This vegetable chow mein is much more than a tasty-enough weeknight meal—it is a tangle of saucy noodles and vegetables, and it’s fast becoming a family favorite. It works as well with spaghetti as with soba noodles, with asparagus as with broccoli, with or without protein. Moreover, the adaptations are endless // alexandracooks.com

Friends, hello. A quick note today and a call for some help. I’m writing for Food52 again, this time around about quick, weeknight cooking, featuring recipes like Cal Peternell’s Vegetable Chow Mein-ish, which has become my favorite thing to eat.

Questions for you: What is your ideal for a weeknight dinner? What kind of recipes would you like to see? Let me know! I will be posting over at Food52 every week and keeping you updated here.

vegetable chow mein-ish veg, prepped
This vegetable chow mein is much more than a tasty-enough weeknight meal—it is a tangle of saucy noodles and vegetables, and it’s fast becoming a family favorite. It works as well with spaghetti as with soba noodles, with asparagus as with broccoli, with or without protein. Moreover, the adaptations are endless // alexandracooks.com
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This vegetable chow mein is much more than a tasty-enough weeknight meal—it is a tangle of saucy noodles and vegetables, and it’s fast becoming a family favorite. It works as well with spaghetti as with soba noodles, with asparagus as with broccoli, with or without protein. Moreover, the adaptations are endless // alexandracooks.com

Vegetable Chow Mein-ish with Asparagus


  • Author: Alexandra Stafford
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian
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Description

Adapted from Cal Peternell’s Twelve Recipes, vegetable chow mein-ish has become a family favorite.

A few notes: The original recipe calls for 1 pound of spaghetti (you don’t need to use soba or egg noodles or other Asian noodles to have success with this recipe). I like to make it with more vegetables and fewer noodles, which is how the recipe is written below.

Because all of the vegetables sauté at the same time, it’s important to prep them all before you start cooking. You can do this hours ahead of time and leave them out till you’re ready to cook.

Carrots: I haven’t even been peeling them. I just trim off the ends and run them down my mandoline. You can grate the carrots using a box grater or the shredder attachment to a food processor, or you can cut them by hand.


Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 8 ounces soba noodles
  • 4 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 2 cups loosely packed julienned carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced white or yellow onions
  • 1 pound asparagus, end trimmed, sliced on the bias 1/4-inch thick (about 3 cups)
  • 3 cups 1/4-inch-thick slices shiitake mushrooms (from about 7 ounces)
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes or hot sauce, optional
  • 1/3 cup shelled edamame, optional

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil with 1/4 cup water. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the soba noodles and cook according to package—mine have been taking about 6 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over high heat and add the grapeseed oil, carrots, onion, asparagus, and mushrooms. Add ½ teaspoon salt and immediately turn the heat down to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, 7 to 10 minutes—taste a piece of the asparagus to test for doneness. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt if desired (I always do.) Turn the heat to low, push the vegetables aside, add the garlic and pepper flakes if using.
  4. Drain the soba noodles, run under cold water, then transfer to a bowl of cold water. Use your fingers to loosen any strands that are stuck together—this will ensure untangled soba noodles in the finished dish.  Drain the soba noodles again, and add them to the pan of vegetables along with the edamame and sauce. Toss to coat and let sit on the stove until noodles are heated through. Serve immediately with hot sauce on side, if using.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Chinese, American

Keywords: vegetable, chow mein, simple, fast