Last week while sitting around the Thanksgiving table, my family and I were discussing how there’s such a wonderful diversity of food available today. My mom mentioned that when she was growing up, going out for pizza was the ‘ethnic’ food of the day. A crazy notion considering that within literally walking distance of my house I can choose to have Mexican, Vietnamese, Thai, Irish, and of course… pizza. If I get in my car and drive just 10 minutes in any direction, I can enjoy cuisine from around the world! The diversity we have today as represented by food from an array of cultures is truly a beautiful thing!
When my brother and I were growing up, Chinese food was the most widely available ethnic food in town. Sure, my mom made sure we were exposed to gravlax and pickled herring to perpetuate our Swedish heritage and then dishes like ramen and sushi to make sure my dad’s Japanese culture got in there. But when it came to dining outside of the house, Chinese was our food of choice.
One of the things I love about stir-fry dishes is how adaptable they are! I have incorporated some Japanese ingredients and pumped up some of the garlic and ginger flavors in the dish. Feel free to incorporate additional veggies such as, broccoli, carrots, red peppers, onions, and/or snow peas. You may also switch up the proteins if you like, by using beef, chicken, shrimp or tofu.
Pork Lo Mein is one of my favorite dishes from childhood. When we went out to eat, we always ordered a lo mein dish! Delicious chewy noodles, pork-tastic goodness, some yummy veggies, all tossed in an umami-rich brown stir-fry sauce… om, nom, nom, nom!
- 1 pound pork loin, cut into thin strips
- 1 pound lo mein noodles, cooked according to the package directions
- 8 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
- 4 large scallions, thinly sliced (keep one separate for garnish)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup mirin
- 2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- STIR FRY SAUCE
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon shiro (white) miso
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- In a large zip-top bag or medium-sized bowl, add the sliced pork and ingredients for the marinade. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- Pour off the marinade from the pork. Heat the wok until smoking slightly and add 2 tablespoons oil to coat the wok and sear the pork. Take the pork out of the pan and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine all of the ingredients of the stir-fry sauce and set aside within easy reach of the stove.
- Wipe out the wok, add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil and re-heat over high heat. Add the mushrooms and scallions. Stir-fry for about a minute.
- Give the stir-fry sauce a quick stir to combine any cornstarch that may have settled on the bottom. Add the stir-fry sauce to the wok, stirring constantly until thickened. Add the pork and noodles, and toss.
- Serve the pork lo mein and garnish with the remaining sliced scallion. Enjoy!
Amy G. says
I just wanted to pop in and tell you how AWESOME this recipe is! Thanks so much for sharing it with the world. I told my partner that it was the best lo mein I have ever eaten and that was no exaggeration! I did leave the miso out since I didn’t have it on hand, but I bought some for next time – can’t wait to try! I also subbed the vinegar with white wine vinegar – again, what I had on hand. I made my first batch using celery, carrot, and green onions – veggies I had in the fridge, but next time I’d like to add sugar snap peas, baby corn, bok choy… and of course try different proteins as well. Thanks so much again for this amazing dish.
Hi, I am a novice at Chinese cooking. Could you tell me what “mirin” is?
Hi Bonnie! Mirin is actually used in Japanese cooking. However, because of my 1/2 Japanese background, I like to blend a lot of those familiar ingredients into my dishes and I think it add a nice balance to this dish. So mirin is a rice wine similar to sake, though it has a lower alcohol content with a sweeter taste. Most grocery stores carry it these days – check the international aisle or Asian section.
the kiss of miso paste has me intrigued… you are going to push me over food geek mountain and send me into a full blown lo mein cookoff project, kathleen. everything in me is screaming yes, yes, yes. i cannot express to you how much joy i feel when i see something small that might just be totally revolutionary in taste profile for a particular dish. the wonderful girls over at port and fin sent me into one of these crazed “test all that you know-clean slate time” projects recently with their thoughts on homemade chai (i am still in the middle of it as i type). now, here you go with a lo mein tease. those of us with japanese dna all know how miso could even make a car’s bumper taste better, but lo mein? have i been living in a cave? if i had a tail like your arlo, it would be wagging now. i am beyond stoked.
