Make the sauce: In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, sesame oil, sriracha, ground pepper, and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Keep them aside.
Cook the noodles: Bring the water to a boil in a large pot, cook the noodles according to package instructions. Be careful not to overcook - the noodles should be cooked until al dente (slightly undercooked). Once ready, drain the noodles in a colander, rinse with cold water, shake a few times to remove all water. Then toss the noodles with a little oil to prevent them from sticking to each other and set aside.
Stir-fry the vegetables: Heat a large wok, skillet, or pan over a high flame. Once heated enough, add oil. This step will prevent food from sticking to the pan. Add onion and garlic, saute for a couple of seconds. Add cabbage, carrot, and green peppers. Cook frequently stirring for 2-3 minutes over a high flame until the vegetables are tender.
Toss the noodles: Add noodles and sauce. Stir and toss over high flame for 1-2 minutes until the sauce coats evenly.
Serve: Remove from flame and serve immediately. For a nice flavor and crunch, you can garnish with some chopped spring onion greens and tossed sesame seeds if you like.
To make the cooking process quick and easy, preparing the ingredients ahead of time is very important. You need to have all ingredients ready before you start stir-frying.
You also need to make sure the vegetables are sliced thinly and uniformly. So that they cook faster and easier to eat.
Use a large and wide wok, pan, or skillet to allow the ingredients to fry, not steam.
It is important to ensure the pan gets enough hot before cooking to avoid food sticking to the pan.
Set the flame on high while cooking to get the restaurant-like smoky flavor.
Noodles: Chow mein is generally made with thin Chinese egg noodles, found in 3 forms - fresh(unsteamed), fresh(steamed), and dry. To keep chow mein vegan, use egg-less chow mein noodles or wheat noodles. You can find these noodles online or in Chinese or Asian grocery stores.
Vegetables: For this recipe, I have used cabbage, carrot, green bell pepper, onion, and garlic. These veggies are commonly used in chow mein. However, you can use ginger, mushrooms, broccoli, bean sprouts, spinach, snap peas, bok choy, red or yellow pepper. You can even use seasonal produce. Feel free to get creative and use veggies of your liking.
Cooking oil: Use a high smoke point cooking oil. I like to use peanut oil. But soybean oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil will also do.