Shrimp lo mein is one of our weeknight meals that we like to fix as a family. We prep the ingredients the day before, store them in takeout containers in the fridge and it's only 10-15 minutes of cooking on a weeknight.
Prep Ahead to make Shrimp lo mein
80% of the work in this dish is prepping the ingredients, so that’s where we’re going to start. Our protein is shrimp, and we buy them at the grocery store uncooked, frozen, deveined with the shell and tail on. If you’re doing prep the night before, these shrimp will thaw overnight in the refrigerator. I just put them into a plastic bag and let the fridge do the thawing for me.
I’ll line up the ingredients for our shrimp lo mein recipe next to the cutting board, so I’m not running back and forth to the fridge with a knife in my hand. The carrot, mushrooms, cabbage, garlic cloves and fresh ginger is most of the prep. A quick peel for the carrot, and we’re going to julienne this into small thin strips. I will square the carrot off by removing the round sides, and cut it into rectangular slices. I’ll stack 2-3 slices on top of each other and slice through to get our julienne.
For the mushrooms, I want these to be sliced on the thin side, so I like to buy whole mushrooms and cut them myself to control the size. In this dish, I want the vegetables to get caught up in the noodles as they’re eaten, so thin slices is what we’re going for here.
Like that guy at the gym you walk by and roll your eyes at, shredded is how we want our cabbage today, so super thin cuts along the leaves is perfect.
The green onions are used 2 ways in this dish. The green parts I cut into inch long strips to be cooked into the dish, while the white part, I slice thin to be used at the end as a garnish.
The garlic is a quick whack with the knife to separate the garlic from the skin and then a fine dice, while the ginger I like to peel with a spoon and use a microplane to get almost a grated consistency that will permeate the dish. That’s is for prep, and we’re ready for tomorrow’s dinner during that 30 minute window we have between work, football games and drama rehearsals.
How to make Shrimp Lo Mein
The day of the cook, first thing is getting a pot of water on to boil the lo mein noodles. We’re using the 8 quart Hexclad with the lid, and the ARG pro burner we built into the outdoor kitchen heats water incredibly fast. Once that’s on the heat, take your shrimp over to the sink to peel and take off the tails. Set the raw shrimp aside in a bowl and we’ll make the sauce.
Making Lo Mein Sauce
We just need to combine the sauce ingredients into a bowl large enough to make sure we can stir it without painting it all over the counter. That’s usually my move, and I don’t recommend it if you’re in charge of cleaning up after dinner.
Add in 1.5 tablespoons of Hoisin sauce, 1 and a half Tablespoons of Dark Soy Sauce, 4 tablespoons of the light soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of sweet soy sauce and 3 tablespoons of Sweet chili sauce for a little tinge of heat.
You could check your local Asian grocery store like we have here in our town, and they have all of this on hand. I use these ingredients in all my wok recipes, so they’re fantastic staples to have around for weeknight meals.
Cooking Lo Mein noodles
As soon as the water comes to a boil, it’s time to drop in the lo mein noodles. We’re using some frozen Chinese egg lo mein noodles today, but I will use spaghetti noodles in a pinch. There’s a difference in flavor, but on a weeknight meal it won’t stop me from putting it on the menu if I have to use spaghetti.
I hear there’s a guy in an orange shirt running around yelling at people who mix Italian and Chinese ingredients, so don’t tell that guy and we’ll all be fine. I’ll cook the noodles until they’re about 2 minutes short of Al dente, set them aside and leave them in the hot pasta water while we pull together the rest of the dish.
Putting the shrimp lo mein recipe together
Today we’re cooking in the outdoor kitchen on the American Renaissance Grill pro burner with the removable wok ring. It’s our favorite way to cook with a wok, and even round bottom wok’s work with this burner.
Today we’re using the HexClad wok, which has a flat bottom, so it can be used on the stove top or the outdoor burner. With the wok set to medium, (which on this burner is equal to HIGH on the indoor range) add a little oil to the wok and add the shrimp. We want to cook this until it’s just pink on the outside, not completely cooked all the way through. The shrimp will be added back in later to finish cooking, but we want to get them about halfway before setting them aside.
Add a little more oil to the wok, and add our julienne carrots. I want to give our carrots a 2 minute head start over the rest of the veggies since they’re much more dense and need a bit longer. Just stir fry the carrots until you’re seeing a little bend in the carrot, and then it’s time to add the cabbage and mushrooms. Another 2 minutes for the mushrooms and cabbage to soften, and when it looks like this, it’s time for the garlic and ginger.
I’ll use my chan to make a void in the bottom of the wok, add a bit more oil and fry the garlic and ginger for about 30 seconds before mixing it in with the vegetables. We’re not going for blackened garlic here, so move it around a bit and keep the heat manageable. There’s no award for finishing early.
Add the shrimp back in, and by now your pasta should be a nice al dente, which means you can bite through it with a little chewiness in the center. Before the pasta goes in, it’s time to add the sauce to the wok first and let it heat up for a few seconds. Once the sauce it hot, I kill the heat to the wok, add in the pasta and stir to combine.
That’s it! The hot sauce, veggies and shrimp will combine with the pasta that just came out of boiling pasta water to create a lovely steaming hot noodle dish that will have your family asking for it at least once a week.
Our Shrimp Lo Mein Recipe Video
What is shrimp lo mein made of?
Shrimp lo mein is a noodle dish that includes shrimp, lo mein noodles, assorted vegetables with a soy sauce based sauce to pull the dish together.
What is in lo mein sauce?
Lo mein sauce usually includes lite soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, hoisin sauce and sweet soy sauce.
Is there sesame oil in lo mein sauce?
Oftentimes you will find sesame oil in lo mein sauce, but you can leave it out according to your tastes. Sesame allergies are something to watch out for in Asian recipes, and we've left sesame oil out since we have an allergy in our extended family.
What is the difference between shrimp chow mein and shrimp lo mein?
Chow mein means fried noodles and lo mein means stirred noodles. If you're going to stir fry this recipe, then it's chow mein. If you kill the heat as you add in the noodles, and simply stir to combine, then this is lo mein.
Is shrimp lo mein healthier than shrimp fried rice?
Shrimp lo mein can be healthier than shrimp fried rice because the rice is fried in oil while the noodles are boiled in water. The same size portion of lo mein to fried rice will usually find a lower calorie count in the lo mein dish.
Shrimp Lo Mein
- Thaw the frozen shrimp either by leaving it in the fridge overnight or by placing in a colander and running cool water over them for a few minutes.
- Prep the vegetables: 1)julienne the carrot by squaring off the carrot, cutting it into slices, and then cutting the slices into matchsticks. 2) slice the mushrooms thinly. 3)shred the cabbage thinly. 4) chop the green part of the green onions into one inch slices and thinly slice the white parts. 5) peel and mince the garlic. 6) grate the ginger ginger.
- Boil lo mein noodles in a large pot until al dente.
- Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
- Peel the shrimp.
- Heat up wok over high heat.
- Add oil to the wok and stir fry shrimp until just pink.
- Remove the shrimp from the wok and set aside.
- Add oil to wok and stir fry carrots until softened, 2 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and cabbage to carrots in wok, stir fry until softened, 2 minutes.
- Use wok spatula to make a well in the bottom of the wok, add oil, ginger and garlic and stir fry until fragrant, 30 seconds.
- Add in partially cooked shrimp.
- Add sauce to wok and stir fry until warmed through.
- Turn off the wok burner.
- Add lo mein noodles and stir to combine.