Lo mein means “tossed noodles.” It’s a traditional Chinese dish of noodles tossed with meat, vegetables and brown sauce. I used to love ordering it whenever we went out for Chinese food. In this plant-based version, shredded jackfruit is the meat and the vegetables are mushrooms, carrots and bok choy, but they are definitely swappable with your favorites. Use any noodles you like. I like thick Chinese noodles like yakisoba, but thin noodles, rice noodles, ramen noodles and even spaghetti all work great. And, you don’t need a wok to make this lo mein. A wide shallow pan works just fine. Reprinted with permission from The Vegan ABCs Cookbook by Lisa Dawn Angerame, Page Street Publishing Co. 2021. Photo credit: Alexandra Shytsman
Without-a-Wok Jackfruit Lo Mein [Vegan]
For the Noodles:
- 1/2 lb (227 g) uncooked thick Chinese noodles
- Jackfruit and Vegetables
- 1 (14-oz [397-g]) can young jackfruit, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sunflower oil
- 1 small onion, cut into half-moons
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 tbsp (15 g) grated fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
- 6 baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
- Pinch of salt
- Dash of pepper
- 2 carrots, shredded
- 1 big or 2 baby bok choy, cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) pieces
For the Sauce:
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) water
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) tamari
- 2 tablespoons (36 g) umeboshi paste
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) mellow white miso
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) mirin
- 2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
- Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil and cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- To prepare the jackfruit, cut off the hard cores, remove any seeds and seed pods and discard. Shred the rest, leaving some chunkier pieces. Set aside.
- Heat a wide shallow pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sunflower oil. When it’s shimmering, add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook until the garlic and ginger are fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the jackfruit and water and use tongs to mix around. Cook with the cover askew, until most of the water is absorbed, about 10 to 12 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms. Stir them into the jackfruit and onion mixture and cook, until the mushrooms start to turn golden brown, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the carrots and bok choy. Cook until the bok choy is wilted and bright green, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the noodles and toss everything together.
- In the meantime, prepare the sauce. Add the water, tamari, umeboshi paste, miso and mirin to a small mixing bowl. Break up the miso with a small silicone spatula and whisk the sauce together until completely smooth.
- Pour the sauce over the top and use tongs to mix it until everything is fully coated.
- Serve topped with scallions.