Beef Lo Mein

In the grocery store recently, Ian spotted chow mein noodles and asked if we could try the “dried worms . . . someday.” I am nothing if not susceptible to suggestions, and I have been craving Chinese food ever since. This simple recipe from an old Weight Watchers cookbook hit the spot.


  • 1/2 pound fresh lo mein noodles or spaghetti
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1/4 cup sake or rice wine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Asian (dark) sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound beef top round, cut into thin strips (I actually used bottom round, which the butcher told me was essentially the same and cost 70 cents less per pound)
  • 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • chow mein noodles for garnish (to please the 5 and under set, mainly)


  1. Cook the noodles or spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Combine the broth, sake or rice wine, soy sauce, cornstarch, sugar, and sesame oil in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Heat a nonstick wok or a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles. Swirl in 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, then add the beef. Stir-fry until just cooked through, 3–4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Swirl in the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil, then add the mushrooms, green onions, and garlic. Stir-fry until softened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the broth mixture to the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens, about 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in the beef and noodles. Cook, tossing frequently until heated through, about 1 minute.
  7. Garnish with chow mein noodles (optional).



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