Saturday, January 21, 2012
Shrimp Lo Mein
There are many things I miss about living in the northeast. One of those things is Chinese food. It's something I used to order quite often. I had my favorite places to go to. When I worked at the country club, there was a chef dedicated to making the most ah.may.zing Chinese food. Honestly, Chef Ho ruined all other Chinese food for me. But part of that was because he used the best ingredients known to man. The freshest produce, the finest cuts of meat, shrimp the size of kittens... Not your average all you can eat buffet fare. You can imagine, we did a phenomenal amount of take out.
When we moved to Vienna, one night we went out for Chinese food. You know they say Chinese food here is Americanized? Well it's not Americanized in Austria. Why did I not anticipate that? It was totally different than what I was used to, so after that I rarely ordered it. Then we came back to the US and one of the first things I wanted to do was order Chinese take out. Turns out, its a regional thing, too. It's not the same down in the South. I can't explain it, but it's different. I think it's the sauce. There are items not on the menu that I want. Lo mein is one of my favorite dishes and I rarely find a lo mein I like down here.
Well, why not make my own? I saw this recipe in Real Simple this month and thought I'd give it a try. It seemed easy enough. And it was. A few ingredients that were not already in my pantry, but after a trip to the farmers market, I am now armed to make all kinds of Chinese specialties.
I do think I did one thing wrong, which I'll correct next time I make this (or any other Chinese dish). When I was making the Thai Basil Chicken , Cook's Illustrated had said something about Chinese oyster sauce being too thick, dark, and overwhelming for the Thai Basil dish. Since I needed oyster sauce for two things I was making that week and it seemed I would need two different oyster sauces, I opted to just buy the lighter Thai oyster sauce for both dishes. I did think that the sauce on the lo mein was a little thin and light. So next time I'll pick up a bottle of Chinese oyster sauce and see how I do with that.
But otherwise, this was great. Quick, simple and delicious. The Real Simple recipe called for snow peas only, but you could toss in whatever you wanted here. Carrots, celery, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, you name it. You could also use thin sliced chicken, beef or pork in place of the shrimp. Or go crazy and toss them all in and make a House Lo Mein! This is a great stir fry, so throw in whatever you like!
Shrimp Lo Mein
recipe courtesy of Real Simple, January 2012
8 ounces lo mein noodles (found in the Asian aisle at the supermarket or substitute linguini)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
1/2 pound snow peas, trimmed
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup oyster sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
crushed red pepper, for serving
Cook the noodles according to package directions.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the shrimp, snow peas, scallions, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring until shrimp are cooked through, 2-3 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the oyster sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, and 1/4 cup water. Pour into stir fry and cook, stirring until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Toss with the lo mein noodles to combine. Serve, sprinkled with red pepper flakes.