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  • Writer's pictureYiannoulla Burness

Combination Lo mein

Lo mein is a traditional Chinese dish made with noodles and stir fried vegetables tossed in a delicious asian style sauce. Before you start cooking make sure you have everything cut up, measured and ready to go. To make this vegetarian tofu is the protein used, along with gourmet mushrooms. The secret to crisp and crunchy stir fried vegetables is to not over cook them. A wok is preferred as it retains heat well. High heat, quick cooking time and frequent stirring is the key. The noodles and sauce are added last, then tossed with tofu and vegetables. This type of dish is best eaten as soon as it is cooked and ready.

EQUIPMENT A wok or large deep fry pan


TOFU comes in a block form either soft, medium, firm or extra firm. It also comes in another form which is silken tofu and is soft, firm, or extra firm.

Tofu also known as bean curd is made from soybeans, water and a curdling agent.

Tofu that is unopened can be kept in the refrigerator for sometime. Once opened, any portion of tofu not used needs to be immersed in water and kept covered, then placed in the fridge. If you are not going to use it within a couple of days change the water daily to retain freshness, use within 1 week.

Tofu is an excellent source of protein. It is low in fat and calories. High in calcium and iron. Tofu is so versatile and can be used in many ways, such as non dairy creams, sauces, mayonnaise, smoothies, desserts, soups, stews, baking, grilling, meat substitute in pies, quiches stir fries, curries use in place of eggs to bind to name a few.

Available in the refrigerated sections of supermarkets or asian supermarkets.

If you are sensitive to soy or choose to leave it out replace with extra vegetables.

MUSHROOMS are added for flavour and texture. Fresh wild mushrooms such as shiitake, oyster or shimeji are preferred in asian cooking over common varieties such as white cups, Swiss brown or flat mushrooms.

When preparing mushrooms for cooking all they need is a gentle wipe with a slightly damp paper towel. Washing under running water is not recommended as they tend to absorb water.

If mushrooms are being pan fried do them in batches to allow even cooking.

Store fresh mushrooms in a paper bag, they keep longer and stay fresh for a few days in the fridge.

Mushrooms are low in calories, fat free, cholesterol free, gluten free, low in sodium. They are loaded with vitamins and mineral which contribute to a healthy immune system and a healthy heart.

ONION is great in any dish for flavour, it is a nutrient dense food making it high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

GARLIC is used to enhance flavour in dishes as well as being so good for you.

CAPSICUM OR PEPPER depending where you come from add colour and texture to your dish. You can use any colour to brighten up your dish.

BEANS for flavour and texture. Green or butter beans. Long or snake beans.

BOK CHOY an asian green is the choice in a stir fry with its firm and crunchy white stalks and tender crisp leaves. Similar to cabbage with a mild peppery flavour.

MUSHROOM OYSTER SAUCE is a vegetarian stir fry sauce made with mushrooms. it has a similar colour and texture to regular oyster sauce.

SOY SAUCE (dark) is used to add flavour.

NOODLES in this dish are made from wheat without egg, quickly boiled until al dente and firm to the bite.


250g firm tofu

2 tablespoon flour

100g shiitake or king oyster mushrooms

90g brown onion roughly chopped

20g garlic thinly sliced

42g or 1 half medium size capsicum (pepper)

41g or small handful of shredded green beans

142g Bok Choy (small bunch) roughly chopped

1-2 tablespoon mushroom oyster sauce

1-2 tablespoons dark soy sauce

125ml or 1/2 cup filtered water

chow mein noodles

75g or a good handful bean sprouts

*Wash and prepare ingredients.

*Put a large pot of water on to boil for the noodles.

*When the water has boiled add the noodles and cook until al dente - tender, but still firm.

*Drain the noodles leaving a little water in the pot with the cooked noodle set aside.

*Slice firm tofu and toss in flour, shake off the excess. Heat the wok and add a tablespoon or more of cooking oil, then add the tofu and cook until lightly browned, set aside.

*Next add mushrooms and saute' for a couple of minutes, add to the cooked tofu.

*Add a little more oil to the wok then add the onion, garlic, capsicum, beans and Chinese cabbage. Stir fry for 3 minutes or until vegetables are just tender then add the tofu and mushrooms back into the wok.

*Drain the noodles and add to wok with filtered water, oyster mushroom and soy sauces.

*Take two large spoons and toss the vegetables and noodles so they become coated in the sauce.

*Taste for flavour add more sauce ingredients if you prefer.

*Serve immediately while the noodles are nice and hot.

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