might be in order.

    4. Dave is fine when we've been there. And people give us gift cards there at Christmas, Mother's Day, etc. But now I've directed them to hometown restaurants because it's nice to support local businesses. That's so much better and I have no gut/stomach issues afterwards.

      But I hate to malign their name because clearly what they do is fine for lots of folks. And I have a wussy gut, so I'm never a good assessment. But I hate to waste money. Oy, that's a bother and a half when we work so hard for it!

  5. I'm not a fan of seafood but are ya'lltalking about the one with the most awesomest cheddar biscuits? I could easily eat a whole batch of those. I found a 'healthified' recipe using the low fat bisquick and low fat cheddar, etc - mine didn't look so hot but they tasted pretty good considering they were lowfat. back when I used to drive up to my parents' and my mom would take that Fri off and we'd go there or Olive Garden(my dad hated both places) and we liked bread so we'd order whatever off the lunch menu and chow on all the biscuits they'd bring us - and olive garden mymom was all about the breadsticks - they're ok but I like the salad there and just about everything else.

    1. Susanna, soon I'll put my recipe for cheddar biscuits on here. It's been too hot to turn the oven on very often. Because I'm a WIMP, Susanna. No lie. And a whiner.

      But I think you'll like mine, and yes, that's the restaurant and I don't think it's their fault that I get sick... But it's more fun to blame someone, right?

    2. probably is their fault! I don't blame you - my oven is off too(though honestly that's it's normal state - I store pans in it...) but with no a/c no one can be expected to use an oven - I think I'd be eating out every day unless I fixed sandwiches! :-0


  6. Love it, Ruthy! Hubby's and son's favorite when we eat Chinese are the different lo mein dishes. They'll thank you for this one!

    1. Missy, I never had it until this past year. I always got sweet and sour chicken or sesame chicken or cashew chicken... I'm sensing a chicken theme here.

      But then Luke got Lo Mein and I fell in love, carbs and all.

      So stinkin' good. I like the flavor and texture of this one the best so far. It's actually really kind of perfect.

      And great reheated and I don't re-heat anything because it's blech the second day. But not this!

    2. I like 'happy family' it's in some kind of dark sauce that's not sticky but salty and has beef, chicken and shrimp(probably 1 shrimp!) and veggies - it's one of the few items on the lunch menu that has meat and veggies both and until I can find the recipe I'm assuming it's healthy minus the sodium..and I"m so virtuous when I order brown rice and pay 35cents more! :-) but I do like the wonton soup...and the egg roll somehow gets eaten in spite of it being one of the worst egg rolls I've ever had at a restaurant..

  7. Oh, I cannot wait to try this. My family loves lo mein and this looks absolutely delish.