What is the difference between vegan lo mein and vegan chow mein? Not only is vegan lo mein cooked differently than chow mein, but it's also all about the sauce. The word Mein, for example, means noodles, but chow mein is fried, while lo mein is stirred or tossed in sauce. Those of you who follow my blog know I'm all about the sauce! Since everyone puts their spin on recipes, my vegan lo mein recipe is healthy and full of vibrant vegetables. And, I made a simple vegan lo mein sauce, which is both oil-free and gluten-free.
The sauce can make or break a meal. Vegan lo mein, for instance, requires very little sauce but packs a ton of flavor.
Are lo mein noodles vegan?
Both chow mein and lo mein are typically made with egg noodles. Of course, to make vegan lo mein vegan, we need to make some changes. I prefer rice noodles, wheat noodles, soba noodles, or linguine instead of using egg noodles.
Now, let's talk about preparation. I love Asian food, but I can always make it healthier at home regardless of how often I order take-out.
How to make vegan lo mein
Although any vegetables can be used to make vegan lo mein, I chose some of my favorites, as well as my Grilled Asian Sesame Tofu recipe.
Tofu, although a bonus to the dish, is entirely optional. But, I think the tofu gives vegan lo mein an added level of texture and flavor.
Even though I chose the following vegetables, various combinations work well, so be creative and select your favorites.
- Baby bell peppers or red bell peppers
- Green Onions
- Snow peas
- Purple Cabbage
Vegan lo mein sauce
When comparing a lo mein sauce to a chow mein sauce, another chow mein sauce is thicker and loaded with sugar.
However, the secret to vegan lo mein sauce is liquid smoke. Even though it only has a tiny amount of liquid smoke, the smoky flavor brings the ingredients together.
Also note, the amount of sauce is minimal. However, because the sauce absorbs into the noodles, a little goes a long way.
SO, WHAT'S IN THAT VEGAN LO MEIN SAUCE?
- Soy or Tamari
- Fresh ginger
- Maple syrup or date syrup
- Rice Vinegar
- Liquid smoke (I used Hickory flavor)
First, when stir-frying vegetables, I always stir fry in stages. Then, add the vegetables in the following order, and cook quickly in a hot wok or large skillet (medium-high).
- Garlic, onions, ginger, and mushrooms (5 minutes)
- Carrots, baby bells, peppers, and snap peas(2 minutes)
- Purple cabbage and green onions (2 minutes)
- Add the pre-cooked tofu last to reheat (2 minutes)
To make sure the purple cabbage and green onions do not overcook, add them in the previous five minutes before adding the cooked tofu (if using).
Once the noodles are cooked and drained and the vegetables are stir-fried, it's time to bring it all together. As mentioned earlier, I prefer to mix the sauce with the noodles and add stir-fried vegetables and tofu on top.
Next, garnish with lime wedges and sesame seeds.
- Whenever I eat a pasta dish, I always eat a small number of noodles and many vegetables.
- So, I strike a balance between my love of pasta and my nutrient-dense vegetables. As a result, I eat a ton of veggies and the pasta I crave without the guilt.
- Another suggestion is to stir fry the vegetables in a wok without any sauce! Instead, I saute my vegetables in the wok, in a particular order, so as not to overcook the vegetables and keep them crunchy and not soggy with sauce.
- Furthermore, the vegetables taste better stir-fried and then added to the noodles with the sauce.
- A hot wok, for instance, is essential in stir-frying vegetables. First, make sure the wok is hot, then cook the vegetables to prevent overcooking. Also, skip the oil; use water or vegetable broth to keep it clean and healthy.
I also chose to top my dish with Grilled Asian Sesame Tofu for the vegan lo mein recipe, which is optional.
If you are looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal, vegan lo mein is ready 20 minutes from start to finish. Loaded with vegetables in a light sauce, vegan lo mein is a delicious way to get in all your veggies and enjoy a little pasta simultaneously.
Are Lo Mein noodles traditionally vegan?
- No. Lo mein noodles are generally made with eggs. Therefore, they're often referred to as thin egg noodles. To make it vegan, use soba noodles or wheat noodles.
- Generally, no. Chinese restaurants usually serve wheat-flour egg noodles. Some even contain meat like pork and seafood. Hence, we recommend making your lo mein.
IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR QUICK AND EASY WEEKNIGHT MEALS...
- Enchilada Pasta
- Grilled Asian Sesame Tofu with Vegetable Slaw
- Poke Bowl Recipe
- Pasta Primavera
- Vegan Cajun Pasta
- One-Pot Tomato Basil Pasta
- Spinach Artichoke Pasta Recipe
- Pulled Pork Sweet Potato Sandwich
- Spicy Thai Vegan Drunken Noodles with Seared Tofu
- Asian Salad with Peanut Dressing
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