Comfort Food From My Childhood - Chinese Noodle Soup with Egg and Vegetables {Da Lu Mein}

Chinese Noodles with Egg and Vegetables ("Da Lu Mein")One of the simplest and fondest memories of a quick meal from my childhood was my dad's Da Lu Mein, or Chinese Noodle Soup with Egg and Vegetables. So simple, yet so comforting.

I haven't made this noodle soup in a while, but it's been a rough couple of weeks, and I was craving a bowl of this thick, luscious Chinese noodle soup, pure comfort in a bowl.

At its most basic, my dad would open up a can of Chinese mixed vegetables and gluten (also known as seitan) and throw it in a pot with some fresh vegetables and broth. After thickening this mixture with a cornstarch slurry, he would stir in a beaten egg. This luscious mixture would be served over a bowl of noodles. Sometimes, if we had leftover chicken or seafood from our annual tradition of Chinese Hot Pot for New Years, my dad would throw this in.

The can of Chinese mixed vegetables and gluten comes in lots of different flavorings, and with different combinations of vegetables. My favorite includes bamboo shoots and mushrooms.
It's not always obvious from the label that there's gluten. The best way to tell is to read the ingredient label.Although not apparent from the label on the can, if you take a look at the ingredient label, you will see gluten clearly listed as an ingredient.
Look for cans that include other vegetables such as bamboo shoots, mushrooms and carrots.Beware for anyone allergic to gluten, that yes, this is in fact the protein that celiacs are allergic to. For everyone else, gluten is a high protein vegetarian food, often used in Chinese vegetarian cooking. I'm not sure how much seitan costs in the regular supermarkets, but I would guess that a can of gluten from a local Asian market would be a lot less. I bought a can of curry braised gluten for less than $2, and I'm sure it would have been even less in Chinatown.

Chinese Noodles with Egg and Vegetables ("Da Lu Mein")Feel free to add any leftover chicken, seafood or vegetables. It's a great way to clean out the refrigerator.
Da Lu Mein makes a quick and comforting meal.
Printable Recipe
1 can mixed vegetables and gluten
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups napa cabbage, sliced thinly
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
1 egg, beaten
1 16-ounce pack of cooked Chinese egg noodles
sesame oil, for serving
chopped scallion, for garnish

Pour can of mixed vegetables and gluten and chicken broth in a medium saucepan. Add napa cabbage and cook 2-3 minutes on medium heat until cabbage is tender and soup is hot.  Stir together cornstarch and water. Slowly stir cornstarch slurry into soup, stirring until mixture is thickened (add until you reach the desired thickness). Using a fork, stir in the beaten egg until ribbons form.

Heat egg noodles in a pot of boiling water for a minute; remove and drain. Portion out noodles into soup bowls. Ladle egg and vegetable mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with sesame oil and top with chopped scallion.

Serves 2-3.

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