Love Chinese food? Then I bet you’ll love this super easy vegan lo mein recipe!
If you know me, you’ll know I love stir-fries, simply because it is so customisable. Any veggies would work in a stir-fry (except those that get soggy when cooked, like cucumbers would be a bad idea lol) and it is just so easy to whip up!
In this particular version of lo mein I used carrots, yellow bell peppers, and baby kai lan (Chinese kale, supposedly – but I don’t think it would be that easy to find) but really, anything goes! I do highly recommend the carrots though. Carrots are generally pretty cheap plus it’s really quite a classic ingredient in stir-fry noodle dishes.
I also like to have some leafy greens to add some colour, like spinach, bok choy or chye sim. But otherwise, any other “green” veggies would be fab – think broccoli, snap peas, cabbage, or even kale! You don’t have to limit yourself to Asian greens at all.
Bell peppers are a special not-so-authentic touch, but I do kinda like how they work in stir-fries, so…that’s why they’re in :p Again, I’d like to stress that you don’t have to follow my list of veggies!
In this recipe I included tofu, because I guess I felt like it’d be more complete if I could replace the meat in the dish. Tofu does the job really well, and it’s super delish! I like to cut them into strips and fry them in the pan, but you can chop them up into cubes as well.
Also…THIS IS A NO ONION NO GARLIC RECIPE! It’s been awhile since I did one of those, so I apologise if anyone here is allium-free! Finally, this is a recipe FOR YOU! :p
Another thing different about this vegan lo mein recipe is that I didn’t use dark soy sauce. I try to make Asian cooking as accessible as possible for everyone, so I want the ingredients to be easy to get for most of you guys. Besides, dark soy sauce is usually just normal soy sauce + sugar + caramel colouring. Maybe sometimes with thickeners involved. Sorry to burst your bubble, it really isn’t anything particularly special.
So instead, my lo mein sauce mixture is simply just brown rice syrup (or any liquid sweetener you have) with soy sauce. It probably wouldn’t be as dark or as “gooey” as dark soy sauce, but honestly, I don’t really give two shits about some fake colour, or the very slight difference in consistency.
If it bothers you, go ahead and mix in some corn/tapioca starch. But I don’t think it’s worth the effort, if you ask me. Lol.
But you know what? This vegan lo mein recipe still kicks major ass. It’s really delicious and I’m not lying. I ate this two days in a row (for this blog post) and I’m not complaining. I could probably eat this for another few days and still not be sick of it.
And of course, it’s super easy! Honestly, the tofu can be optional. I think it’s more complete with the tofu, but if you can’t get it, go ahead and swap it out for more veggies instead!
I have to say though, I know there are many variations of lo mein out there. This recipe was tailored to my Cantonese tastebuds – for example I prefer the flat kind of wheat noodles, which is kind of a Cantonese thing. I also used baby kai lan here, and kai lan is also kind of a Cantonese thing. Anyway, I just thought I would just let you all know where this is coming from!
Do try this recipe if you can get the ingredients (which I think you should be able to – I’ve kept it as simple as possible! veggies, noodles, tofu – that’s pretty much it!). I wholeheartedly believe anyone can make stir-fries. You just gotta start somewhere!
As usual, let me know how it goes and if you do make it, take pictures and send them my way!
It would make my day 🙂
Alright – that’s all for now. Have fun with this Cantonese/Hong Kong-style lo mein recipe!
Easy Vegan Lo Mein
Cook noodles according to package instructions. Set aside cooked noodles.
Heat up 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil in a frying pan. Meanwhile, cut tofu into strips (about 1/4" thick) or cubes, depending on your preference.
Fry tofu in the pan on medium to high heat.
While tofu is frying, chop 1/2 carrot and about 1/4 bell pepper into matchsticks. Chop up your choice of leafy greens into smaller pieces of necessary.
Once tofu is done, take it out of the frying pan and set aside. Cook the vegetables in the frying pan on medium to high heat, adding more vegetable oil if necessary (I don't use it, but it depends on how non-stick your pan is).
While vegetables are cooking, mix 1 teaspoon of brown rice syrup and 2 teaspoons of soy sauce. Set this sauce mixture aside.
When the vegetables are almost done, add 1 teaspoon of soy sauce to the vegetables and fry for another 30 seconds or so.
Once the vegetables are cooked, add in the tofu and the cooked noodles. You can turn off the heat at this point. Add in the sauce mixture and stir the noodles in with the vegetables and tofu.
Normally Hong Kong-style lo mein uses egg noodles. If you can find an eggless version (which I did) that's great, but it can be kind of hard to find. Otherwise, any Asian-style wheat noodles would do. For a gluten-free version, you can use rice noodles, or even glass noodles!
You can customise the vegetables to your liking - you don't even have to follow my recommendations here.