How to make naturally gluten free lo mein with the perfect quick and easy sauce and your favorite long noodles. Add vegetables, chicken or nothing at all!
This recipe is straight out of the brand new second edition of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap, my very first cookbook.
Chinese take-out is just one of those things when you’re gluten free, isn’t it? It’s hard to come by in a restaurant, and it’s something most people tend to miss terribly once it’s out of reach.
I remember reading reviews of my very first gluten free cookbook from readers who said that they were so happy I loved Chinese food as much as they did, since the book is packed with recipes like lemon chicken, sweet and sour chicken and (you guessed it) gluten free lo mein. After reading those reviews, I thought: doesn’t everyone love Chinese take-out?!
Like most recipes for restaurant-style food, there’s more of the “good stuff” (or the bad stuff, depending upon how you look at it) than you might think. That’s why it tastes so good! The sauce in this recipe has a few different kinds of sugar (molasses, brown sugar and honey).
A word about the noodles
I usually make lo mein using Barilla brand dried gluten free spaghetti (my favorite brand of dried pasta—and that’s my totally unsponsored opinion!). My kids and I actually really love spaghetti. Even though all the pasta shapes are made using the same ingredients, somehow spaghetti always gets a “yes!” at dinnertime. My husband is just happy he’s being fed. Smart man!
But this time around, I used Thai Kitchen’s “straight cut wide rice noodles.” I would link to them, but Amazon.com seems to have stopped carrying the product.
I love that you can soak or boil the noodles before serving, which makes them perfect for any stir-fry, and they’re great for alfredo sauce. Plus, I’ve never found a dried gluten free linguine pasta that doesn’t taste terrible—including Barilla.
Additions, Subtractions, and Substitutions
Add chicken: If you’d like to add cooked chicken to your dish, just use the method for cooked, shredded chicken in my recipe for gluten free chicken taquitos. Or, you can cook 1 pound of ground chicken meat in a skillet with about 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil.
Add vegetables: My favorite vegetable to add to this dish is baby bok choy. Just separate the leaves of the bok choy and blanch it by cooking it in boiling water for about 3 minutes before draining it and putting it in ice water to stop the cooking immediately. For a super quick and easy vegetable addition, try defrosting frozen mixed vegetables.
Make vegetarian: Use vegetable stock in place of chicken stock. Done.
Make corn-free: In place of cornstarch, try using my gum-free gluten free flour blend or tapioca starch/flour.
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Then, it’s your turn to make this quick and easy meal, and make it your own!
Gluten Free Lo Mein
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons (28 g) toasted sesame oil
3 1/2 cups (28 fluid ounces) chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons (42 g) honey
2 tablespoons (27 g) packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons (42 g) unsulphured molasses
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 cup gluten free soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons (18 g) cornstarch
1 pound (16 ounces) dried gluten free spaghetti or wide, flat noodles
Chopped fresh scallions
Sliced canned water chestnuts
In a medium saucepan, sauté the garlic in the sesame oil until fragrant (about 2 to 3 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add the chicken stock, pepper, honey, brown sugar, molasses, vinegar, soy sauce and cornstarch to the saucepan. Whisk until the ingredients are well combined. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium high and simmer gently for 8 to 10 minutes or until the mixture is reduced by nearly half and is thickened.
While the sauce is reducing, boil a large pot of water. To the boiling water, add the spaghetti or wide, flat noodles and cook to an al dente texture. Drain the noodles, rinse with cold water, drain again, and place in a large serving bowl. Pour most of the thickened sauce over the noodles and toss with tongs to coat. Serve immediately, with or without optional garnishes and with the remaining sauce, to taste.
From the book Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap Second Edition, by Nicole Hunn. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc. Copyright © 2017.