Vegetable lo mein is your go-to recipe if you’re craving a quick and easy Asian stir-fry. Chinese noodles cooked in the instant pot are brought together with stir-fried, crunchy veggies in sauce for the most perfect and colourful lo mein ever!
Add the noodles and 1.5 cups water to the steel insert and fit the lid. Make sure the steam release vent is on ‘sealing’ and press the pressure cooking button (high). Set the timer to 4 minutes. Once the timer beeps, do a quick release by turning the steam release vent to ‘venting.’ Open the pot and remove the steel insert to prevent the noodles getting cooked further from the residual heat of the pot.
While the noodles are cooking in the pot, put a wok or frypan on the hob of your stovetop and heat the sesame oil. Add onions and after one minute, add the vegetables followed by the sauce ingredients: chilli garlic sauce, soy sauce, black pepper, brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Toss for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat.
Add these vegetables (along with any scrapings and sauce) to the steel insert and put the steel insert back into the instant pot. Switch to sauté (normal) and mix the noodles and vegetables. Cook for 2-3 minutes more, stirring to make sure the noodles don’t stick to the pot. Take the lo mein out in a platter and serve hot.
Stovetop Lo Mein
Fill a large saucepan with 6-8 cups water and add a few drops of oil to it. Bring the water to a roiling boil and add the noodles to it. Once the noodles are al dente (cooked but still firm), drain the pan of the water and rinse the noodles with cold water to stop the cooking process. Keep them aside, covered.
Heat the sesame oil in a wok or large frypan and add the onions. Sauté for one minute or until the onions turn translucent. Add the rest of the vegetables immediately followed by the chilli garlic sauce, soy sauce, black pepper and brown sugar and a pinch of salt. Toss the vegetables for 2-3 minutes on high heat. They should still have some crunch when you add them to the noodles.
Add the stir-fried vegetables to the sauce pan in which you made the noodles and on gentle heat, toss them together until the noodles and vegetables are well mixed. Take out the lo mein in a platter and serve while it’s still hot.
Use the vegetables of your choice. You don’t have to stick to the ones mentioned in the recipe. Other options are baby corn, broccoli, spinach, bok choy, carrots, cauliflower, beans, celery etc.
You can use a bag of mixed pre-chopped vegetables from the produce section of the supermarket if you don’t want to chop the vegetables separately.
Substitute the Chinese noodles with ramen or spaghetti if you want. Follow the package instructions to cook these.
Do use a good quality sesame oil and dark soy sauce for maximum flavour. Regular cooking oil and light soy sauce dilute the taste significantly.
Serve the lo mein while it is still hot and fresh from the stovetop or instant pot. Of course, you can store the leftovers in the fridge for a day or two. Heat the leftovers in the microwave before serving.
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