Desperation Lo Mein


Tonight the chicken expired. It's my fault, I didn't check the date on the doorbuster deal for the skinless, boneless white meat I almost never buy. It also means I was taken by a market that needed to unload skinless, boneless white meat. My Sunday purchase had a use by date of Monday. I hate when that happens.

Nonetheless we soldier on, picking a quick trip to the mall over another run into the grocery. Meaning, a vegetable-centric, chicken-free lo mein for dinner. And while probably not so authentic, it's still pretty tasty and missing most of the fat of the take away version. Oh yes, I also didn't have Chinese noodles or rice wine.

Here's the ad hoc version:

1 head broccoli in florets

1 quarter head napa cabbage in matchsticks

1 zucchini, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced

2 handfuls shiitake mushrooms, no stems, thinly sliced

4 scallions, thinly sliced whites and greens separated

10-12 oz spaghetti (your choice)

Pinch hot pepper flakes

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce1 tablespoon white wine

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

About a teaspoon of grated ginger (use the microplane!)

A pinch of sugar



Get the pasta water started with some salt and cook pasta according to directions. Prep all the vegetables before starting to cook. Make sauce by combining soy sauce, wine, rice wine vinegar, ginger and sugar. Set aside.Meanwhile heat large skillet over medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Add a pinch of pepper flakes. Add the broccoli and cook until almost tender. Feel free to add a couple of tablespoons of water and even slap a lid on it to speed it up (told you -NOT authentic!) Toss in all of the other veggies, minus the scallion greens, and a sprinkle of salt into pan. It should cook in 3-5 minutes. Then add pasta, sauce and scallion greens. Heat through, done.

Eat, enjoy – B

BTW -salt lovers might want more soy.

Btw2-the following will make you feel better. I added the broccoli before the pepper flakes, but we like it spicy. Then I answered the phone. Then I remembered the flakes so decided to add them, except the grill was missing from the top and I added something like 2 tablespoons…not too worry. I moved the broccoli, scooped out all but a scraping of pepper flakes and continued on my merry way. Now you know.


Published by Betsy Karetnick

Dynamic lifestyle broadcaster, journalist, and media expert. Brand builder. Innovator. Producer. Experienced in business development and all aspects of media. Extensive experience on a national platform attracting and retaining an audience by mixing entertainment and education on lifestyle issues including cooking, cleaning, crafting, organizing, personal finance and dining out. Owner and operator of The Portable Garden, northern New Jersey's premier source for exclusive custom event design, special event flowers, container gardens and small scale landscape installations.

3 thoughts on “Desperation Lo Mein

  1. Hmmm….inspired to make stir fry with peanut sauce tomorrow night with my leftover pork from tonight! And I, too, have accidentally “over flaked.” It happens!

  2. I was comforted by you sharing that your plan didn’t work out. That happens to me so often. I love it when I scrounge the fridge and end up with a tasty meal. Tonight my husband asked me what I was making. I said it didn’t have a name but it would be good and I made it up out of stuff I had around the house.

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