This Spicy Shrimp Lo Mein is a quick and easy recipe that’s even better than takeout! Egg noodles, shrimp, and spicy sauce come together in one pan, giving you a dinner or lunch with plenty of flair.Jump to Recipe
The best lo mein recipe
This Spicy Shrimp Lo Mein is an easy dinner or meal prep option that’s loaded with flavor. All you need is a handful of ingredients, one pan, and 15 minutes to put it together. How can it get better than that?
Lo mein means “tossed noodles” in Chinese. The traditional recipe usually has 3 key elements: egg noodles, protein (seafood, beef, chicken, or tofu), and sauce. It’s a flexible recipe, meaning you can add more vegetables, spicy or mild sauce, or wontons.
My shrimp lo mein recipe is a very simplified version of the classic. Shrimp, noodles, and a spicy sauce are cooked and tossed together in one pan. If you want to take it up a notch, feel free to mix up the protein or add in cabbage, baby bok choy, carrots, broccoli, and more!
Lo mein vs. chow mein
Lo mein and chow mein recipes are quite similar, with one slight difference: the noodles! Chow mein is made with fried noodles and low mein is made with steamed noodles. The sauce is the star of the show in lo mein dishes, whereas vegetables and meat are the main event in chow mein (just like stir fry)
What kind of noodles are best for lo mein?
The best noodles you can use in lo mein recipes are long, fresh egg noodles. The next best are dried or frozen egg noodles.
Lo mein noodles (sometimes labeled “hokkien noodles”) are yellow in color, long and thick, and have a chewy texture. You’ll notice that they’re much thicker than most other Chinese noodles (learn more about the differences here), which helps them scoop up as much of the sauce as possible.
This quick lo mein recipe isn’t close to the authentic version but is still full of flavor and spice thanks to a short list of ingredients:
- Lo mein noodles – Use fresh egg noodles if you can. Otherwise, spaghetti, linguine, or fettucini noodles will work in a pinch.
- Shrimp – Both fresh and frozen shrimp will work here. Just make sure you thaw the frozen shrimp beforehand.
- Spicy sauce – This spicy lo mein sauce is made of garlic, ginger, fish sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and lime juice. Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch is what makes the sauce spicy but you can always leave it out.
- Garnish – I completed the dish with green onions and sesame seeds but you could also add crushed peanuts, more Chili Onion Crunch, red chili flakes, hot sauce, or cilantro.
Pro tip: Add more substance to each bowl by tossing in sauteed or steamed broccoli, baby bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, Napa cabbage, or snow peas.
How to make shrimp lo mein
All you need is 15 minutes and a skillet to put this quick and easy dinner together. Here’s how it’s done:
- Make the lo mein sauce: Whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl.
- Cook the noodles: Cook the egg noodles according to the package instructions. Drain the water, then transfer them to a serving bowl and toss with half of the sauce and green onions.
- Cook the shrimp: Saute the shrimp in an oiled skillet until they turn pink. Pour the rest of the sauce into the skillet and cook for 1 more minute.
- Assemble the dish: Pour the noodles into the skillet with the shrimp and toss everything together. Scoop the lo mein noodles and shrimp onto individual bowls, sprinkle sesame seeds and green onions on top, then enjoy!
Tips and variations
- Instead of shrimp – Make this lo mein recipe with grilled chicken or ground beef or pork.
- Not a fan of spicy food? Just omit the chili onion crunch from the sauce recipe.
- Use dark soy sauce if you can – It has the best flavor and will add color to the noodles. If you can’t find it, it’s ok to use regular or light soy sauce.
- Gluten free – Use tamari instead of soy sauce and a gluten free brand of oyster sauce.
- Vegetarian lo mein – Substitute the shrimp for vegetables or tofu and omit the fish and oyster sauce from the lo mein sauce.
- Serving suggestions – Serve the shrimp and noodles with Asian-inspired cabbage salad, beef and broccoli, beef short ribs, and fried rice on the side.
Make ahead and storing
Make ahead – You can make the spicy sauce ahead of time and keep it in a jar in your fridge until you’re ready to cook the noodles and shrimp.
Store – Store the leftover lo mein in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 to 2 days.
Reheat – Place the leftovers in a pan on medium heat and toss until warmed through or reheat for 1 to 2 minutes in the microwave. Just make sure to leave the shrimp out until the last minute of heating so they don’t become overcooked.
Looking for more takeout-inspired recipes?
- Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
- Garlic Shrimp Soba Noodles
- Thai Beef Salad
- Spicy Salmon Sashimi
- Spicy Thai Peanut Chicken
If you give this Spicy Shrimp Lo Mein a try, let me know what you think! Leave a comment and don’t forget to take a picture, tag it with #lenaskitchenblog on Instagram. I love seeing what you come up with!
Spicy Shrimp Lo Mein
- Add all of the sauce ingredients to a small bowl. Whisk to combine, then set aside.
- In a pot on the stove, cook noodles per package instructions (mine cooked for 3 to 5 minutes). Drain well, then toss the noodles in a bowl with half of the sauce and half of the green onions. Set aside.
- Peel the shrimp and pat them dry. Sauté over medium-high heat in a pan with olive oil. Cook until they turn pink on one side (1 to 2 minutes), then flip to the other side and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Add the rest of the sauce into the pan and cook for an additional 1 minute.
- Add the noodles to the pan with shrimp and toss them together. Then plate in a bowl, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and the remaining green onions. Add any additional spice with chili oil crunch if needed.