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Asking who invented pasta, the Chinese or Italians, is like asking which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Let's be civil and credit both for providing us with more carbohydrate goodness than any of us need in a lifetime. In Italian, pasta is a generic term for noodles. In Chinese, noodles are simply "mein." So chow mein means "fried noodles," and lo mein means "tossed noodles." The latter dish, along with flank steak, was what reader Deidra Meibos was after from Indochine Vietnamese Bistro.

Despite the name, Indochine also serves pan-Asian dishes. Mi (noodles) Xao (tossed or sauteed) is the Vietnamese translation of lo mein, and the kitchen makes a hearty and delicious version of the dish. Indochine's lo mein comes with fresh egg noodles, cabbage, bean sprouts, onions, carrots, green onions and an umami-laden soy-oyster sauce that's tossed in a searingly hot wok, giving the dish smoky notes as well.

If you'd rather eat Indochine Vietnamese Bistro's version — add flank steak, chicken, pork or shrimp — visit the restaurant at 230 S. 1300 East, Salt Lake City; 801-582-0896. More information at

Requests • Reader Angela Zrno would like the recipe for the former restaurant River's house salad, which had fried goat cheese along with a honey dressing.

Ellen Toscano would like the recipe for the New Yorker's cheese and potato soup.

Reader Sid McOmie would like the ribs and sauce recipes from La Frontera.

Larry Geigle would like the recipe for salsa from Restaurant Morelia.

Wendi Miller craves the spicy rice with lemongrass chile chicken at Mi La Cai Noodle House.

Send requests or responses to, or c/o The Salt Lake Tribune, 90 S. 400 West, Suite 700, Salt Lake City, UT 84101. —

Beef lo mein


3/4 pound flank steak

1 tablespoon soy sauce

11/2 teaspoons cornstarch


2 tablespoons oyster sauce

2 teaspoons dark soy sauce

4 tablespoons beef broth

1 teaspoon sugar


8 ounces thin egg noodles

1 teaspoon sesame oil

4 tablespoons oil for stir-frying, or as needed

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces

4 green onions, root-end removed and cut into thirds

1/2 small onion, cut into wedges

1/2 cup chopped cabbage, such as Napa

1/2 cup bean sprouts

Cut the beef across the grain into thin strips. In a small bowl, add the soy sauce, corn starch and beef and marinate for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, beef broth, and sugar.

Fill a large saucepan with enough lightly salted water to cover the noodles. Bring to a boil. Add the noodles and cook, uncovered, until they are al dente. Use chopsticks or a wooden spoon to separate the noodles while they are cooking. Drain the noodles and toss with the sesame oil.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. Add beef. Brown briefly, then stir-fry until it changes color and is almost cooked. Remove from pan.

Add another 2 tablespoons oil to the wok. When the oil is hot, add the garlic. Stir-fry until fragrant, then add carrots, green onions and onion wedges. Stir-fry for about 1 minute, then add shredded cabbage and cook 1 minute. Add the bean sprouts and cook for 1 minute more. Add noodles and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add sauce to the wok. Return beef to the pan. Mix everything together and serve hot.

Serves • 4

Source: Rhonda Parkinson,