This dish took years to perfect. Yes, YEARS. I’ve been so annoyingly critical of this dish every time I’ve sat down to eat it. Too salty. Not enough flavor. The wrong flavor.
I think I’ve finally found it, though. The secret ingredient is nori, otherwise known as the seaweed that keeps your sushi tucked in so nicely. I bought a pack of nori, milled it up in my blender, and sprinkled some in this sauce. The result was nothing short of a vegan miracle; I was tasting that glorious flavor of the ocean that I haven’t tasted in years. As someone who used to love seafood, it was marvelous to acquire that taste again without harming any of our ocean friends.
Combining the fishy taste of nori, the natural sweetness from coconut oil, and the saltiness of Tamari (or soy sauce), you’ll be on your way to making this delicious vegan lo mein!
Vegetable Lo Mein
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 2-4 servings
For the Sauce:
- 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 3 tablespoons Tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of nori, milled
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1 cup of carrots, diced
- 1 cup of celery, diced
- 8oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1 pound of rice noodles
- 1/2 cup green onions, chopped, for garnish
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
Step 1: Chop and cook your vegetables.
The vegetables don’t HAVE to be the ones mentioned above. In fact, use this opportunity to get rid of whatever you have available. I like to use this dish as a fridge-clearer. Nonetheless, the ingredients above are my favorite ones to use.
Set 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a wok/deep skillet on medium heat. Once the oil is melted, add in the celery, carrots, and mushrooms. Stir occasionally. After about 5-7 minutes, your vegetables should be cooked down properly. Reduce to low heat.
Step 2: Create the sauce in a blender.
While your veggies are cooking down, start by milling up the nori into a pulp in your blender or food processor. I usually mill the entire nori package at once and store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for future uses.
Once the nori is milled, combine all the sauce ingredients in the blender until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Add this sauce to the vegetables on low heat. Cover the wok/skillet.
Step 3: Cook the rice noodles.
Boiling the noodles isn’t normally the final step, but lo mein is a little different. The noodles need a chance to cook in the sauce for a bit; therefore, the sauce already needs to be ready. This will ensure that your noodles will be full of all the delicious flavors of the vegetables and sauce.
Start a pot of boiling water on the stove. Once the water is boiling, place in your noodles. Whatever the package of your noodles recommends for cook time, think about reducing that time by a few minutes. Drain, add the noodles to the wok, stir, cover, and let it cook for another few minutes. The idea is to start cooking the noodles in boiling water and to finish them off by having them soak up the flavors in your wok.
Step 4: Garnish, serve, and enjoy!
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