Home Topical Food Chow Mein Recipe (7 variations)

Chow Mein Recipe (7 variations)

Chow Mein Recipe is a popular Chinese dish that has gained immense popularity in many parts of the world. It is a stir-fried noodle dish loaded with fresh vegetables and meat with a savoury sauce. The dish’s distinct texture and flavour make it a favourite among Chinese food lovers. 

In this article, we will explore the different ingredients required to make Chow Mein, the step-by-step process of preparing the dish, and some variations you can try to add your unique twist to this classic dish. So, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned cook, this article is for you. Get ready to learn how to make the perfect Chow Mein at home!

Easy chow mein recipe
Chow mein


The ingredients for making Chow Mein

The ingredients required to make Chow Mein can vary depending on personal preferences and the type of Chow Mein being prepared. However, the following are some of the commonly used ingredients:

  1. Noodles

Chow Mein noodles are available in different sizes and shapes. You can use fresh or dried noodles, depending on your preference.

  1. Meat

Chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp are popular meat options for Chow Mein. You can use one or a combination of these meats.

  1. Vegetables

Cabbage, carrots, onions, bell peppers, and bean sprouts are commonly used vegetables in Chow Mein. However, you can also use other vegetables such as snow peas, mushrooms, and bok choy.

  1. Sauce

A combination of soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, and sesame oil is commonly used to make the Chow Mein sauce. Other flavourings, such as garlic, ginger, and chili flakes, can also be added.

  1. Oil

A neutral vegetable or canola oil is best for stir-frying noodles and vegetables.

  1. Seasonings

Salt and black pepper are commonly used to season meat and vegetables.

  1. Garnish

Chopped scallions, cilantro, or sesame seeds can garnish the dish.

These ingredients will enable you to prepare delicious Chow Mein in the comfort of your home.

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Ingredients for Chow Mein

The first step in making a delicious Chow Mein is to gather all the ingredients. For this recipe, you will need:

  • 1 pound of Chow Mein noodles
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger, grated
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup of cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup of carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup of bean sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

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Ingredients for chow mein sauce

  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper

It is important to have all the ingredients ready before you start cooking. Make sure to wash and chop the vegetables and set them aside.

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chow mein

Preparing the Chow Mein noodles

The next step is to prepare the Chow Mein noodles. Add the noodles in a large pot of boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes or until al dente. Drain the water and rinse the noodles with cold water to prevent them from sticking together. Drizzle some vegetable oil over the noodles and toss to coat them evenly. Set the noodles aside.

Preparing Chow Mein Sauce

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, chicken or vegetable broth, sugar, and black pepper until well combined.
  2. Set the sauce aside until ready to use.

Cooking the Chow Mein

  • Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large wok or skillet. 
  • Add the onions, garlic, and ginger and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes or until the onions are translucent. 
  • Add the red bell pepper, cabbage, carrots, and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the bean sprouts and stir-fry for another minute. 
  • Add the Chow Mein noodles to the wok and toss them with the vegetables. 
  • Drizzle the soy sauce and oyster sauce over the noodles and toss to coat them evenly. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tips for Making Chow Mein

Here are some tips to help you make the best Chow Mein:

  1. Use fresh ingredients

Fresh ingredients will enhance the flavour and texture of the dish. Use fresh vegetables, meat, and noodles for the best results.

  1. Cut ingredients into even sizes

Cut the vegetables and meat into uniform sizes to cook evenly and make the dish look more appealing.

  1. Cook the noodles al dente

Cook the noodles until they are just tender but still slightly firm to the bite. Overcooked noodles can turn mushy and spoil the texture of the dish.

  1. Stir-fry over high heat

Stir-fry the ingredients over high heat to create the signature smoky flavour of the dish. This will also prevent the ingredients from becoming soggy.

  1. Use a wok or a large skillet

A wok or a large skillet is ideal for stir-frying Chow Mein as it allows for even heat distribution and ample space to toss the ingredients.

  1. Do not overcrowd the pan

Overcrowding the pan can cause the ingredients to steam instead of stir-fry. Stir-fry in small batches if necessary.

  1. Do not over-sauce

Too much sauce can make the dish soggy and overpower the flavours. Use the sauce sparingly and adjust the seasoning as needed.

  1. Garnish with fresh herbs

Adding fresh herbs like cilantro or scallions can add freshness and flavour to the dish.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your Chow Mein turns out perfectly every time.

