I know what you’re thinking: how could sweet potato and stir fry be in the same sentence? Trust me, I was skeptical too, but after having too many sweet potatoes that might go to waste, I decided to stretch my horizons and make venison and sweet potato lo mein. What I produced was nothing short of amazing. (I’ll try not to hurt myself as I pat myself on the back.)
This dish’s taste is sweet and savory all at once. You’ll get a hint of sweet and sour that isn’t overwhelming, and you’ll enjoy the taste of five spice without it being too strong. This dish ends up being a tasty treat that you’ll want to make again and again.
The trick to making sweet potato stir fry is to somehow get the sweet potato cut up in tiny cook-able portions that will get done quickly when putting it in a wok or a frying pan. Many of the recipes I’ve seen cut the potatoes up in matchsticks, which is time consuming and not as good as using a vegetable spiralizer. While spiralizers can be a pain to operate, they’re a lot easier than cutting sweet potatoes into matchstick size pieces. Plus in lo mein, it stays with the texture of the noodles.
How to Operate a Vegetable Spiralizer
Operating a vegetable spiralizer is pretty straightforward. You get the vegetable cut to the maximum length of the open spiralizer. Then, you put the vegetable between the holder and the blades. Lastly, you turn the crank while pushing the vegetable toward the cutting blades. The vegetable comes out the other side in curlicue-type patterns. The reality is that the blades are incredibly sharp and you’ll cut the bejeebers out of your fingers if you touch them. In other words, don’t have kids anywhere near the thing.
Some Notes on Ingredients
This recipe calls for five spice powder. Lots of places make decent enough five spice powder, but if you want something that really tastes awesome, I highly recommend The Silk Road’s Chinese Five Spice Powder. Early in my quest for cooking decent Chinese recipes, I had bought a rather generic version of five spice and was incredibly disappointed in it.
I pretty much decided that five spice was out–until the guys at The Silk Road convinced me otherwise. The Silk Road was a restaurant which specialized in different exotic Eastern cuisines. I was at the local farmer’s market in Missoula and they were giving free samples of their cuisine with the spices. They sold me on Chinese Five Spice right there and then. These guys have actually gone to different countries to try their cuisines and come up with their own version of what they liked. They grind their own spices and sell them. They have been so successful at the spice blending and trade that they closed down their restaurant to focus on their spices. Yes, they’re that good.
I used two packages of beef ramen. If you’re a real purist, you’re going to want to use lo mein noodles and beef broth. In the end, either way works okay, and if you only have ramen on hand, that will work just fine. Just only use one of the beef flavoring packs and you won’t make your dish too salty.
Venison and Sweet Potato Lo Mein
- 2 packages Ramen noodles Can use lo mein noodles and broth as alternative
- 1-2 large Sweet potatoes
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 1 lb Venison round sliced into bite sized pieces
- 2 tsp Garlic powder
- 1/4 cup Soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tbsp Chinese five spice
- 1 16-oz Mixed vegetables Asian or regular type
- Cook ramen with one package of beef seasoning and enough water to cover the noodles. Set aside when cooked.
- Using a vegetable spiralizer, slice the raw sweet potatoes into spirals.
- Heat vegetable oil in wok or frying pan. Add venison and garlic powder.
- Cook venison on all sides.
- Add sweet potatoes and soy sauce. Stir fry until slightly cooked.
- Add rice vinegar, sugar, and five spice powder. Stir into the the venison and sweet potato mix.
- Add vegetables and stir, letting them cook until just barely crisp.
- Add reserved ramen and broth. Stir well and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to simmer the entire dish until the desired consistency is achieved.
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