Or at least to me! I love the lo mein from the cheapo little chinese places. This was last night’s attempt to recreate that experience, and holy cow was I ever successful. It’s a little complicated for your first go-round, but if you make twice as much sauce and refrigerate it, you’ll have something spectacular for later.

Grocery list:

lo mien noodles
bok choy (Chinese cabbage, check your produce section)
carrots (slice on the diagonal – I used my mandolin!)
cooking oil
hoisin sauce
fresh ginger
soy sauce
garlic powder
ketchup. (yes, you read that right. Ketchup. like the heinz stuff. Tomato goop preserved in vinegar to make a sauce for putting on hot dogs. !)

So I had most of this in the house, so I decided to go for it.

So you heat 4 teaspoons oil in your pan while you get everything together, along with a small bowl. Put 2 tablespoons of hoisin, 1+ gloog tablespoon vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1tsp white pepper, 5.75 (okay it was totally 6) tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon ketchup, 2, okay maybe 2.5, tsp garlic powder, ONE teaspoon FRESH GRATED ginger (if you’re using the dried stuff go with their recommendation, but come on! Fresh ginger! YUM! Make ginger tea with the leftovers), and 3 tablespoons water into bowl. Stir well, then put into pan where your oil should be heated up by now. Cook until it’s simmering and has become a thick sauce and your housemate comes out of his room asking, when did heaven happen?

This was ganked from here. However, I cut the wine and added a bit more of things that I liked. And possibly added a little less than a tablespoon of ketchup because the last time I believed someone on the subject of, “You can’t taste it, I promise!” Josh and I found vomit in the pan that I’d willingly created. (It was crock-pot stroganoff, and someone, somewhere, thought 1 can of tomato paste was a good idea. I only put 1/2 in, and it still tasted like icky tomato concentrate. It was the only recipe I could find without onions or mushrooms! {yes, I know this means it wasn’t actually stroganoff. Yes, I know stroganoff is meat cooked in a mushroom brown sauce. Josh likes neither onions nor mushrooms. I deal.})

However, this was spectacular, and you actually can’t taste the ketchup. Really.  I would actually double the recipe next time and store half in a small jar. I’m guessing, especially with the vinegar, it’d keep for at least a week, if not two. And that’s assuming it lasts that long.

Anyway, so while that’s cooling, cut the leaves off the bok choy and prep like celery. It looks a whole lot more like celery than cabbage. No, really! So, peel off your stalks and slice THIN. Not like paper, but no more than 1/4 inch. Slice your carrots, and saute in a little more oil (not much, because I doubled the oil in my recipe. I felt it was necessary (2 teaspoons is a nonexistent amount, for oil!) but I also sauteed my veggies in less to make up for it. I felt this was a very good trade off. Anyway, so do that, and cook your lo mien on the side, and then, when the veggies are soft and noodles done, put all three things into the same pan (the one you cooked the veggies in will probably be best for this) and toss.