I totally agree – miso can bring some pretty incredible and unexpected flavors to dishes. You don’t even want to know how quickly I go through a tub! If you haven’t already, check out my Miso Chocolate Chip Cookies 🙂
Arlo is happy with any little nibbles of food from the table – but can you believe his very favorite are eggs! I made him an omelette for his 2nd birthday last week – he love it! 😉
Margie Jacobs says
Is there a substitution for the miso?
Hi Margie! Thanks so much for stopping by! Miso has a pretty unique flavor, so there’s no really good substitute – at least none that I’ve found. Miso generally isn’t used in pork lo mein, it’s a little Japanese twist 😉 So I would just omit the miso, taste the marinade, and add a bit more soy sauce if you think it needs it, and perhaps even a touch more oyster sauce.
Please let me know how it turns out. I hope you enjoy! 🙂
Your lo mein looks and sounds delicious!! Well, I love almost anything that is “gingery” and “garlicky” (lol). I was thinking of making “yakisoba (Japanese version of fried noodle)” this weekend, but after seeing this post I might have to make a slight change! I like a little vinegar in my fried noodle, too. I usually drizzle it right before serving, but adding it to the sauce is a good idea!
Thanks, Reiko! I love yakisoba! I could see a nice marriage between the two 🙂
It’s Saturday morning and I’m sitting in bed with my coffee and all I want is to dive into my screen and have some of these noodles….I am in love with the 2nd and 3rd photo at the top, oh my gosh, they totally catch the glossy sauce and juicy pork, yum yum yum….
I love hearing about your background, you grew up with the most AWESOME food ever!! How cool is that – European and Japanese!! So, so cool. Your mum rocks 🙂
Great stir fry sauce too. I don’t usually add a vinegar to mine but I should.
Aww…thanks, Nagi. You always have the most thoughtful comments. Believe me, I totally wanted to use the jar of stir-fry sauce I made from your blog post the other day (amazing!), but thought perhaps I should make me own 😉 The sherry vinegar adds a little tang – I think it cuts some of the richer flavors in the dish, but you could certainly omit it if that’s not your taste.
Marissa | Pinch and Swirl says
This looks so fantastic! I can’t even face Turkey this week or anything that resembles ‘American food’ – I’m craving ethnic food for sure, and this is perfect. Gorgeous photos too.
I totally know what you’re talking about! I’m currently on a foods of the world tour in my kitchen! 😉
Thanks for the great recipe Kathleen! I love pork lo mien, but never actually tried cooking them at home. Definitely a must try! Pinned!
Thanks, Mira! It’s so quick and easy to make – I hope you like it as much as I do!
The Beer and Food a Project says
We love lo mein! This stir fry sauce looks amazing with the inclusion of white miso being particularly intriguing. As we are currently trapped in a tiny country town for the next month with NO Chinese restaurants, this recipe is especially welcomed!
Really, no Chinese restaurants in town?! Oh my, I don’t know what I would do! Well I hope this satisfies your tastes then 🙂
Culinary Ginger says
Oh my, lo mein is my favorite dish. I have never made it at home, but I would really like to try your recipe. It looks so good.
Thanks! It’s super easy to make at home. I hope you like it! 🙂
Helen @ Scrummy Lane says
Can you believe it, I’ve never (knowingly) tried Lo Mein? I know, ridiculous. It sounds and looks absolutely delicious. I’ve recently started to experiment with some Asian flavours like mirin and oyster sauce, though, so I’m all set up already for giving this one a go. Thanks, Kathleen – I love this!
What?! Really?! Gee, no pressure on my end if you try my recipe first as a lo mein virgin! 😉 I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Whenever we go out for Chinese food, pork lo mein always shows up…we love it, too! That marinade looks so good!
Thanks, Annie! 🙂