Main Dishes

Slow Cooker Veggie Lo Mein

A few months ago, I was craving some Lo Mein. But since I know that Chinese take out is typically loaded with MSG (and no telling what else), I decided to try to find a healthier option to make at home. Unfortunately the only Lo Mein recipes I found that looked somewhat authentic contained pork, beef, chicken, or seafood. It was then that I decided to create my own unique vegan version in the slow cooker. Since then, I have tweaked the recipe a few times to get it just right. However, as always, I will give you ideas for substitutions and changes so that you can use what you have in your pantry.

I’m really proud of how tasty this turned out to be, and I hope you agree 😁.

Omnivore rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟. “This is delicious! Can I have some more?”

Vegan rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟. “This tastes way better than Chinese take out! The leftovers taste even better the next day!”

This recipe is so simple and it takes a lot less time to make in your slow cooker than most other slow cooker recipes.  I like to make this while I’m busy with other chores like laundry and dishes, or while watching a movie.  It only takes about an hour and a half to cook.  If you’re short on time, you could make this with a big wok in about 30 minutes.  But I wrote this recipe for the lazy (or tired) chef in us all.  Keep in mind that this will make enough food for about 4- 6 people.

Ingredients:

– 1 block of Firm or Extra Firm Tofu

– Sauce:

  • 1 2/3 cups reduced sodium soy sauce, liquid aminos, or tamari (I used a combination of soy sauce and liquid aminos.  Use what you have.)
  • 9 cloves of garlic (or 1/2 cup of storebought minced garlic) (yes, I’m serious)
  • 1/3 cup of coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 3 tbsp. fresh or powdered ginger (fresh tastes better)
  • 1- 2 tbsp rice vinegar (optional)
  • 3 tsp. sesame oil (can sub avocado or coconut oil)

– Veggies: 6 or 7 cups TOTAL of any combination of the following vegetables

  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Green Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Bell Pepper
  • Celery
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Mushrooms
  • Bamboo Shoots
  • Baby Corn
  • Snow Peas
  • Water Chestnuts

You can use either fresh or frozen veggies.  I will give you instructions for using both.

– Noodles:

  • 16 oz of flat rice noodles, such as stir fry noodles or pad Thai noodles (You can sub plain fettuccini or spaghetti noodles if you’re not gluten free.)

– Garnish:

  • Chopped green onions, toasted sesame seeds, or dry roasted peanuts

Here are the steps:  

  1. Press the tofu (optional).  Cut the tofu block in half or in thirds horizontally and spread out evenly on a clean thirsty kitchen towel.  Wrap the towel over the tofu slices to cover them.  Place a heavy book or plates as well as some other stable heavy objects on top and leave it to press for about 30 minutes.
  2. While you are waiting for the tofu to press, make your sauce. Just put all of the sauce ingredients into your slow cooker.   It may seem like a lot of sauce ingredients, but trust me, you will need a lot of sauce. 
  3. Wash and chop 6-7 cups of veggies of choice.  If using frozen, you get to save time and skip this step 🙂 (I used a combo of fresh and frozen because that’s what I had on hand.)
  4. Dice the pressed tofu into 1/2″ squares and add it to the sauce ingredients in the slow cooker.  Gently stir to cover completely in the sauce.  If using fresh veggies, add them to the slow cooker NOW.
  5. Cook on high for 1 hour.  (This is when I do my other chores or start to watch a movie.)
  6. Boil 4 cups of water.
  7. If using frozen veggies, add them to the slow cooker AFTER the tofu has cooked for 1 hour.  
  8.  Add the dry noodles along with the 4 cups of boiling water to the slow cooker.
  9. Cook on high for 15 to 30 more minutes, stirring noodles at least once to make sure they cook evenly.  (Resume chores or movie.)
  10. Once the noodles have cooked to your liking, turn the dial to either Warm or Off and serve!
  11. Optional:  Add your garnish (green onions, sesame seeds, or peanuts).  I absolutely love the flavor and crunch of the dry roasted peanuts on top of this.
Lo Mein sauce ingredients
I subbed avocado oil and aminos for sesame oil and soy sauce this time.
Sauce ingredients in the slow cooker
Cubed tofu covered in sauce
Fresh veggies added to the tofu and sauce
I used a combo of these two types of rice noodles and they were delicious in this recipe!
Dry noodles and boiling water added along with the frozen veggies
Yummy! Final product!

Slow Cooker Veggie Lo Mein

  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 block of Firm or Extra Firm Tofu
  • Sauce:
  • 1 2/3 cups reduced sodium soy sauce, liquid aminos, or tamari (I used a combination of soy sauce and liquid aminos. Use what you have.)
  • 9 cloves of garlic (or 1/2 cup of storebought minced garlic) (yes, I’m serious)
  • 1/3 cup of coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Sriracha sauce
  • 3 tbsp. fresh or powdered ginger (fresh tastes better)
  • 1- 2 tbsp rice vinegar (optional)
  • 3 tsp. sesame oil (can sub avocado or coconut oil)
  • Veggies: 6 or 7 cups TOTAL of any combination of the following vegetables
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Green Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Bell Pepper
  • Celery
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Mushrooms
  • Bamboo Shoots
  • Baby Corn
  • Snow Peas
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Bok Choy
  • You can use either fresh or frozen veggies. I will give you instructions for using both.
  • Noodles:
  • 16 oz of flat rice noodles, such as stir fry noodles or pad Thai noodles (You can sub plain fettuccini or spaghetti noodles if you’re not gluten free.)
  • Garnish:
  • Chopped green onions, toasted sesame seeds, or dry roasted peanuts

Directions

  1. Press the tofu (optional). Cut the tofu block in half or in thirds horizontally and spread out evenly on a clean thirsty kitchen towel. Wrap the towel over the tofu slices to cover them. Place a heavy book or plates as well as some other stable heavy objects on top and leave it to press for about 30 minutes.
  2. While you are waiting for the tofu to press, make your sauce. Just put all of the sauce ingredients into your slow cooker. It may seem like a lot of sauce ingredients, but trust me, you will need a lot of sauce.
  3. Wash and chop 6-7 cups of veggies of choice. If using frozen, you get to save time and skip this step 🙂 (I used a combo of fresh and frozen because that’s what I had on hand.)
  4. Dice the pressed tofu into 1/2″ squares and add it to the sauce ingredients in the slow cooker. Gently stir to cover completely in the sauce. If using fresh veggies, add them to the slow cooker NOW.
  5. Cook on high for 1 hour. (This is when I do my other chores or start to watch a movie.)
  6. Boil 4 cups of water.
  7. If using frozen veggies, add them to the slow cooker AFTER the tofu has cooked for 1 hour.
  8. Add the dry noodles along with the 4 cups of boiling water to the slow cooker.
  9. Cook on high for 15 to 30 more minutes, stirring noodles at least once to make sure they cook evenly. (Resume chores or movie.)
  10. Once the noodles have cooked to your liking, turn the dial to either Warm or Off and serve!
  11. Optional: Add your garnish (green onions, sesame seeds, or peanuts). I absolutely love the flavor and crunch of the dry roasted peanuts on top of this.

As always, if you need any ideas or suggestions for substitutions, send me a comment below! Have a great day!

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