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Easy Prawns Lo Mein

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Lo Mein is a common and classic Chinese dish normally made with egg noodles and served with vegetables and meat or seafood like chicken, beef, pork, prawns or wontons. In Cantonese “lo” means “tossed” and “mein” means “noodles”. The noodles are boiled, drained, tossed and mixed with a brown sauce that is usually made with a combination of soy sauce, oyster sauce, Chinese rice wine, chicken broth, garlic, ginger and thickened with corn starch. Conventionally, lo mein is a dry version of noodle soup. The most well-known dish is Wonton noodle soup whereby the noodles and ingredients like meat, seafood or vegetables are served separately alongside the clear boiled wonton soup. For my gluten free recipe, I have made this Easy Prawns Lo Mein (30 minutes preparation time and 10 mins cooking time) using rice vermicelli (thin rice noodles) boiled and tossed with a soy free brown sauce made with blackstrap molasses, coconut aminos, sesame oil, medium dry sherry and salt. And my main ingredients are cooked large King prawns, cucumber, carrots, capsicums, spring onion (shallot), ginger and garlic. This recipe is not only gluten free and soy free, it is also dairy free, egg free, nut free and refined sugar free. In addition, this Easy Prawns Lo Mein is a perfect addition to your holiday entertaining for family and friends.

The history of Lo Mein dated all the way back to the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 220A.D.) and it was invented in China as a wheat flour noodles dish. Even though it is not clear who created the method of combining flour with water to make noodles, it is evident that noodles are an important food staple in the Chinese diet and they have been consuming noodles for more than 2,000 years. Noodles are virtually always served full-length as they symbolise longevity and prosperity particularly for birthdays and during Chinese New Year. In Southeast Asia especially Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand, many street food noodles have adapted Lo Mein to the local tastebuds, offering both variations of noodle soup and dry noodles. Some examples of popular noodles that can be served dry or in soup are bbq pork and wonton noodles, stuffed tofu (Yong Tau Foo) noodles, fish balls and fish cakes noodles, chicken or pork (thinly sliced or minced) with vegetables clear soup noodles, pan mee noodles, pork balls or beef balls noodles, etc. Common types of noodles used today for Lo Mein can be wheat flour noodles, egg noodles, rice noodles (vermicelli or rice sticks), tear drops noodles, Hokkien noodles, hor fun (kway teow), wonton noodles, etc. The method of preparing for Lo Mein is for the noodles to be boiled for around 3 minutes and then tossed with a brown sauce. Not to be confused with Chow Mein which means fried noodles, normally stir-fried or deep fried for crispy noodles.

Prawns or shrimps are an all-time favourite and crucial type of seafood that is eaten globally. Prawns are normally used in British English and shrimps are used in United States English. Generally, prawn is used to refer to larger prawns and shrimp is used for those that are small in size. Today, prawns and shrimps are often used interchangeably. Prawns (Aristaeomorpha foliacea) are a type of shellfish called Crustaceans, just like crabs, crayfish, lobsters and scampi. They have bodies that are compacted from side to side, slim and translucent exoskeleton, lengthy antennae and ten long legs and fan-shaped tail. They are found in both fresh as well as salt water. Prawns are a member of the order decapod and categorised in the infraorder Caridea. In culinary uses, prawns are very versatile and can be steamed, baked, boiled, stir-fried, pan-fried, deep-fried and grilled. Choose prawns that smell fresh, firm shells, clean and moist looking. Stay away from prawns that appears dry, with black spots and has cracked shells.

As a result of prawns’ numerous nutritional values, they are deemed to be one of the world’s healthiest food by a diversity of food and health experts. Prawns are an excellent source of protein and are high in calcium but low in food energy. In fact, prawns has high quality protein that includes all the nine amino acids in the precise ratio for the human body to function correctly. In addition, prawns contain roughly the same amount of protein as comparable amount of chicken or beef. Prawns are low in calories (much less than chicken or beef) and are also a superb source of selenium, phosphorus, copper, iodine, choline and vitamin B12. They are also a good source of zinc, Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6, vitamin A and vitamin E. Although prawns comprise above average quantities of cholesterol, the majority of their fat content is healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids and particularly Omega-3 fatty acid. Furthermore, prawns are a distinctive source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory carotenoid nutrient called astaxanthin. Health benefits of prawns include: lower blood pressure; decrease risks of cardiovascular diseases; boost the body’s immune system; promote healthy skin; support strong muscles; bones; help reduce risks of cancer especially colon cancer; assist in a healthy central nervous system; lower risks of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia; aid in weight loss management.

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2 Responses

  1. Charlotte Rice
    | Reply

    So Easy to make and very tasty. Love prawns! :)

    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. Mindy
    | Reply

    I am glad that I came across this recipe, so simple to make. Tried it and absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing! ????

    Rating: 5 / 5

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