Lo mein is one of the most popular meals in Chinese restaurants. The pasta offers a dense texture and, when combined with a variety of proteins and stir-fried vegetables, makes for a hearty and comforting dish. However, lo mein noodles are not vegetarian as they are made with eggs.
Fortunately, other vegetarian noodles can replace lo mein. Here, we explore why lo mein is not usually vegan and what alternatives are available.
Why isn’t Lo Mein usually vegan?
Lo mein is not vegan because eggs are the main ingredient. Eggs give pasta its color and texture. Also, the traditional sauce in lo mein dishes consists of sesame oil, garlic, ginger, oysters or fish sauce and soy sauce. Including shellfish or fish sauce means they are unsafe for vegetarians, even if the rest of the dish can be ordered with vegetables and tofu.
When is someone a vegetarian?
Fortunately, more vegetarian dishes are available in restaurants today. You can also substitute lo mein noodles with different veggie noodles. Saute them in a sauce that preserves garlic and ginger, and discard the oyster sauce and any other ingredients from animal sources.
Spaghetti and other vegetarian Italian pasta made with durum wheat are good alternatives to lo mein noodles. Durum wheat provides a similar texture and flexibility to lo mein noodles without eggs. Other vegetable pasta can also be substituted.
Vegetarian alternatives to lo mein
In addition to Italian pasta, there are many types of vegetarian pasta from around the world that can replace lo mein pasta. While the textures and flavors of some pastas won’t duplicate, they impart their own unique flavor that we think makes them absolutely delicious.
- CapelliniThis extra-thin durum wheat pasta gives the lo mein-style dish a more delicate texture and texture.
- macaroniSimilar in size to Lo mein noodles, Italian staples can be easily flipped into a delicious vegetarian version of the traditional dish.
- sobaThis Japanese buckwheat noodle brings a rich, nutty feel to a variety of stir-fry noodle recipes.
- udon: These thick noodles are considered a “comfort food” in Japan, and while they’re most commonly used in soups, they can be stirred and served similarly to a vegetarian topping and vegetable sauce.
- Ramen: When prepared without broth as a soup, ramen noodles made with wheat are a quick and easy base for a lo mein dish.
- vermicelliThis thin, rice-based noodle found in Southeast Asian cuisine is very delicate and has a slightly chewy texture, but it will mix well with a Chinese-style vegetarian sauce, vegetables, and tofu.
- Thai rice noodles: This rice-based pasta is wider and flatter than lo mein pasta, but has a good elastic texture and holds up well under sauce and vegetables.
- miracle noodles noodles angel hair styleMade with a natural fiber called glucomannan, this pasta absorbs the flavors of the other ingredients in which it is prepared.
- Simply Nature Edamame SpaghettiThis high-fiber, protein-based pasta is a great companion to vegetables and sauce.
- Explore the black bean spaghetti cuisine: These black bean noodles add a light nutty flavor to a lo mein-style dish. It’s easy to cook like traditional spaghetti too.
- Better than Organic Konnyaku NoodlesMade with konnyaku, a Japanese cousin to sweet potatoes, this noodle is cooked similar to Miracle Noodle Pasta.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Le Maine a vegetarian?
No, pasta is made from eggs. Also, most Chinese restaurants top the noodles with animal proteins and a sauce that may contain seafood, chicken broth, or other animal ingredients.
Is there dairy in Le Main?
No, pasta is usually made with eggs and flour. While the traditional sauces topping the pasta may contain animal ingredients, there are usually no dairy products.