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|Ground Beef Lo Mein|
No reason to visit the take-out. This lo mein is so easy and delicious, you can make it right at home.
This is one of my all-time favorite Chinese dishes! I order it any time I go to a restaurant or get take out.
I’ve attempted to make a copycat version many times, but it wasn’t until I read the authentic recipe from the wonderful family who authors The Woks of Life, did I finally have the secret to the sauce. If you want the real deal, just follow that link. I didn’t have a lot of the add-ins they use on hand so I used what I had in my veggie crisper and my freezer. My version is a quickie pretty-near-authentic meal that uses budget ingredients.
|Cheap, easy and delicious|
For years I was under the impression that what you bought on the supermarket shelf was “dark soy sauce.” It’s not–that’s actually more “light soy sauce.” The secret here is having the dark soy sauce.
This is easily obtained if you have a Chinese market nearby. I don’t anymore–and haven’t since I left NYC. It’s available from Amazon, so I purchased it from them.
However, after tasting it and seeing the texture, a pretty good approximation would be a tablespoon of regular off-the-shelf soy sauce and about 1/2 teaspoon of molasses.
I have to say this was pretty darned good! First of all, it’s cheap, fast, easy and uses what most folks have on hand, but do visit Woks of Life–their blog is truly balm for the soul–food, travel, and plenty of good-natured sibling humor.
Ground Beef Lo Mein
- 8 oz lean ground beef
- 1 stalk celery or bok choy sliced
- 1/4 cup baby carrots julienne
- 1/4 cup sliced onions
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce*
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 oz spaghetti dry
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce**
- 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- 1 tsp dark sesame oil
- *Light soy sauce is not the sodium-reduced soy sauce. It is an actual product. Major major brands of soy sauce closely approximate light soy sauce
- **Dark soy sauce is available in larger supermarkets and Chinese markets. If you cannot obtain it, a good substitute is 1 tbs regular soy sauce (like La Choy) and 1/2 tsp molasses.
- Cook spaghetti per package directions to al dente stage. Drain and rinse; set aside.
- Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add oil.
- Brown ground beef, breaking up clumps. Add the garlic, light soy sauce, sugar and salt; stir to combine.
- Add the celery or bok choy, carrots and onions. Stir fry until celery is bright green.
- Add the cooked and drained spaghetti and the sauce. Toss to coat completely.
- Turn out on a serving platter.
|Ground Beef Lo Mein|
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Rey Trasgo says
Instead of dark soy sauce I always use oyster sauce. Oyster sauce is what they used at a Chinese restaurant I used to work at for lo mein
Judith Hanneman says
Thanks Rey–I noticed the dark soy was very similar (in consistency at least) to oyster sauce. Oyster sauce is a lot easier to get though. Next time I will try that but I really think our home stoves lack the heat they have in restaurants which is why that special taste really can't be duplicated. Someone once called it "wok mojo" and I think they're right.
Yummy, this is definitely going to be a fun recipe to play with! It has so many possibilities. ��
Rey is correct, I also worked in Chinese/American restaurants. They also use lots of peanut oil because that oil will take the high heat of the woks without burning/smoking.