Introduction: Shrimp Lo Mein - Without a Wok

About: I'm a 49 year old Systems Architect living in the Midwestern United States. After travelling the world for 20 years as a consulting architect I became disabled, as a result, I am now embracing a Slow life. F…

I have a confession to make. As you can probably tell from the title, I don't own a wok...yet. I don't know if it is due to the fact I cook more Japanese and Vietnamese dishes than Chinese, or I just haven't met the right wok yet. In any event, my girlfriend and I had a craving for shrimp lo mein, we had all the ingredients, so rather than order out, we decided to make it at home...sans wok.




Lo Mein:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tsp dried ginger powder
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used precooked frozen)
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery,sliced
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1/4 head Napa cabbage, shredded (I used some leftover cabbage from Ham and Cabbage night)

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Step 1: Prep Noodles and Veggies

I assume if you are reading this you know how to slice, chop, and julienne. Now is a good time to cook the lo mein noodles according to the package directions. Once they are done, rinse them and set them aside.

I wanted to take the opportunity as well to show off my new garlic slicer that I got as a runner up prize in the 20 Minute Meals Challenge. I was going to simply chop the garlic, but I think slicing it thin in the slicer really added something...and it definitely made it easier to stir in with the scallions.

Step 2: Sauce Time!

Add the chicken bouillon to the hot water in a large measure cup and after it dissolves, add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil*. Set sauce aside. DO NOT add cornstarch yet.

*A little sesame oil goes a long way. Go easy on it. Too little and it won't taste like lo mein, too much, and everything will taste like sesame oil.

Step 3: Shrimp Time!

Heat half of the olive oil in a skillet on medium to medium-high heat and add half of the ginger powder, garlic, and scallions. Stir for about 30 seconds until aromatic. Add the shrimp and saute for about 5 minutes. Set this mixture aside in the dutch oven on low heat.

Step 4: Veggie Time!

Heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet and then add the rest of the ginger powder, garlic, and scallions. As before, stir for about 30 seconds until aromatic. Add the celery, mushrooms, and carrots and stir for about 5 minutes or until soft. Don't worry about fond on the bottom of the pan, the sauce will deglaze it.

Step 5: Sauce Part Deux!

Dissolve the cornstarch in 2-3 tbsp of warm water. When it is dissolved completely, add this to the sauce you set aside earlier. Pour this over the veggies in the skillet and allow to come to a simmer. Simmer for a few minutes until the sauce starts to thicken and appears glossy.

Step 6: All Together Now!

Toss the noodles into the dutch oven with the shrimp mixture. Pour in the contents of the skillet and toss...and toss...and toss...then remove from heat and enjoy!