There's something incredibly satisfying about a bowl of perfectly cooked lo mein noodles intertwined with tender shrimp, crisp vegetables, and an irresistibly savory sauce. If you're a fan of Chinese cuisine or simply enjoy exploring new flavors, then shrimp lo mein should be on your culinary radar. This classic dish showcases the rich diversity of Asian flavors, offering a harmonious blend of textures and tastes that will leave your taste buds craving for more.
Whether you're a seasoned home cook or just starting your culinary journey, making shrimp lo mein at home is a fantastic way to bring the vibrant essence of Chinese cuisine to your kitchen. Not only is it a delicious and versatile dish, but it's also surprisingly simple to prepare. With a few key ingredients and a little culinary know-how, you'll soon be whipping up a sensational plate of shrimp lo mein that rivals your favorite restaurant's rendition.
In this blog post, we will share how to make shrimp lo mein in the comfort of your home. We'll explore the key ingredients that give this shrimp lo mein recipe its distinct flavors, offer tips for selecting the freshest shrimp and vegetables, and walk you through a step-by-step guide to achieving the perfect balance of flavors.
Shrimp Lo Mein Recipe
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the dried lo mein noodles and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the noodles and set aside.
2. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until pink and cooked through. Remove the seasoned shrimp from the skillet and set aside.
3. In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of avocado oil. Add the minced garlic and grated ginger and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
4. Add the sliced shiitake mushrooms and bok choy stems to the skillet. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and the bok choy stems have softened.
5. Return the shrimp to the skillet. Add the cooked noodles, bok choy leaves, coconut amino, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, and sesame oil. Stir fry everything together gently to coat the noodles and incorporate the flavors. Stir fry for an additional 2-3 minutes until the bok choy leaves have wilted slightly.
6. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, or additional soy sauce if desired.
7. Transfer the shrimp lo mein to serving plates or bowls. Garnish with thinly sliced green onions for a pop of freshness and added flavor.
Tips & Notes
Cook the noodles al dente: When boiling the noodles, make sure to cook them al dente, which means they should be firm to the bite. Overcooking the noodles can result in a mushy texture. Rinse the cooked noodles with cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent them from sticking together.
Use high heat: Stir-frying is a quick cooking method that requires high heat. Make sure your skillet or wok is properly preheated before adding the ingredients. This will help to achieve a nice sear on the shrimp and vegetables while retaining their crispness.
Don't overcook the shrimp: Shrimp cooks very quickly, so be mindful not to overcook it. Overcooked shrimp can become tough and rubbery. Once the shrimp turns pink and opaque, it's ready to be removed from the skillet. Set it aside and add it back later to prevent it from overcooking.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7.7g
Saturated Fat 1g
Total Carbohydrate 49.4g
Dietary Fiber 4.1g
Total Sugars 3.4g
Vitamin D 0mcg
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Add the bok choy leaves at the end: Bok choy leaves cook faster than the stems. To preserve their vibrant green color and maintain some texture, add the bok choy leaves towards the end of the cooking process, just until they wilt slightly. This will ensure that they remain crisp and retain their fresh flavor.
What is Shrimp Lo Mein
Shrimp lo mein is a popular Chinese dish that combines stir-fried shrimp, noodles, and various vegetables in a savory sauce. Lo mein, which translates to "tossed noodles," refers to the type of noodles used in the dish. These yellow noodles are typically made from fresh egg noodles and are characterized by their slightly chewy texture.
The dish begins by stir-frying shrimp in a hot wok or skillet until they turn pink and are cooked through. The shrimp are then set aside while the vegetables, such as bok choy, mushrooms, and other ingredients, are stir-fried until tender-crisp. The cooked noodles are then added to the pan, along with the shrimp and vegetables.
Shrimp lo mein is known for its versatility, as you can customize the dish with your choice of vegetables and seasonings based on personal preference. It's a satisfying and flavorful dish that showcases the beauty of Chinese cuisine, combining the umami-rich shrimp, tender noodles, and a delightful medley of vegetables in a harmonious and comforting meal.
What is the difference between Lo Mein And Chow Mein
Lo mein and chow mein are both popular Chinese noodle dishes, but they have some notable differences. The main differences between lo mein and chow mein lie in the texture of the noodles, the cooking methods used, and the presentation. Lo mein noodles offer a softer, more noodle-centric dish with a uniform sauce coating, while chow mein noodles provide a crispy noodle base with the sauce often served separately. Both dishes are delicious and offer a variety of flavor combinations to suit different tastes.
What ingredients you will Need To Make Shrimp Lo Mein Recipe
Shrimp is the star protein of this dish. Look for large, peeled, and deveined shrimp for convenience. Shrimp is known for its delicate and sweet flavor, and it cooks quickly, making it an ideal choice for stir-fries like lo mein.
Recommend using raw, peeled, and deveined shrimp. Raw shrimp can take on more flavor than cooked shrimp, but you can use frozen cooked shrimp. If you are planning on using frozen shrimp, let it thaw first before cooking.
Lo Mein Noodles
Lo mein noodles are Chinese egg noodles that are slightly thicker and chewier than other Asian noodles. They have a wonderful texture that holds up well to stir-frying. You can find fresh lo mein noodles in the Asian section of most grocery stores. If unavailable, you can use spaghetti or other long noodles as a substitute.
Bok choy is a leafy green vegetable commonly used in Chinese cuisine. It has crisp, white stems and tender, dark green leaves. Bok choy adds a refreshing crunch and a mild, slightly bitter flavor to the dish. Separate the stems from the leaves when preparing.
