This vegetarian version of Vegetable Lo Mein is a delicious slow-cooker meal. It takes 15 minutes of prep time and 4 hours 15 minutes of slow cooking. Feel free to substitute the tofu for chicken. Either way, it will quickly become a favorite for those rainy-night dinners.
1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce see notes
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce can substitute with gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos
2 teaspoons honey can substitute with agave
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce can substitute with gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon mirin or Chinese cooking wine Shaoxing or dry Sherry
1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes optional
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger minced
1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu
1/2 cup matchstick carrots
1 red bell pepper seeded, thinly sliced
1 cup snow peas trimmed
1/2 cup frozen edamame
2 cups fresh Lo Mein noodles or cooked whole-wheat spaghetti noodles (use gluten-free if necessary)
2 tablespoons cornstarch + 3 tablespoons cold water
sesame seeds optional; for garnish
Wipe the inside of the slow cooker with a small amount of extra-virgin olive oil
Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce in the slow cooker.
Add minced ginger and garlic.
Add the entire block of tofu to the bottom of the slow cooker.
Cook on low for 1-2 hours or high for 1 hour flipping halfway through.
Meanwhile, prepare noodles according to package directions, set aside.
Transfer tofu to a flat surface and cut into cubes. Add tofu and remaining vegetables to slow cooker, cover, and cook for 1 hour on high.
30 minutes before serving, add noodles into the slow cooker. To thicken the sauce, whisk together cornstarch and water in a small bowl and stir into the slow cooker.
Allow sauce to cool and thicken on high for 30 minutes.
Give everything a good stir to combine and coat with sauce.
Serve hot and garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.