Gon Lo Mein
Oh man, Gon Lo Mein!
This is one of my all-time favorite noodle dishes to eat. My parents made this dish for us often growing up. Kids and adults go crazy for these noodles.
It takes 15-minutes to prepare and always hits the spot.
What does the name Gon Lo Mein mean?
- Gon - dry
- Lo - toss/mix
- Mein - noodles
Together it means dry tossed noodles. The boiled noodles are tossed (not stir-fried) in a savory sauce. Then you eat it! Super easy.
(It's called "gon/dry" because there's just enough sauce to coat the noodles, but it's not a saucy/wet dish.)
The dish is made with fresh thin egg noodles. It's the same type of noodles used for wonton mein.
Note from a local: Many of the Chinese in Hawaii are Cantonese, which is why we have great Cantonese restaurants. And tasty Cantonese home cooking ^_^
Why This Recipe Works
Do you love garlic? Then you'll LOVE this dish.
Gon Lo Mein calls for an entire head of garlic. We mince and then sauté till it's golden and crisp. The garlic adds incredible flavor to the egg noodles.
This recipe is a no brainer. Mix the sauce (sautéed garlic, oyster sauce, and soy sauce). Then boil the noodles. Toss the noodles in the sauce and eat!
The noodles are perfectly springy and coated in a silky, garlicky sauce. It's full of umami flavors and you just can't stop eating it. One bowl after another and another! It's very moreish ^_^
Gon Lo Mein can be a stand alone entree (hello, simple weeknight dinner!) Or it can be made complete with a vegetable and/or meat side.
Thin Egg Noodles
First option is at Chinese supermarkets. This is the most common option and what we usually do in Honolulu. Go to any Chinatown grocery store and you'll find these pre-packaged noodles in the refrigerated section.
Section option is to check noodle shops and restaurants. Some mainland restaurants make their own noodles and will sell it to you by the pound (Hon's Wun-Tun House in San Francisco is a great spot for this). There are currently no places that make this noodle fresh in Honolulu but I will be sure to update if a place opens up!
Tip: Make sure to purchase thin egg noodles (which are sometimes sold as "thin wonton noodles"). Do not buy thin chow mein noodles (which look similar but are meant to be stir fried).
Lots and lots of minced garlic!
Step by Step Directions
This is a pretty easy and straightforward recipe. Here's how:
Mix the oyster sauce and soy sauce together in a small bowl. Set it aside.
Tip: You only need a splash of soy sauce. The main flavor here is oyster sauce, but because oyster sauce is so thick, the soy sauce helps to make it thinner and easier to mix.
Get a pan and turn it to medium-high heat. Sauté the garlic in oil (we use olive oil, feel free to use any other neutral oil) until golden. Stir in the oyster sauce and soy sauce mixture. Turn off the heat.
Bring a pot of water to a boil (try boil the water while you're sautéing the garlic so that it's ready to go ahead of time). Cook the noodles for 20-30 seconds.
Use chopsticks to stir and separate the noodles while cooking. This is to make sure the noodles don’t stick together.
Tip: 30 seconds cooking max. It's VERY important not to overcook these noodles! Perfectly springy and al dente is what we aim for. Better to err on the side of undercooking than overcooking.
Drain immediately and toss with the garlic-oyster sauce-soy sauce mixture in the pan. It's ready to eat ^_^
FAQs and Tips
Best to eat it the day of. It will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days, but the noodles will get much softer after you reheat it.
This makes a great meal prep dish. You can double or even triple the sauce recipe and just keep it in a jar (it will keep for up to a week).
And then whenever you want to eat the noodles, just boil a serving of noodles for 20-30 seconds. Drain the noodles and toss it with a spoonful of the prepared sauce. Ready to eat!
We usually serve these noodles with Pocket Eggs or side of boiled Pork Wontons (use any wonton or dumplings you have available, we keep a bunch in the freezer). It's also great with homemade fish balls!
You can also add a side vegetable dish. Think braised cabbage, Garlic and Fish Sauce Ong Choy, or Garlic and Ginger Green Beans. Something simple, straightforward, and tasty.
Gon Lo Mein Recipe
See below and enjoy ^_^
- Mix the oyster sauce and soy sauce together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a pan over medium-high heat, saute the garlic in oil until fragrant and golden. Stir in the oyster sauce and soy sauce mixture. Turn off the heat.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles for 20-30 seconds. Use chopsticks to stir and separate the noodles while cooking. Make sure the noodles don’t stick together.
- Drain immediately and toss with the garlic sauce in the pan. Ready to eat ^_^
- Cook the noodles 20 seconds for al dente noodles. Do not cook longer than 30 seconds. It is very important to not overcook these noodles.