When I was in college, beef lo mein was my go-to cheap meal.
There was this dollar-a-scoop place by my apartment (cue a shudder…), and back when I barely had enough money to pay my rent, that was where I would treat myself to dinner after a long day of classes and work.
The noodles, crisp bell peppers, and meat all spelled happiness for me, and this remains a go-to dish that I continue to order from our local favorite Asian restaurant today.
There’s something about the flavor of the sauce that tickles my taste buds in the best possible way. But there’s nothing better than making this oh-so-simple dish right in your own kitchen.
Not only will you have the ability to make sure all of the ingredients are fresh, the flavor is so much better since you also have control over the amount of oil that you use to make it, which I find tends to be high at many restaurants.
As much as I wish I could afford to order in every single night, I know that this is just not in the cards for me. And quick meals like this one always come in handy.
Did you know that this dish originated in Hong Kong? The name actually refers to a cooking method where stir-fried ingredients are tossed with noodles and sauce towards the end of cooking.
Hong Kong is one of those foodie destinations I am dying to go to. I’ve been to Japan, but I’d love to visit other parts of Asia as well. It’s such a unique and magical experience to eat a dish in the place where it comes from.
This lo mein recipe is super simple to make, and the noodles are easy to find at the grocery store, though you could also use angel hair pasta in a pinch. After the noodles are cooked, it all comes together in one pan.
It’s become a favorite in my household, especially during busy weeks of work. The combination of meat and peppers is always one of my favorites, but the sauce really transforms this meal into something special.
We can sit down to dinner in just 30 minutes, and the leftovers are seriously amazing the next day. I will even bust this out on a Sunday night when I do my meal prep so I’ll have something to eat throughout the week for lunches.
It’s seriously addictive. I never get tired of eating it, and neither will you.Print
Simple and flavorful beef and pepper lo mein will satisfy your craving for takeout, and you don’t have to spend lots of time making it.
- 12 ounces Chinese egg noodles (or angel hair pasta)
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce, divided
- 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 pound flank steak, cut across the grain into thin strips
- 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
- 1–2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 1 large green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 6 scallions, green parts only, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook according to package directions.
- Drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Place the noodles in a large bowl and toss with sesame oil and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine remaining soy sauce, chicken broth, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, ground ginger, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
- Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet coated with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
- Add beef and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3-4 minutes or until browned.
- Add fresh ginger and garlic and continue cooking for about 1 more minute, stirring frequently, until fragrant. Transfer beef to a plate and set aside.
- Discard any liquid that has accumulated in the pan, and add the remaining vegetable oil.
- Place peppers in the pan and cook about 2 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften. Stir in scallions and continue cooking for one more minute, stirring once halfway through.
- Return beef to the pan and stir to combine with the vegetables. Add the oyster sauce mixture to the pan and stir to combine. Saute for one minute.
- Add the noodles to the pan and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the noodles are heated through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
- Category: Beef
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Chinese
Keywords: beef, lo mein, noodles
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients
Slice flank steak against the grain into thin strips.
To make this easier, you can freeze the steak for about 15 to 20 minutes to firm it up before slicing. This will help you slice the meat nice and thin.
Peel and mince enough fresh ginger until you have 1 tablespoon total.
Peel and mince one or two cloves of garlic. I like to use two, to amp up the flavor.
Remove the stems and seeds from the red and green bell peppers, and slice them into thin strips.
Chop the scallions, green parts only, into 1-inch pieces. You can reserve the white bulbs for use in another recipe, or add them to a vegetable stock.
Step 2 – Cook Noodles
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once it’s boiling, add the noodles and cook them according to the directions on the package.
Step 3 – Make Sauce
Add the remaining soy sauce, chicken broth, oyster sauce, hoisin, ground ginger, and red pepper flakes to a small bowl. Stir to combine. Set aside.
Step 4 – Cook Steak
In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
Once it’s hot, add the beef. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 to 4 minutes until browned.
Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook for about another minute until fragrant, stirring frequently. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Step 5 – Cook Vegetables and Finish Dish
Pour out any liquid that has accumulated in the pan. Add the remaining vegetable oil to the pan and place it over medium-high heat.
Add the peppers to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes, until the peppers begin to soften, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the green chopped scallions and cook for another minute, stirring again about halfway through.
Add the meat back to the pan, and stir to combine it with the vegetables. Stir in the sauce mixture to coat everything well. Cook for another minute.
Add the noodles to the pan, and stir to combine. Continue to cook until the noodles are heated through, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make This Dish Ahead of Time
Beef lo mein noodles have the best texture when they are first made, but the sauce infuses into the dish over time, so I find it to be quite tasty as leftovers as well.
To store this dish, let it cool down to room temperature before placing it in an airtight container and putting it in the refrigerator. Homemade lo mein will last for up to four days in the fridge.
Want to bring even more of your favorite Chinese takeout flavors home? Try these recipes next:
Will you make this dish for dinner, or meal prep for lunches throughout the week? Tell us in the comments below, and don’t forget to give this recipe a rating once you’ve tried it!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on March 7, 2011. Last updated October 20, 2020.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.