Lo Mein is one of the staples of Chinese restaurants in the US. In general, it’s not bad,
but it’s a bit greasy, and a bit bland. This version of it is closer to authentic, and has
a really nice kick.
The heat comes from a sauce called Sambal. Sambal is the vietnamese name, but Chinese make
it too, and call it chili-vinegar sauce. It’s basically a ton of fresh chilis – the variety that
we call Thai bird chilis – pounded in a mortar and pestle until it forms a loose sauce, roughly the consistency of a thin ketchup.
You really need to go to a Chinese grocery for the noodles. The chinese egg noodles have a different consistency and flavor than any Italian pasta. To prepare them, you get some water boiling, toss the
noodles in for just one or two minutes, and then take them out and rinse with cold water to cool them, and toss them with just enough oil to stop them from sticking together.
- 1 pound fresh lo mein noodles, flash-boiled, then cooled and tossed with
- 2 chicken thighs, bones and skins removed, then shredded.
- 1/2 large onion, sliced very thin.
- Soy sauce.
- Rice wine or vodka
- 1/2 pound fresh bean sprouts.
- Oyster sauce.
- Sambal/chili and vinegar paste
- About half a head of napa cabbage, shredded into strips about 1/2 inch wide.
- A bunch of scallions, green parts cut into small rings. (Discard the whites.)
- Take the shredded chicken, and toss with enough soy sauce and vodka to just barely
cover it. Let it marinate for 5-10 minutes, and drain.
- Heat a wok on high heat. When it gets smoking hot, add oil, and then stir fry the chicken until it’s
browned. Then remove the chicken from the wok.
- When the wok is smoking hot again, add some oil, and then the onions. Stir fry quickly – the onions
should start to turn a little brown on the outside, but not be fully cooked through.
- Add the bean sprouts, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds.
- Add the cabbage, and stir fry until it wilts.
- Re-add the chicken, and also add the noodles, and cook for a minute or two.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of oyster sauce, and a heaping teaspoon of sambal, and
cook until the noodles are hot.
- Add the scallions, give it a last stir, and remove it from the heat to a serving bowl.
It should only take about 5 minutes to cook, once everything is prepared. With prep time,
it’s about 1/2 hour, start to finish.