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You Should Never Order Lo Mein At A Chinese Restaurant. Here’s Why

You Should Never Order Lo Mein At A Chinese Restaurant. Here’s Why


Lo mein may be the perfect Chinese comfort
food, slightly sweet, a little bit sticky, not too spicy, but oh-so-satisfying. If you can’t eat a whole plateful in one sitting,
the leftovers seem to taste even better the next day, even if you eat them straight from
the carton and cold from the fridge. Still, as tempting as lo mein may be, it’s
really not something you should order from a Chinese restaurant. For one thing, lo mein in most American restaurants
isn’t even remotely authentic. Unlike the totally-American General Tso’s
chicken, lo mein can easily be found in China, but the Chinese version is quite different
from the one Americans are familiar with. “Lo mein” actually means “stirred noodles”
and refers to a method of preparation rather than a specific dish. According to My Great Recipes, the Chinese
method involves stirring noodles into a soup broth just before it finishes cooking, so
the noodles become soft and absorb the flavor of the broth and its seasonings. ChowHound further explains the differences
between lo mein as it might be served in Boston versus Beijing. In the U.S., lo mein noodles are tossed in
a hot wok with a thick brown sauce. Chinese lo mein noodles are also stir-fried
in a wok, but the sauce is lighter and thinner, perhaps made with soy and rice vinegar with
just a tiny bit of thickener. Despite these differences, we realize most
people won’t pass on lo mein just because it’s not entirely authentic. “I gotta have a lo mein.” However, most people should pass on lo mein
because it’s so unhealthy. Lo mein is basically a heaping helping of
carbs and a whole lot of oil. If you order it from P.F. Chang’s, even the veggie version has 630 calories,
10 grams of fat, and 114 grams of carbs. By adding pork, your meal will hit 920 calories
and 32 grams of fat. Also, if you’re watching your sodium intake,
you might want to look away from lo mein, soy sauce boosts the sodium content to 3,540
milligrams for the veggie dish, and a whopping 4,170 for the shrimp version. “Mmmm, salty.” The sugar content isn’t looking good, either,
20 grams for each type of lo mein except veggie, which tops out at 23 grams. If you’re wondering how this compares to the
recommended daily values based on 2,000 calories per day, pork lo mein will deliver nearly
half of your daily allowed 78 fat grams, and all the lo mein entrees offered will give
you more than one-third of your 275 grams of carbs. You’ll be nearly halfway to your permitted
50 grams of sugar, but way over the top on sodium, since you should really only be consuming,
at most, 2,300 milligrams a day. Lo mein also isn’t the best choice when it
comes to your budget. CheatSheet lists lo mein as one of the top
Chinese restaurant menu items that are a waste of money. At most places, the dish consists primarily
of noodles, which is one of the cheapest items in a restaurant’s kitchen. What’s more, they can be bulked up with inexpensive
veggies such as cabbage, while you’ll find fewer pieces of more expensive proteins, like
shrimp or beef. It’s a simple way for restaurants to skimp
on serving anything that’s actually going to cost them too much money. Plus, they can get rid of any veggies they
may have overstocked. It’s a nice arrangement for restaurant owners,
but you won’t be getting the best meal for your money. “Well, that place was a rip-off.” If you want to enjoy a healthier version of
lo mein for a lot less cash than it will cost you in a restaurant, it’s actually a really
simple dish to make at home. If you don’t have any Chinese egg noodles,
Epicurious points out that you can easily use any type of round noodle instead. Also, you won’t need any complicated ingredients
for the sauce. You should be able to find everything at your
local grocery store. Then just add veggies and, if you like, some
pork or other meat for the protein. Even the wok is optional, as chef Jet Tila
points out, almost any large pan will do. “A simple pan with high sides that gets hot
is totally fine.” It will take about 15 or 20 minutes from the
time you start boiling the water to cook the noodles to the time dinner is done. Plus, it will be healthier and much cheaper
than if you ordered it in a restaurant. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Mashed videos about your favorite
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