SEAFOOD AND FRIED TOFU LO MEIN

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I love one dish, one pot meals. And I wish I could tell you this was one. (Well, it is a one dish meal. But as hard as I tried, there is just no getting around the fact that your kitchen help is going to have several bowls and a couple of fry pans to wash after dinner.)

Now in my case, Mr. C is our after meal kitchen clean up crew. And he knows, from years of dish washing experience, that I have washed as many bowls and utensils as possible as I went along. But with this recipe, every part of the dish comes together at the very last minute. So there is no time to wash dishes, much less take a sip of martini (for that matter). (Not that I would have experience drinking a martini while fixing dinner you realize. Right! Only about 25 years of experience, but who’s counting……)

Anyway, regardless of the number of bowls and pans involved with this Lo Mein, you are going to love diving into a plate of this yummy homemade Asian inspired noodle dish. And unlike Lo Mein prepared in a restaurant, there is a lot less salt and fat, and not a sprinkle of MSG to be had. Plus you can make it with as many or as few veggies as you like. (When I fixed this last evening, I used the veggies listed below, because that’s what I had on hand. But next time I can see myself adding or substituting red bell pepper, those darling little corn cobs that come in a can, a small amount of broccoli, or maybe some re-hydrated dried mushroom pieces. This is a “clean your vegetable bin” kind of dish. In other words – the best kind of dish.)

So if you too are a Lo Mein lover, give this recipe a try. And to you or anyone else in your family who gets stuck with the dishes, please accept my apology.

Oh – one last thing. This is a Lo Mein, rather than a Chow Mein because the noodles are not fried. Same kind of noodles are used for both dishes, but in an effort to keep the fat content as low as possible, I decided the cooked noodles really didn’t need to be stir fried in additional oil. (Another positive proof that I am on your side in the quest for healthier eating.) Your welcome!

And yes I do know that tofu is not always used in either Chow Mein or Lo Mein. But we happen to love it. Plus it’s just one more source of protein. Actually, if you wanted to make this an almost* vegetarian dish, you could simply substitute vegetable stock for the chicken broth, and skip the seafood altogether. The tofu could absolutely hold its own as the requisite protein component. It’s good that way!

*Oyster sauce has a bit of oyster extract

Tofu:

  • 1 lb. firm tofu
  • 3 T. low sodium Tamari or soy sauce
  • 6 T. cornstarch, or more as needed
  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil

Sauce:

  • 2 T. water
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 1½ c. low sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ c. oyster sauce
  • 3 T. GF low-sodium Tamari or low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 T. sesame oil
  • 2-3 tsp. Sriracha

Veggies and Seafood:

  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 8 thinly sliced white button mushrooms
  • 2 c. Napa cabbage, finely shredded or 1 c. finely shredded regular green cabbage
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 tsp. minced ginger
  • 8 green onions, white and green parts, sliced
  • 12-15 peapods, sliced in 3rds
  • 1 lb. mixed seafood* (shrimp, scallops, calamari, etc.)
  • 2 T. vegetable oil (needed when veggies are stir-fried)

Noodles:

  • kosher salt
  • 6 oz. chow mein or Chinese egg noodles (I use Sun Luck chow mein noodles mainly because I can buy them at my local grocery store)

Preparation: (Complete each step below before actually cooking the Lo Mein)

Tofu – Remove the tofu from its watery container. Using paper towels, gently squeeze as much liquid as you can from the block of tofu. Cut into 32 pieces and place in a flat pan. Pour the soy sauce over the tofu cubes, turning as required to coat all surfaces. Leave for about 5 minutes.

When ready to fry, coat all sides with corn starch. Heat the vegetable and sesame oils in a large fry pan. Add the tofu cubes and fry until all sides are crispy and golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside until needed.

Sauce – Whisk together the water, corn starch, chicken broth, oyster sauce, Tamari, sesame oil, and Sriracha in a small bowl and set aside.

Veggies – Cut all the veggies as instructed above. Set aside. Combine seafood in a bowl and set aside.

Lo Mein assembly: In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the noodles according to the package directions. While the noodles are cooking, heat the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a very large fry pan or wok. Add the celery, carrot, mushrooms, and cabbage to the hot oil and cook for 3-4 minutes. (You want the veggies to be crisp tender.) Add the garlic, ginger, green onions, and pea pods; cook for 1 minute. Finally add the seafood and cook until almost done.

Add the sauce and cook only until thickened. Drain the noodles and add to the fry pan along with the fried tofu. Remove from heat when all ingredients are hot. Serve immediately.

*You can use chicken, beef, or pork instead of seafood. Just add in place of seafood and cook only until done.

 

 

Please let me know if you like this recipe. Thanks