This homemade 30-minute Shrimp Lo Mein is so much better than takeout! It’s delicious, saucy, and very easy to make.
Made with crisp vegetables, tender shrimp, and fresh Chinese-style egg noodles tossed with a super simple sauce. It’s seriously so good!
The great thing about making shrimp lo mein is that it is prep ahead friendly! It’s truly easy weeknight dinner favorite. Even leftovers are great!
Shrimp Lo Mein is one of my favorites. I’m a huge fan of saucy noodles. Growing up in a Cantonese Chinese family, I always found noodles to be pure comfort food, and today I’m super excited to share this recipe with you!
At restaurants, we always order this dish, but I often prefer to make it at home because I can make it just right. A good lo mein has the perfect ratio between noodles, protein, and veggies. Most importantly, it needs to be saucy enough, but not totally drenched in sauce.
Seriously, so much better than takeout!
Why I love this recipe shrimp lo mein recipe:
- It’s got the perfect proportion between noodles, sauce, veggies and protein. This shrimp lo mein is so well-balanced, not soaked in sauce like more restaurant versions are.
- The type of noodles matter! For this dish, fresh Chinese egg noodles are the best. More on this below!
- Customizable: Use any veggies you like or even swap out the protein.
- Quick and easy: With prep and everything, dinner’s ready in just 30 minutes!
- It reheats so well, great for leftovers the next day.
What is Lo Mein?
“Lo mein,” in Cantonese means “stirred noodles.” It’s essentially noodles stirred with sauce, veggies, and protein. It’s a super popular dish served at Chinese restaurants.
Restaurant-style lo mein consists of stir-fried veggies and protein, tossed with sauce and Asian-style egg noodles. The shrimp lo mein recipe I am sharing today is more like the restaurant-style one.
Now, I grew up eating Hong Kong style lo mein, which is perhaps considered more traditional and a lot more basic. I boil noodles (usually thinner ones) and serve it with a basic sauce that I stir in myself in my own bowl. Throw in a few veggies and some protein on the side, such as Chinese BBQ pork, and ta-da!
There’s no “right” way of making this popular noodle dish. I just use whatever I can find in my fridge. It’s that simple
What is the Difference Between Lo Mein and Chow Mein?
I get this question a lot. As mentioned above, “lo mein” translates to “stirred noodles.” On the other hand, “chow mein” translates to “stir-fried noodles.” With that said, here’s how these 2 popular noodle dishes differ:
- Lo mein is made with noodles stirred or tossed with sauce and sauted add-ins, whereas chow mein is made with par-boiled noodles and stir-fried together with the veggies and protein.
- Lo mein noodles are softer and chewier, and chow mein is crispier and more “al dente.”
- Chow mein is less saucy.
- The noodles typically used in lo mein are thicker and chewier than in chow mein.
What Type of Noodles to Use
The type of noodles you use to make this recipe makes a huge difference.
Fresh Egg Lo Mein Noodles is my top recommendation. The texture is just perfect, with the right amount of chewiness. I like the “Twin Marquis” brand. They cook in just 3-4 minutes. You can find them in the refrigerated or frozen aisles at most Asian grocery stores.
A close variation to this product is called “Cooked Noodle” by the same brand Twin Marquis, which is essentially pre-cooked egg noodles. Simply defrost, if needed, and rinse under warm water prior to using.
If you can’t find these, here are other alternatives:
- Spaghetti or linguine: Dried Italian pasta works here.
- Dried lo mein noodles: My very last resort. I find that these tend to be too thin and short, and break apart easily.
The sauce is savory with a slight touch of sweetness, and thickens just enough to make the noodles saucy. It takes less than 5 minutes to make!
The key is to not oversaturate the noodles with sauce. The noodles shouldn’t be swimming in a pool of sauce, otherwise everything will get soggy.
Because it contains cornstarch, it will thicken up in the skillet to make a beautiful sauce and bring all the ingredients together. Made with only 6 ingredients. Full recipe is included in the recipe card down below.
The full list of ingredients and quantities can be found in the recipe card down below, but I wanted to provide a few helpful ingredient notes:
- Fresh egg lo mein noodles: They come refrigerated or frozen at most Asian grocery stores. My favorite brand is Twin Marquis.
- Fresh garlic and ginger are the aromatics I use.
- Vegetables: Yellow onions, red bell pepper, carrots, napa cabbage, snap peas, scallions. Feel free to swap for other veggies as long as they are sliced about the same size for even cooking.
- Extra large or large shrimp, peeled and deveined.
- For the sauce, you’ll need chicken broth, cornstarch, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil.
Step 1 | Make the sauce
The sauce for the shrimp lo mein is very simple. In a bowl, mix chicken broth, cornstarch, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil until evenly combined. Set aside.
Step 2 | Cook the noodles
Cook the fresh noodles according to package directions. Usually it only takes 3 to 4 few minutes. Drain and run the cooked noodles through cold water to stop the cooking process. This way, they won’t overcook with residual heat.
If you’re using pre-cooked egg noodles, all you have to to is rinse it with warm water to loosen it up.
