The best healthy chicken lo mein recipe (237 calories)! It’s easy, quick, and so good you won’t need to order Chinese takeout!
There are three things that I start to crave if I go too long without eating them: cheeseburgers, pizza, and Chinese food. I’m wishing upon finishing that last sentence that at least one of those foods had been interesting.
The cheeseburger craving always gets knocked out with a shack stack at Shake Shack. (Don’t ever tell me Five Guys is better; it’s not and never will be). The pizza craving is almost too easy—come up on any street corner in New York City and you’re sure to find a good slice. Sad that I know this? Maybe. True? Yes. But the Chinese food craving…this one is more of a challenge to satisfy. It has to be eaten with Daniel and it has to be at a buffet.
When I met Daniel twelve years ago, I quickly learned that his favorite food in the entire world was Chinese. And he quickly learned not to order it with me, because I’d eat all the lo mein and all the crab rangoon. My tastes are very, very refined.
Today, we’re kind-of sort-of obsessed with Chinese buffets. Like, in-a-strip-mall, rethink-those-button-pants buffets. Where else can you get bottomless lo mein, crab rangoon, a mysterious yet delightful “banana” pudding, and crack open your fortune at the end? Nowhere.
But there’s no fooling ourselves at buffets. Even the vegetables are saucy and oily and sticky-sweet. So we own it: it’s a gut-buster. But every once in a while–like once every month or two–that’s so, so better than fine. Any more often than that, and we know we’re turning a good thing bad.
To keep me feeling satisfied between jaunts to our favorite Chinese spots, I make a healthier—but seriously delicious—version at home. The sauce is salty-sweet with just a touch of smokiness from toasted sesame oil and, shhh, a little barbecue sauce. To keep things light and low in calories, I loaded it with veggies and swapped traditional noodles for Shirataki noodles, which have so few calories you would be shocked (20 calories for a whole package!). If you’re not interested in trying these tofu noodles, or you’ve had them and they just weren’t for you, try spiralizing a summer squash or zucchini for just as few calories.
Friends, I hope you try this. I’m telling you, it will not disappoint :)
Easy Healthy Chicken Lo Mein Recipe
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoons barbecue sauce
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 garlic clove minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch optional, but it does aid in thickening the sauce
- 2 8- ounce packages House Foods Shirataki spaghetti noodles or 2 large zucchini, spiralized
- 3 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound chicken breast cut into thin strips
- 3 stalks celery very thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1 medium red bell pepper very thinly sliced
- 5 scallions sliced on the diagonal
- Make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce, barbecue sauce, sesame oil, clove of garlic, brown sugar, and corn starch. Set aside.
- Rinse and drain the Shirataki noodles well. Press them dry with a paper towel to get as much moisture out as possible. This will help to ensure the sauce sticks to them and doesn’t slip off.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate and wipe out the pan with paper towels.
- Return the pan to medium-high heat (turning it down if it begins to smoke) and add the remaining teaspoon of oil. Add the celery, bell pepper, and scallions, and cook, stirring frequently, until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Return the cooked chicken to the pan. Add the Shirataki noodles and the soy sauce mixture, tossing to coat all ingredients well, and let the pan cook until the sauce has thickened, about 2 minutes.