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Chow Mein Recipe Variation

Chow Mein is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Here are some popular Chow Mein recipe variations:

Vegetable Chow Mein

healthy vegan chow mein

The dish is packed with nutrients, fibre, and flavour, making it a great choice for vegetarians or anyone looking for a meatless meal. The vegetables used in Vegetable Chow Mein can vary depending on personal preference, but common choices include cabbage, carrots, onions, bell peppers, bean sprouts, and mushrooms.

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Chicken Chow Mein

Stir-fry chicken chow mein

Chicken Chow Mein recipe is a delicious and savoury dish that features tender pieces of diced chicken stir-fried with vegetables and noodles in a flavorful Chow Mein sauce. The dish is perfect for meat lovers and is popular at many Asian restaurants.

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Shrimp Chow Mein


This version includes shrimp that is stir-fried with vegetables and noodles. The shrimp can be seasoned with soy sauce, garlic, and chili flakes for added flavour.

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Beef Chow Mein

One of the best things about this variation is its versatility. Add vegetables like mushrooms, snow peas, or bean sprouts to the dish to add texture and flavour. Beef Chow Mein recipe is a savoury and delicious dish that features tender slices of beef stir-fried with vegetables and noodles in a flavorful Chow Mein sauce.

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Spicy Chow Mein

This variation includes chilli flakes or Sriracha sauce in the Chow Mein sauce to add heat and spice.

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Seafood Chow Mein

Chicken Chow Mein recipe is a delicious and savoury dish that features tender pieces of diced chicken stir-fried with vegetables and noodles in a flavorful Chow Mein sauce. The dish is perfect for meat lovers and is popular at many Asian restaurants.

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Lo Mein

Vegetable lo mein

This dish resembles Chow Mein, but the noodles are boiled instead of stir-fried. The noodles are then tossed with stir-fried vegetables, meat, and sauce.

You can create a unique Chow Mein recipe variation that suits your taste preferences by experimenting with different ingredients and flavours.

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Chow Mein Serving Suggestions

Chow Mein is a versatile dish that can be served in various ways. Here are some serving suggestions:

Serve as a main dish

Chow Mein makes for a filling and satisfying main dish on its own. Simply plate the noodles, vegetables, and protein, and drizzle the sauce on top.

Pair with rice

If you want to add extra carbs to your meal, serve the Chow Mein with steamed rice.

Add some crunch

For added texture, top your Chow Mein with crunchy toppings like chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, or crispy fried noodles.

Garnish with fresh herbs

Add some fresh herbs like cilantro, green onions, or Thai basil to your Chow Mein for a burst of flavour and colour.

Serve as a side dish

If you’re hosting a larger meal, Chow Mein can make for a great side dish. Pair it with other Asian-inspired dishes like dumplings or spring rolls.

Make it a soup

If you have leftover Chow Mein, you can transform it into a tasty noodle soup by adding some broth and additional veggies.

No matter how you choose to serve it, Chow Mein is a delicious and versatile dish that’s sure to please everyone at the table.

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In conclusion, Chow Mein is a tasty and versatile dish that can be customized to suit your preferences. Whether you prefer a vegetarian or meat-based version, there are countless ways to make Chow Mein recipe your own by adding your favourite ingredients and adjusting the level of spice or sweetness to your taste.

Making Chow Mein at home is also a great way to experiment with different flavours and textures, and it’s a fun and easy dish to prepare for family and friends. With just a few key ingredients and some simple steps, you can create a delicious and satisfying meal that will surely become your household’s favourite.

So why not try making this Chow Mein recipe at home and see how easy and delicious it can be? With the right ingredients and a little practice, you can create your own version of this classic dish that’s sure to impress.

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FAQS on Chow Mein Recipe

What is chow mein sauce made of?

There are many variations of chow mein but this chow mein is made with noodles, cabbage, celery, green onions, and garlic. Chow Mein sauce is made with sesame oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, ginger, brown sugar, and cornstarch.

What is usually in chow mein?

Chow Mein is a stir-fried dish consisting of noodles, meat (chicken is most common but pork, beef, shrimp, or tofu sometimes being substituted), onions, and celery. 

What makes it chow mein?

The thing that distinguishes Chow Mein from other stir-fried noodles is the type of noodles used. Chow Mein noodles are thin crinkly looking noodles that are lightly coated in flour.

Do you boil chow mein noodles before frying?

When using dried Chinese egg noodles, boil them until just tender. You want them to be able to hold their shape when stir-frying. Undercook them slightly, about 1 minute less than the package instructions say. Taste and test the texture and continue cooking if needed.

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