Love and Olive Oil

Weeknight Lo Mein

Weeknight Lo Mein

Dinner is often a battle. A battle to beat the clock; to get the dishes done with so we can get on with our night, to get the leftovers wrapped and put away before the cat decides that she likes peas and runs off with a few before we can stop her (as a preventative measure you’ll often find the mess cleaned and the kitchen spotless before dinner even hits the table – it’s the only way we can eat in peace).

Sometimes I have to force myself, and Taylor, to take a step back and remember that we do, indeed, love to cook, and that making dinner should be an enjoyable process in and of itself, not just something to get over with as quickly as possible.

I forget that sometimes.

Weeknight Lo Mein

Still, even acknowledging that I enjoy the process of cooking does not mean that I’ll ever enjoy cooking recipes that take hours on end. Unless it’s Thanksgiving, overly complex processes and lengthy, multi-part concoctions have no place in our kitchen.

Because, let’s be honest, you really do need to get on with your night. Even as much as you might enjoy cooking dinner, if it takes more than 30 minutes, it might not be done before 7:00 and god knows you can’t cook and really pay attention to your favorite show at the same time.

Such is life.

And such are times when quick dishes like this one are whole heartily appreciated. No, it won’t win any awards for the BEST DAMN BOWL OF NOODLES you’ve ever had. But you know what? I get to cook, enjoy cooking for a whole 30 minutes, and get on with my night.

Use this recipe as a base, and mix it up as you see fit. We added broccoli, and didn’t buy nearly enough mushrooms. Carrots or peas or any other veggie would work too. We used lo-mein noodles we found at Whole Foods, but the original recipe called for simply fresh spaghetti or linguine. Use what you can find, and make it your own.

Weeknight Lo Mein

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1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon Chinese chile-garlic sauce, plus more for serving
12 ounces lo mein noodles (or substitute fresh linguine or spaghetti)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
6 ounces snow peas, trimmed
1 cup broccoli florets
3 scallions, thinly sliced


Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. In a small bowl, combine the chicken broth with the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and the 1 teaspoon of chile sauce. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until just al dente, 2 to 3 minutes (or according to package directions). Drain.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the mushrooms and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the snow peas and broccoli and cook, stirring and tossing occasionally, until the snow peas are barely cooked, about 2 minutes. Stir in the noddles and the sauce along with the scallions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is absorbed and the noodles are browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Recipe from Food & Wine.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. I have made this recipe 2 times already!! Highly unusual for me to repeat recipes but it was so delicious !!

  2. I just made this last night and HOLY COW it was amazeballs. I used rice noodles because that’s what I could find, and it was awesome that way. Also, for the sauce, I couldn’t find oyster where I was so I just used one of Trader Joe’s pumped-up soy sauces and called it a day. So I can speak to this recipe turning out wonderfully even if you leave out the oyster sauce. It seems to me that you could play around with the sauce a little in terms of how much soy/oyster/chile garlic you want, depending on your tastes. Thanks for the great post!!

  3. I’ve just started making Asian cuisines at home and this looks like my next recipe. What an easy and delicious way to end the day. :D

  4. Oh this home take out recipe looks so good. Too funny about the cats. At least you are pretty much cleaned up before dinner even starts. One less thing to worry about.

  5. I love that picture with the steam coming off the noodles. Oh, and the recipe looks delicious, too. I’ve been craving Asian for weeks. Tonight may just have to be the night.

  6. Oh YUM! I love quick noodle dishes like this for dinner. This looks gorgeous, and such a lovely way to use up veggies kicking around in the fridge. Can’t wait to give it a try…

  7. I absolutely love all of this Lindsay, I’ve been hankering for easy at home take-out meals and this just went to the top of the list.

  8. Wow that looks amazing super excited for our gathering with Asian food tomorrow night!

  9. Hi Lindsey!
    I love your blog you and your husband are so talented, I actually just started blogging my self, and was wondering if you have any tips that could help me! Thanks,

  10. Such an easy and quick meal! Love the idea of these flavors together and your photos are amazing.

  11. This looks like an incredible quick and easy dinner! I have all the patience in the world when it comes to baking, but for dinner I want to get it done and sit down and enjoy.

  12. I love making take-out at home :)

  13. Dinner on the weeknights is definitely a get it on the table process. My fun cooking is on the weeks when I can really take the time to enjoy it.

  14. I really like one bowl healthy dinner. Full of veggies and with plenty of taste!

  15. I’m ashamed at how many frozen dinners have happened in my house recently. I spend all day recipe testing and by nighttime I’m just zonked. But the best meals aren’t prepared for my blog or a company or a cookbook. They’re for my husband, my family and friends. This looks like a lovely weeknight meal.

  16. Your Lo Mein is looks amazing. I do agree with you though that cooking is fun but it is nice to sometimes cook fast and easy meals.

  17. you are so right..there are some days when I just don’t feel like cooking anything but then you don’t want to depend on outside food also so you prefer something fast and quick!

  18. I think we all have days like that – or weeks… I really love the days when I get to slow down and cook what I want to instead of what I have to!

  19. This lo mein has my name written all over it! Gorgeous pics, Lindsay!

  20. Love, LOve, LOVE Lo Mein, any day of the week.

  21. Great Dinner and great looking pics, the colours, green, white, black are a good combination…. yummmi :-)

  22. It was just last night that I was thinking I need to get online and find some quick and yummy recipes for stir fry and/or lo mein. Excellent timing! Thanks! :)
    Can you tell me what brand of Chinese sauces you used (oyster sauce and chili-garlic sauce)? I looked at some of this yesterday and there were a number of different brands. I want to make sure I get good stuff so I don’t ruin the first experience. ;)

    • We’ve been buying the Lee Kum Kee brand Oyster and Hoisin sauces. I will say we did not like the Whole Foods brand hoisin sauce and might suggest staying away from that.

      The chili garlic sauce is just the generic red bottle/green lid… I think the brand is Huy Fong.

  23. Now that looks super fab! Lo Mein on a weeknight sounds like perfection.

  24. Wow, this looks yummy!!! Is there something I can substitute for the oyster sauce? (can’t eat shellfish)

    • Look around, as I think there are some vegetarian oyster sauces available (whole foods, maybe?) There’s not really a substitute in terms of the salty/briny flavor… but hoisin would be similar in consistency I’d think.

  25. looks fabulous!!

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