Step 3 | Cook the shrimp
In a large skillet or wok, cook the seasoned shrimp on both sides until fully cooked through. It should only take 2 minutes per side. Set aside.
Step 4 | Stir fry the veggies
Over high heat, sauté onions, carrots, snap peas, and bell peppers until slightly softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, and saute until fragrant. Add napa cabbage and stir fry for another 1-2 minutes.
Step 5 | Add noodles and sauce
Add the cooked noodles back into the skillet. Pour the prepared sauce all over. Toss to combine until the noodles are warm and evenly coated with the sauce.
Step 6 | Return shrimp to pan
Return the cooked shrimp and scallions, and toss to combine. Garnish with more scallions.
Customize the Vegetables
For this shrimp lo mein recipe, I used napa cabbage, carrots, red bell peppers, snap peas, and onions. However, you can mix and match your favorite vegetables!
Here are other veggies I love to use in my shrimp lo mein:
- Green cabbage
- Bok choy or broccoli
- Baby corn (in brine or water, they come in jars)
- Water chestnuts (in water, they come in cans)
Prep Ahead Tips
You can definitely make this shrimp lo mein ahead and refrigerate for up to 3 days. It makes great leftovers!
Alternatively, you can prep ahead the ingredients in advance:
- Chop or slice veggies
- Mince the garlic and ginger
- Peel and devein the shrimp, if needed
- Make the sauce, up to 2 days ahead and refrigerate. Give it a good stir or shake before using.
Other Asian Recipes You May Like
If you’re a fan of Asian-inspired recipes, definitely check out my Asian recipes collection. Here are my most requested ones:
I’d highly recommend using fresh egg lo mein noodles. My favorite brand is “Twin Marquis.” They usually come refrigerated or frozen, and can be found in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores.
If you can’t find Asian-style fresh egg noodles, use dried spaghetti or linguine and cook it al dente. I don’t like using dried lo mein noodles – they are made of wheat and are too thin and short.
Yes, it will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days. Alternatively, you can also prep the veggies or make the sauce ahead about 2 days in advance.
No, but feel free to use one. A large skillet is fine, preferably non stick.
Tips for Success
- Have everything ready before you start cooking in the skillet. Everything cooks very quickly, so have all your sliced veggies, sauce, and pre-cooked noodles ready.
- Use fresh egg lo mein noodles. They come refrigerated or frozen, and can be found in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores, or at Asian stores. See notes in recipe card.
- Other noodle alternatives: Dried spaghetti or linguine cooked al dente. I personally don’t like using dried lo mein noodles, which are often very thin and made of wheat.
- Slice the vegetables to about the same size so that they cook evenly. Feel free to customize your choice of veggies.
Shrimp Lo Mein
- ¾ pound fresh lo mein noodles - see notes for substitutions
- 12 ounces extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined - or large shrimp
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Vegetable oil for skillet
- ½ a yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup thinly julienned carrots
- 1 cup fresh snap peas
- 1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 cup thinly sliced napa cabbage
- 2 scallions, diagonally sliced - plus more for garnish
- Make the sauce: In a bowl, dissolve the cornstarch with chicken broth. Add in the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and sesame oil, and whisk until well-combined. Set aside.
- Cook the egg noodles according to package directions – I cook them in boiling water for about 3-4 minutes. Drain and give it a quick rinse with cold water (this stops the cooking process and ensures it’s not overcooked). Set aside.
- Season shrimp with salt and pepper to taste. In a large skillet, heat a few drizzles of oil over medium-high heat and cook shrimp for about 2-3 minutes per side until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- In the same skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil over high heat. Stir fry onions, carrots, snap peas, and bell peppers until slightly softened, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add a few extra drizzles of oil and saute the garlic and ginger for about 1 minute. Add the sliced cabbage and stir fry for another 1-2 more minutes.
- Return the cooked noodles into the skillet, giving it a toss to break it apart. Give the sauce a quick whisk and drizzle it onto the noodles, tossing until the noodles are warm and evenly coated with the sauce.
- Return the cooked shrimp and scallions, and toss to combine. Season with more salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with more sliced scallions. Enjoy!
- Fresh Asian-style egg noodles: Highly recommend using fresh egg Lo Mein noodles (I use the Twin Marquis brand). They come refrigerated or frozen, in the Asian aisle at grocery stores. A close variation to this product is called “Cooked Noodle” by the same brand (Twin Marquis), which are pre-cooked and just need rinsing before using.
- Noodle substitutions: Dried spaghetti or linguine will work too, cooked al dente. I do not like to use dried lo mein noodles, as they tend to be very thin and short.
- Make ahead and storage: Keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days in a sealed container.
- Prep ahead: Veggies can be sliced in advance. The sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated, warm up in the microwave oven for just a few second to loosen it up and stir.
- Veggies: green cabbage, broccoli, mushrooms, bokchoy, water chestnuts.
- Shrimp: add tofu, beef, chicken.
- Fresh egg noodles: Dried spaghetti or linguine.