Crash Test Vegetarian

Vegan to Omnivore outreach program

Vegan Lo Mein with Tofu

on May 28, 2011

I think I must have been Asian in a past life.  I’m addicted to anything that even remotely has any Asian flare to it.  Some days I feel like I could drink soy sauce straight out of the bottle.  Prior to going Vegetarian/Vegan, when ordering American-Chinese there were usually three things I ordered.

Tofu Lo Mein

One of my top choices was Lo Mein.  When I became a Vegetarian/Vegan I was thrilled to know think that Vegetable Lo Mein could at least still be an option.

Much to my chagrin,  Lo Mein noodles are generally NOT vegan.   Hey, it’s only been 3 months, I’m still learning!

Thankfully, Susan at the Fat Free Vegan posted a recipe for Baked Spring Rolls and Low Fat Lo Mein which inspired me to make some Lo Mein of my own.  With a few changes, and a little bit of oil (but not much), I whipped up some super easy Lo Mein with ingredients I could find in any grocery store.

Did I mention I don’t own a Wok?  For shame.

I wanted to make the recipe as easy as possible, and in some ways complicated it for myself.    So for the sake of ease, if you don’t have a Wok, use a covered fry pan (or a shallow soup pot, I won’t tell – just have a lid).

First, get your Tofu ready.   Do whatever you like to do to press it.  I have yet to join the tofu express crowd, so I still use the paper towel and heavy stuff method.

1 Block extra firm tofu, sliced and pressed

For the Marinade (double this now to use as your sauce for the Lo Mein and save some time later):
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
2 Tbsp brown sugar (or regular, if you don’t have any)
2 Tbsp rice vinegar (I used seasoned)
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1/2 tsp minced ginger (I used paste)
1/4 tsp sesame oil
Chili Sauce to taste (I used Sriracha)

optional – sliced onions

Place all ingredients in a bowl, plate, or bag – mix and marinade the tofu for AT LEAST one hour.  I mean it!   If you marinade it longer, be sure to chop it up into the lo mein because it will be especially salty. 🙂

After it’s marinaded, bake at 400 degrees for 20-45 minutes, turning halfway through) depending on how chewy you like your tofu.  You could fry it as well to give it a nice crust.  I typically opt for baking.

While your tofu is marinading or baking, start some water boiling and move on to the next stage.

1/2 box of whole wheat spaghetti noodles.  I used fettuccine and slightly regret it, but not overly so.
1/2 – 1 bag of coleslaw mix, depending on how much you like veggies (hey, I’m lazy – sue me!)
1-2 carrots, cut into matchsticks – I cheated and used pre-matchsticked (is that a word?) carrots
1 container sliced mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
2 cups (or 1 container) bean sprouts
1 cup chopped scallions
2 cloves garlic, minced
optional – sliced onions, but this would make it take a little longer

Cook the pasta, al dente – rinse and set aside.

Coat pan in a thin layer of oil.  You don’t need much, unless you opted for onion.  Heat over medium heat.  If you opted for the onion, cook it now by itself until translucent.  Either way,  then cook the garlic, just for about 30 seconds until fragrant.

Next, throw all but the bean sprouts in, and stir it around a bit.  Once the pan has seemed to dry out (about 3 minutes or so), throw in the bean sprouts about 2-3 Tbsp of water in, and put the lid on.  The goal is to steam everything the rest of the way.

Stir occasionally, but you’re done when everything is crisp tender.  Won’t take but a few more minutes.

Dump spaghetti in the pan (See where having a soup pot might be handy here?  And to think you doubted me), and pour the extra Marinade you made over it, stir around and then serve.

To be honest, I used the leftover marinade from my tofu…. oops!  Almost forgot the tofu.  Ahem, yes.  Top with said tofu, and nom away.

2 responses to “Vegan Lo Mein with Tofu

  1. Katie Rose says:

    Wow, this is the most genius thing ever. I want to love Asian cuisine, but I’m kind of clueless about it, except that I like to dump sriracha on everything 😉 I’ve never had lo mein before, and I’m always looking for new ways to try tofu- I’m going to make this very soon!

  2. Sounds great. I love Lo Mein.

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