Turnip Lo Mein

Posted on Posted in Blog, Recipes

Turnip Lo Mein RecipeGrain-Free, Paleo-Friendly, AIP modifications


When you go grain-free, you start missing noodles, especially in Asian-inspired meals. There are a lot of ‘noodle’ options out there, but they all left me wanting in some way. Some were too starchy (like the sweet potato noodles you can buy at Asian markets), or had a texture I didn’t like (kelp noodles come to mind).

Then just a few weeks ago, I caved and bought a Spiralizer. Making veggie noodles has been all the rage for a while, so I’m pretty late to get aboard that train. I had a fun time making the most popular veggie noodle – zucchini noodles, or ‘zoodles’. Now don’t get me wrong, zoodles are great, but they really don’t hold up well when you cook them. If you aren’t careful, you’re left with a bunch of mush really quickly. And I definitely don’t want that for my clients’ meals or my own.

A few weeks ago, I was digging through my fridge to find the perfect vegetable for a noodle substitute. I pulled some turnips out of one of the drawers and gave it a spin on the spiralizer. I remembered that Ali from Inspiralized had previously used turnip noodles in a ramen recipe, but I wondered how they would hold up after being heated in a pan. I decided to give them a quick stir-fry to see how they held up after cooking. And. They. Were. Perfect. I quickly made some Asian noodles as quickly as I possibly could and I now make them every chance I can get.

turnip lo mein (2 of 13)

Besides the turnip noodles, the real star of this dish is the cooking fat – lard. I recently rendered my own lard from fatback from a pastured pig we got from Green Button Farm. I’ll post my steps for rendering lard soon, but it is SO simple and you should definitely use lard for this dish. If you don’t have any lard or have fatback to make your own, I’d recommend finding a butcher who sources high quality animals and asking if they have any lard for sale (check out Rose’s Meat Market and Sweet Shop if you’re in the Triangle for some great pastured lard). If you don’t have a way of using lard, you Could substitute coconut oil, just know that it won’t have the same flavor.

turnip lo mein (9 of 13)

AIP Friends!

I wanted to provide some subs to this recipe to make it AIP friendly. They are in brackets in the recipe below. Since adding a little heat is pivotal to this dish, those following AIP might want to look into using a wasabi/horseradish powder that doesn’t have any preservatives or grain (like this one). I purposely didn’t put an amount for this ingredient because every powder is a little different. Add a little to fit your taste!

Last, I recommend doubling the recipe below. Trust me, you’ll want more! I hope you enjoy!

Turnip Lo Mein

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Serving Size: 2 Servings

Turnip Lo Mein


  • 2 large turnips
  • 1-2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ginger, minced
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. pastured lard
  • 2 tsp. coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp. rice wine vinegar [can substitute ½ tsp. white vinegar + ½ tsp. water for AIP]
  • ½-1 tsp. compliant sriracha or ¼ tsp. chili flakes [sub. wasabi/horseradish powder to taste for AIP]
  • handful cilantro (sub green onion if you wish)
  • ½ tsp. sesame seeds [omit for AIP]


  1. Cut the ends off of each turnip and peel skin with a vegetable peeler.
  2. Make narrow noodles with your spiralizer (I cut the noodles every 4-5 turns so I don't end up with super long noodles).
  3. Mince garlic and ginger (I used a microplane).
  4. In a skillet or wok, heat lard at medium-high heat.
  5. Once the fat is hot, add the ginger and move it around quickly in the fat.
  6. The ginger will begin to brown very quickly, so add the garlic and give a stir to it.
  7. Once the garlic starts browning, add in the turnip noodles.
  8. You want to keep the noodles moving in the pan so that all of the noodles come in contact with the heat and fat. Continuously turn the noodles (I used two spoons to toss the noodles as they cooked.
  9. Add salt to the noodles and continue to cook/toss for about 5 minutes.
  10. Add coconut aminos and vinegar. You can either add the sriracha now, or wait and add it at the end.
  11. Continue tossing until noodles reach desired tenderness (about another 2-5 minutes).
  12. Plate noodles, top with sriracha, chili flakes, cilantro, and sesame seeds.
  13. Enjoy!
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