Chicken Lo Mein
I love family-friendly spaghetti with meat sauce as much as anyone (for a great recipe, check out the version my friend Maud posted on food52 this week, her mom’s famous recipe, secret ingredient…a pinch of curry powder, can’t wait to try it). But I like to mix up our pasta selections as well, especially given the amount of pasta the kids request – they’d easily eat pasta for every dinner, and likely lunch too.
This easy chicken lo mein is a crowd pleaser and a great way for those of us not born with pasta-eating metabolisms to fill out a bowl with something more than…pasta. Customize this recipe as many ways as you’d like – try beef, shrimp, or tofu instead of chicken; add mushrooms, cauliflower, pea pods, or whatever we’ll soon be finding at the farmer’s markets (yay!) instead of broccoli and peppers. You get the idea. I like to top mine with toasted sesame seeds and sriracha for crunch and heat. I’m always about the heat.
Chicken Lo Mein
1 lb. spaghetti (or Asian-style pasta)
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1/2-inch slices
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder
3/4 c. chicken broth
2 Tbsp each fish sauce, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tsp. curry powder
3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly, divided
canola or peanut oil (or similar)
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 head broccoli, trimmed into florets
2 c. shredded cabbage
1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
toasted sesame seeds
Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. In a medium bowl, stir together cornstarch, Chinese five-spice powder, and soy sauce. Add chicken and toss to coat thoroughly. Set in the refrigerator.
In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, fish sauce, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and curry powder. Set aside.
Set out a large bowl. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of oil, then 1 Tbsp. of garlic, onion, and broccoli and stir-fry until the broccoli is bright green but still quite crisp, about 4 minutes. Scrape the onion and broccoli into the large bowl. Add another drizzle of oil to the pan, then another tablespoon of garlic, cabbage, and red pepper. Stir-fry until the cabbage is wilted and the red pepper is tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. Scrape the cabbage and red pepper into the bowl with the broccoli. Return the pan to heat and add another drizzle of oil, the last tablespoon of garlic, and the chicken pieces. Stir-fry until chicken is cooked through and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Scrape the chicken into the bowl with the vegetables and toss.
When the water boils, cook the pasta to al dente. Drain pasta and return to pot. Set pot over a low flame and add chicken, vegetables, and chicken broth mixture. Toss thoroughly until heated through. Serve with garnishes.