Topped with a crunchy garlic crisp, this shrimp lo mein recipe elevates homemade take-out dinners to a whole new level. Packed with tender shrimp and crunchy veggies, every saucy bite is the totally irresistible.
Easy Shrimp Lo Mein Recipe
Tossed in a homemade sauce with lots of shrimp, this easy lo mein recipe is everything you want in homemade Chinese takeout. Loaded with carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchini, it’s safe to say this recipe officially makes take-out healthy, right?
You can use fresh or frozen veggies in this recipe and easily swap the shrimp for tofu if you want to make this a vegetarian recipe. For a bit of heat, you can even add chili oil. Super versatile and easy to make, you’ll find yourself cooking different variations of this dish depending on what’s in your fridge.
Topped with a golden garlic crisp, the sprinkle of sesame seeds and green onions is the final touch for a pop of color and texture. Saucy, comforting, and hearty, this shrimp lo mein will have difficulty leaving your weeknight dinner menu after you’ve had a taste.
What Is The Difference Between Lo Mein and Chow Mein?
Although they both use egg noodles, lo mein and chow mein are very different in terms of preparation.
For lo mein, each of the recipe’s components are cooked separately— especially the noodles. Toward the end of cooking, everything is stirred together with a savory sauce that thickens as it simmers. Chow mein, on the other hand, is about stir-frying everything together. It’s definitely not as saucy, so the cooking time is quicker, and there isn’t as much of an issue with the noodles overcooking.
Speaking of, you should try my delicious Chicken Chow Mein.
This shrimp lo mein is packed with veggies and Asian sauces for an authentic take-out flavor. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full ingredient amounts.
For the Garlic Crisp
- Vegetable oil: Corn and canola oil are also okay.
For the Noodles
- Dried egg noodles
- Sesame oil: Feel free to use peanut oil.
- Red bell pepper: Any color of bell pepper works.
- Yellow bell pepper
- Cremini mushrooms: White button mushrooms are a good swap. Don’t use portobellos.
- Vegetable oil: Corn and canola oil are also okay.
- Garlic: Don’t use garlic powder for this.
- Large shrimp: Please don’t use cocktail shrimp for this.
To Make the Sauce
- Light brown sugar: Dark brown sugar is a good substitute.
- Sesame oil
- Oyster sauce: You can use hoisin sauce instead.
- Soy sauce: Low-sodium soy sauce works too.
- Cornstarch: Don’t use all-purpose flour.
- Black sesame seeds
- Green onion
Don’t worry if you’re out of shrimp, are having a vegetarian friend over, or need to make this lo mein recipe spicy. There’s a variation for every occasion.
- Change the protein. Grilled chicken, thinly sliced steak, and diced pork are yummy variations of this dish. Use whatever you’ve got on hand!
- Make it vegetarian. Swap the shrimp for your favorite grilled tofu and make this recipe vegetarian in a second.
- Make it spicy. Adding 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of chili oil to the sauce will give your noodles some heat.
How to Make Shrimp Lo Mein
Shrimp lo mein is about cooking the veggies, shrimp, and simmering them in a homemade sauce.
For the Garlic Crisp, Noodles, Veggies, and Shrimp
- Make the garlic crisp. Add the oil to a small pan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic. Let it cook for 1-2 minutes or until just beginning to turn golden. Remove the garlic from the oil immediately and set it aside.
- Boil the noodles. Fill a pot with water and boil the noodles according to package instructions. Strain them and gently toss them in sesame oil to prevent sticking.
- Cook the veggies. Set the heat to medium. Pour the remaining garlic oil into a large pan. Add the zucchini and cook for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Remove it from the heat and set it aside. Add the red and yellow bell peppers. Cook them for 4-5 minutes. Remove them from the heat and set them aside. Add the mushrooms and cook them for 6-7 minutes or until softened. Finally, add the carrots. Cook them for 5-7 minutes or until softened. Set them aside.
- Cook the shrimp. Add the oil to the pan and set the heat to high. Add the garlic and ginger. Stir well and let them cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the shrimp and let them cook for 1-3 minutes on each side or until pinkish and completely opaque. The exact cooking time will depend on the size of the shrimp. Season with salt to taste. Remove it from the heat and set it aside.
To Make the Sauce and Toss the Noodles
- Make the sauce. Add the water, light brown sugar, sesame oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and cornstarch to the pan. Stir to combine. Let it come to a simmer over medium-low heat and stir constantly. Cook the sauce for 8-12 minutes or until just starting to thicken.
