Vegetarian Chow Mein

vegetarian chow mein on white plate with fork
Photo: Justin Walker
Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

When you have a few smart, flavor-boosting ingredients on hand, your favorite Chinese takeout is faster and lighter to make and enjoy at home. Fresh ginger and scallions dial up the store-bought black bean sauce used to dress these crispy noodles and tender stir-fried vegetables.


  • 6 ounces dry chow-mein noodles, such as Wel-Pac

  • ¼ cup safflower oil, plus more if needed

  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger (from a 2-inch piece)

  • 1 bunch scallions (5 ounces), white parts cut into 1-inch pieces (½ cup), greens thinly sliced

  • 8 ounces broccoli, cut into florets (2 cups), stems peeled and sliced

  • 6 ounces carrots, peeled and sliced on the bias (1 cup)

  • ¼ cup black-bean sauce, such as Lee Kum Kee

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon rice-wine vinegar

  • 1 can (15 ounces) baby corn, drained


  1. Add noodles to a large pot of boiling water; cook 3 minutes. Drain; rinse under cold water until cool. Drain well. Spread on paper towels; let stand 10 minutes. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Add noodles in an even layer; cook until browned on bottom, 5 minutes. Flip; cook 4 minutes, adding 1 tablespoon oil if needed. Slide onto a paper towel-lined plate.

  2. Add 2 tablespoons oil to skillet, then ginger and scallion whites; cook 30 seconds. Add broccoli and carrots; cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water; cover and cook 3 minutes. Uncover; add bean sauce and cornstarch mixture. Simmer until sauce thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in vinegar and corn; heat through. Serve over noodles, topped with scallion greens.

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