In the majority of grocery stores, mein noodles will likely be in the international foods aisle with most of the other Asian food items and some Hispanic items. A few grocery stores, though, prefer to keep the noodles with the other dry pasta in the pasta aisle.
Those in the market for pre-cooked lo mein noodles might check one of the store’s refrigerated sections where they keep their tofu and wontons.
Any of the following chain grocery stores will have mein noodles available for purchase:
- Whole Foods
- Trader Joe’s
For those shoppers who would prefer to order the noodles from the convenience of their couch, most of these grocery store chains have delivery services available through their website or apps.
Otherwise, apps like Instacart and Doordash allow customers to place a delivery order from a variety of grocery stores in the area. Simply search for mein noodles on the apps as well as the rest of the necessary ingredients to cook them.
Another option is to take a trip to the nearest Asian food market. Shelves of traditional Asian foods and snacks line the walls of these markets, and mein noodles are no exception.
Additionally, some shoppers at local farmers’ markets may luck out and find that there are vendors selling lo mein noodles. Those who are very lucky may find that they also sell freshly-sourced vegetables to add to any noodle recipe.
For noodle-seekers who cannot seem to find mein noodles anywhere that they look, there is always the option to make their own mein noodles at home.
To make homemade mein noodles, or “egg noodles,” purchase the following ingredients at the grocery store instead:
- Bread flour or all-purpose flour
Prepare a mixer, a pasta roller, a dough sheet, and a noodle cutter. Keep in mind when cutting the noodles that thick noodles are ideal for stir fry while thin noodles do best in soups.
Otherwise, head out to the international food section of the nearest grocery store to take home some packages of pre-made mein noodles.
Before cooking them, store mein noodles as any other dry pasta.
This means that they should stay in a cool and dry place. For most people, this means keeping the mein noodles in the pantry or in a cabinet.
Some choose to keep the noodles in the package that they come in, while others opt to move them to their own containers. Either method is fine, as long as any new container is clean and dry.
The dry noodles can stay in this environment for up to a year, which means that there is plenty of time to cook them.
For those who have already cooked the noodles and are looking to store the leftovers, the noodles should stay in the refrigerator until they are ready to eat. Keep in mind that leftover mein noodles can stay in the fridge for three to four days before going bad, so act fast.
To extend the lifetime of the mein noodles after cooking them, simply transfer them to the freezer. The cooked noodles will stay fresh in the freezer for up to three months.
When it is time to eat the noodles, begin the defrosting process by placing them in the fridge for a few hours before reheating. This will allow the noodles to retain their flavor and texture.
There are quite a few tasty recipes to use mein noodles in.
The most common use of mein noodles is in a stir-fried noodle dish. Stir-fried noodles are very versatile because there are so many ingredients that work great in the dish.
Bokchoy, okra, onions, broccoli, bell peppers, mushroom, carrots, peas, and snow peas are some of the most common vegetables for stir-fry. When it comes to protein, it is common to use chicken, shrimp, pork, eggs, tofu, or beef.
Fish sauce, sesame seeds, sesame oil, tamari or soy sauce, and chili flakes are also common stir-fry ingredients, most of which can also be found in the international foods aisle or with the seasonings.
Another common use of mein noodles, especially thinner noodles, is in soups. The type of soup is totally up to the cook, as mein noodles will work well with many different recipes.
One example of an easy soup is a One-Pot Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup. Amongst the ingredients are cabbage, chicken, soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and of course, mein noodles.
The internet has hundreds of recipes that use mein noodles available online.
For those shoppers who cannot get their hands on mein noodles and who cannot cook their own from scratch, one of the best substitutes is rice noodles.
Rice noodles, or rice sticks, are also likely to be in the international foods aisle of the grocery store. Water, rice flour, and salt are the primary ingredients in rice noodles.
Use rice noodles for stir-fry or soups, just like mein noodles. They are ideal for people who cannot eat the egg in lo mein or the wheat flour in chow mein.
If wheat flour is not an issue, though, try out Chop Suey noodles, which can easily fulfill all of the same purposes as mein noodles.
For soups and stews, ramen noodles are also a great substitute for mein noodles. Ramen comes in many forms and cooks can prepare it in many different ways, either hot or cold.
Water and durum semolina are the main ingredients of Vermicelli noodles, which is another great replacement for mein noodles. Just like the rest of the noodles, cooks can either stirfry or boil the Vermicelli noodles into a soup.