- Mix everything in. Toss the veggies and shrimp into the pan and stir until well combined. Add the noodles and gently incorporate them into the mixture. Cook everything for another 5-6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.
- Serve. Place the noodles in serving bowls. Top them with crispy garlic, sesame seeds, and green onions to taste.
Tips for Success
You’ll be surprised how much time you can save by using a frozen veggie mix and stirring a slurry. Read the full section for the best tips on how to cook lo mein:
- Don’t overcook the noodles. Keep an eye on the noodles once they’re in the pot. You don’t want to overcook them because they’ll soften too much in the sauce and lose their bite.
- Use frozen veggies. Stir-fry veggie mixes are a great option to help you cut down on prep time. Just throw them into the pan and cook according to the package instructions.
- Make a slurry. Whisk the cornstarch and water until well combined to make a slurry. Add it to the pan with the rest of the sauce ingredients. This way, the sauce will come together more easily, and you’ll avoid any lumps.
- Stir gently. Use kitchen tongs to gently stir and mix the noodles, veggies, shrimp, and sauce in the pan. Doing so vigorously will break the noodles.
What to Serve With Seafood Lo Mein
This shrimp lo mein is best served with a mix of Asian-style sides and mains for a homemade take-out meal. You can pair it with a warm bowl of my Chinese Hot Pot. My Bok Choy with Warm Garlic Soy Dressing is a great veggie side too. For other main ideas to serve it with, try my Shrimp and Broccoli Stir Fry and Beef and Broccoli Recipe.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
- Once fully cooled, refrigerate this shrimp lo mein in an airtight container for up to 3 days. If you store the shrimp and noodles separately, you can store the noodles for up to 5 days. The shrimp will only keep for 2 to 3 days, though.
- To reheat the noodles, pop them into the microwave for up to a minute or until warm. You can also heat them in a pan over medium-low heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
More Chinese Recipes
- Salt and Pepper Chicken
- Chinese Chicken and Broccoli
- Easy Kung Pao Chicken Recipe
- Pork Chop Suey
- Szechuan Chicken
Shrimp Lo Mein
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 10 ounces dry egg noodles
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 small zucchini, cut into half moons
- ½ medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- ½ medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 3 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
- salt, to taste
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- black sesame seeds, to taste
- chopped green onion, to taste
- Add the vegetable oil to a small pan over medium-low heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook it for 1 to 2 minutes or until just beginning to turn golden. Remove the garlic from the oil immediately and set it aside.
- Fill a pot with water and boil the noodles according to the package instructions. Strain them and set them aside.
- Set the heat to medium. Pour the sesame oil into a large pan. Add the zucchini and let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until just tender. Remove it from the heat and set it aside.
- Add the red and yellow bell peppers to the pan and cook them for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Remove them from the heat and set them aside. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook them for 4 minutes. Finally, add the diced carrots and cook them for 5 minutes or until softened. Remove from pan and set them aside.
- Add vegetable oil to the pan and set the heat to high. Add the garlic and ginger; stir well and let them cook for 20 seconds or until fragrant. Add the shrimp and let them cook for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until pinkish and completely opaque—season them with salt to taste. Remove the shrimp from the heat and set them aside.
- Return the pan to the burner. Add the water, light brown sugar, sesame oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and cornstarch to the pan. Whisk to combine and let it simmer over medium-low heat while constantly whisking. Continue to cook the sauce for 8 to 12 minutes or until just starting to thicken.
- Toss the veggies and shrimp into the pan and stir until incorporated. Using tongs, add the noodles and gently combine them into the mixture. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.
- Place the noodles in serving bowls. Top them with the crispy garlic, sesame seeds, and green onions.
- Noodles: You can use lo mein noodles or regular egg noodles. Cook them according to the directions on the package.
- Shrimp: This recipe uses large raw shrimp – don’t use cocktail shrimp. You can also try this with grilled chicken, tofu, thinly sliced steak, or diced pork to change it up.
- Vegetables: I use a combination of bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, and zucchini, but to speed things up, you can use store-bought frozen stir-fry veggie mixes. They are a great option to help you cut down on prep time.
- Oyster Sauce and Soy Sauce: If you can’t find oyster sauce, hoisin sauce is a good swap. For the soy sauce, I usually go with a low-sodium soy sauce, but I also like using Tamari.
- Use kitchen tongs to gently stir and mix the noodles, veggies, shrimp, and sauce in the pan.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.