If bok choy is unavailable, substitute it for other greens such as napa cabbage, bell pepper, baby corn, snow peas, and more.
Shiitake mushrooms are prized for their rich, earthy flavor and meaty texture. They add depth and umami to shrimp lo mein. You can find them fresh or dried. If using dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrate them before slicing and cooking.
Garlic and ginger
These aromatic ingredients are key to adding a fragrant and savory flavor to shrimp lo mein. Garlic provides a pungent taste, while ginger adds a zingy, slightly spicy note. Both ingredients complement the other flavors in the dish beautifully.
Oyster sauce is a thick, savory condiment made from oyster extracts, soy sauce, and other seasonings. It contributes a rich umami flavor to the lo mein, enhancing the overall taste of shrimp lo mein.
Sesame oil is a finishing oil that adds a distinctive nutty aroma and flavor to the dish. Use it sparingly, as a little goes a long way.
Shaoxing wine is a type of Chinese rice wine with a complex and slightly sweet flavor. It adds depth and aroma to the shrimp lo mein noodles dish. You can substitute it with dry sherry or omit it altogether if unavailable.
Light and dark soy sauce is a fundamental ingredient in Chinese cuisine. It adds saltiness and depth of flavor to the dish. However, we recommend swapping for coconut aminos. Coconut aminos add a savory and umami-rich flavor to dishes, similar to soy sauce. However, it has a subtly sweet undertone that sets it apart. It brings a delightful depth to the sauce used in shrimp lo mein, enhancing the overall taste profile.
How to store leftover shrimp lo mein
Transfer the cooled noodles, shrimp, vegetables, and sauce into separate airtight containers. Airtight containers help maintain freshness and prevent odors from spreading to other foods in the refrigerator. If possible, separate the noodles from the lo mein sauce. This helps to prevent the noodles from becoming overly soft and mushy when stored.
Leftover shrimp lo mein can typically be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. After that, the quality and taste may begin to deteriorate.
When reheating the shrimp lo mein, it's best to reheat the noodles and sauce separately to prevent the noodles from becoming soggy. You can reheat the noodles by stir-frying them in a hot pan with a little oil, or by microwaving them with a sprinkle of water to prevent drying.
How To Elevate This Shrimp Lo Mein Recipe
Marinate the shrimp
Before cooking, marinate the shrimp in a flavorful mixture to enhance its taste. You can use a combination of soy sauce, minced garlic, grated ginger, and a touch of honey or brown sugar. Allow the shrimp to marinate for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour in the refrigerator before cooking.
Besides garlic and ginger, experiment with other aromatic ingredients to elevate the overall flavor. Sauté some sliced shallots or add a pinch of Chinese five-spice powder to infuse the dish with additional depth and complexity.
Introduce umami-rich ingredients
To intensify the umami flavors, include ingredients like dried or rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, a dash of fish sauce, or a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. These elements will contribute layers of savory and nutty flavors to the dish.
Garnish with fresh herbs
Add a pop of freshness and color by garnishing your shrimp lo mein with fresh herbs. Chopped cilantro or sliced green onions work particularly well, providing a bright and aromatic element to the dish.
Experiment with sauces
While the traditional soy sauce and oyster sauce combination is delicious, feel free to play with other sauce options. For example, you can add a splash of hoisin sauce, a squeeze of lime juice for acidity, or a touch of chili sauce for heat. Adjust the flavors to suit your personal taste preferences.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I use different types of noodles for shrimp lo mein?
Yes, you can use different types of noodles as a substitute for lo mein noodles. Spaghetti, linguine, or even udon noodles can work well in shrimp lo mein. Just be mindful of the cooking time and adjust accordingly.
Can I use other vegetables in shrimp lo mein?
Absolutely! Shrimp lo mein is versatile, and you can customize it with your favorite vegetables. Common additions include bell peppers, carrots, snow peas, bean sprouts, or even broccoli. Feel free to experiment and add your preferred vegetables to the dish.
Can I use frozen shrimp instead of fresh shrimp?
Yes, you can use frozen shrimp for shrimp lo mein. Thaw the shrimp properly before cooking, following the package instructions. Ensure they are completely thawed and pat them dry with a paper towel before adding them to the skillet.
Can I make shrimp lo mein in advance?
While it is best to enjoy shrimp lo mein immediately after cooking, you can make certain preparations in advance to save time. You can chop the vegetables, devein the shrimp, and even prepare the sauce ahead of time. However, it's recommended to cook the noodles and stir-fry the dish just before serving to maintain the freshness and texture.
How can I adjust the spiciness of shrimp lo mein?
If you prefer a spicier version of shrimp lo mein, you can add red pepper flakes, Sriracha sauce, or a pinch of chili powder to the dish. Adjust the amount according to your taste preferences. Remember to start with a small amount and gradually increase the spiciness to avoid overwhelming the other flavors.
Can I make shrimp lo mein without using alcohol like Shaoxing wine?
Yes, if you prefer to omit alcohol, you can simply leave out the Shaoxing wine or substitute it with a non-alcoholic alternative like rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar. While the Shaoxing wine adds a distinct flavor, the dish will still be delicious without it.
Can I make shrimp lo mein vegetarian or vegan?
Certainly! To make a vegetarian version, omit the shrimp and substitute it with tofu or additional vegetables for protein. For a vegan version, ensure that the sauces used are free from animal products, such as using a vegan oyster sauce or a combination of soy sauce and vegetable stock for flavor.