Shrimp Lo Mein

Shrimp Lo Mein recipe by

There’s no excuse this Sunday not to celebrate Valentine’s Day.  That’s because it’s your birthday too! Chinese legend has it that humans were created on the 7th Day of the Lunar calendar.  So on the 7th Day of Chinese New Year – known as “Human Day” or Renri 人日 – we celebrate everyone’s birthday.

Since symbolism is always on the plate during Chinese New Year, I chose to feature this recipe of Lo Mein 捞面 with long strands of noodles.  Noodles represent longevity in Chinese culture – a welcome wish on all of our birthdays.

Shrimp Lo Mein recipe by

Lo 捞 in Cantonese means ‘to stir’ or ‘toss up’.  An act that correlates with well wishes in Chinese culture.  So as you cook up this lo mein on the 7th Day of Chinese New Year, and stir & toss the noodles high up in the air, make all your wishes for the upcoming year (just like you’re blowing out candles on your birthday cake).

Shrimp Lo Mein by

In this Lo Mein recipe, fresh wheat noodles are stir-fried with shrimp and a medley of vegetables in a rich savory sauce.  You can use any choice of protein or keep it simple with just the vegetables.

vegetables for lo mein recipe
mushrooms and bok choy for lo mein

To get you started, here are some quick tips for a successful lo mein:

1. Type of noodles: Fresh white wheat noodles are best for lo mein, but they may not be readily available near you. Alternatively, you can use dried lo mein noodles, or even spaghetti. (Depending on the noodle type, you may want to toss them with some sesame oil after cooking and draining the water. This will help prevent the noodles from sticking.)

2. Do not overcook the noodles. You want the noodles to have some bite, so cook them until just al dente, as you will be stir-frying them later.

3. Prep the vegetables ahead to optimize your workflow. Most of the work in this recipe involves cutting vegetables, so you can save a lot of time if you get that done beforehand. I like to cut veggies at the beginning of the week, so a recipe like this only takes 15 minutes to cook up when I’m busy during the week.

4. Cook meat first, then veggies. Start by stir-frying the meat and then placing it aside while you cook the vegetables (don’t overcook the meat as you will be adding it back into the wok to cook a little more at the end of the process). Cook vegetables quickly to keep them crunchy.

5. Do not overcrowd your wok. If you’re cooking for more than 4 people, I suggest cooking the noodles in batches so all ingredients are evenly cooked.

6. Use both hands to stir-fry. You want to work fast stirring and tossing all the noodles and ingredients, so I recommend using a spatula in one hand, and chop sticks in the other (or a spatula in each hand).

Lo Mein recipe by

Shrimp Lo Mein Recipe
by Season With Spice
Serves 4

1 lb fresh white noodles or lo mein egg noodles (or spaghetti)
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 garlic cloves – minced
2 tsp freshly minced ginger
20 - 24 jumbo shrimp
2-3 scallions – cut into 2-inch pieces, then white and green parts separated
5 oz sliced mushrooms (button, cremini, or shiitake mushrooms)
A handful of sugar snap peas – trimmed
1 carrot – julienned
1 red or yellow bell pepper – julienned (I used a mix)
1 cup sliced Napa cabbage
One or two splashes of Shaoxing rice wine, or dry sherry
A large handful of leafy greens (bok choy, baby spinach, or any Chinese greens)
Chili oil or sriracha sauce, to serve on the side

2.5 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
1/8 tsp of Season with Spice’s Sichuan-style Chinese Five Spice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook the noodles according to package instructions. Cook until al dente, then drain and rinse under cold water. Give the colander a few good shakes to prevent the noodles from clumping, and then set aside.
2. While the noodles are cooking, prepare the sauce by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk well.
3. Heat wok over high heat. When the wok is hot, swirl in 1 tbsp of oil to coat the bottom. Add in half of the minced garlic and ginger, and stir-fry until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add in the shrimp, and cook until they just start to turn pink and opaque, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a plate, and set aside.
4. Swirl in another tablespoon of oil. Add in the rest of garlic & ginger, and also the mushroom slices and the white parts of the scallion. Stir-fry for about a minute. Add in sugar snap peas, and stir-fry over high heat for another minute. Add in carrots, bell peppers and napa cabbage. Continue to stir-fry for just about 2 minutes. Add in one or two splashes of Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry. Give everything a quick toss.
5. Add in the bok choy (or other greens), and give it another quick toss. Then quickly loosen the noodles by giving the colander a good shake before you fold the noodles into the wok. Scoop and toss everything together. Return the cooked shrimp to the wok. Then pour in the sauce around the edges of the wok. Add in the green parts of the scallion. Continue to fold and scoop and toss over high heat until everything is coated well with the sauce. Add in one or two splashes of water if you like it to be more saucy. When the sauce cooks down and everything is well combined, dish out and serve.