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Discover a delicious Chow Mein recipe and learn how to make this popular Chinese dish at home. Follow our step-by-step guide for a flavorful and satisfying meal.

If you love Asian inspired recipes as much as we do, try our Crockpot Orange ChickenGround Turkey Teriyaki Rice Bowl, or Egg Fried Rice.

An overhead shot of vegetables and chow mein in a skillet
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About This Recipe

An authentic Chow Mein recipe is a beloved Chinese dish that has gained immense popularity worldwide. Its name, which translates to “fried noodles” in Mandarin, perfectly describes the essence of this delicious stir-fried dish.

Why We Love It:

  • Fresh and flavorful – It’s known for its flavorful combination of noodles, fresh vegetables, and often, tender meats or seafood.
  • Versatile – Its popularity stems from its versatility, as it can be adapted to suit various tastes and dietary preferences. Whether you prefer a vegetarian version loaded with crisp vegetables or a meaty variation with succulent chicken, beef, or shrimp, there’s something for everyone.
  • Stir-fried noodles – The noodles are typically stir-fried until slightly crispy, offering a delightful contrast to the tender vegetables and protein.
  • Savory sauce – The sauce, often a combination of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and other seasonings, coats the ingredients with a savory umami taste that leaves you craving more.

Chow Mein Ingredients

  1. Noodles: These are the star of the dish, providing the foundation and texture. They can be found in both fresh and dried forms and are typically made from wheat flour or egg-based dough.
  2. Vegetables: Today we are using scallions, mushrooms, bok choy, and celery. These vegetables add crunch, color, and nutritional value to the dish.
  3. Protein: This dish can feature various proteins such as chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, or tofu. The protein is usually sliced into small pieces and stir-fried along with the vegetables. Feel free to add any of these protein options to the finished dish.
  4. The Sauce: The sauce is a crucial element that brings all the flavors together. This recipe includes a combination of soy sauce, oyster sauce, mirin, brown sugar, cornstarch, and sesame oil. The sauce provides a savory, umami-rich taste to the dish.
  5. Flavor: Occasionally additional ingredients are added to balance and bring flavor to the dish. Things like fresh garlic and fresh ginger, sesame oil, or rice vinegar.
  6. Cooking Oil: A neutral oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil or peanut oil, is commonly used for stir-frying the ingredients.

Optional ingredients can include additional seasonings or garnishes like ginger, garlic, chili sauce, sesame seeds, or cilantro to further enhance the flavor and presentation of the dish.

Feel free to customize the ingredients based on your preferences and dietary requirements to make it your own signature recipe.

A bowl of vegetable chow mein with chopsticks

How To Make Chow Mein

  • Make the sauce – Whisk together oyster sauce, soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, cornstarch, and sesame oil in a bowl. Set aside.
  • Cook the noodles – Prepare noodles according to the package instructions. Once cooked, set them aside.
  • Prepare the skillet – Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Garlic and ginger – Add minced garlic and grated ginger to the hot oil and stir fry until fragrant.
  • Add vegetables – Add the white parts of scallions, sliced celery, and mushrooms to the wok and Stir fry until tender. Toss in the bok choy and cook for an additional minute until it wilts slightly.
  • Combine everything – Add the cooked noodles and the prepared sauce to the wok. Stir fry everything together for a minute, then toss to coat. Add the green scallions at the end for freshness and flavor.


What are the essential ingredients?

The right noodles are essential, but an authentic recipe will include a protein, like chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp, vegetables like cabbage, bok choy, mushrooms, carrots, and bean sprouts, aromatics like fresh garlic and ginger to add depth of flavor and fragrance to the dish.

The sauce is a crucial part of the recipe and consists of ingredients such as oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, and sometimes a touch of sugar or cornstarch to thicken. A neutral cooking oil with a high smoke point like vegetable or peanut oil are commonly used.

How long does it take to cook?

The cooking time can vary depending on the specific recipe and cooking method used. Generally, the process of stir-frying takes around 10-15 minutes once the ingredients are prepped. Prep work takes about 15-20 minutes, chopping all of the vegetables and cooking the noodles.

What are some popular optional additions?

Some popular additions include bean sprouts, carrots, snow peas, green onions, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, cabbage, or shredded chicken.

Can I use different types of noodles?

Here are a few alternative noodle options you can consider: Egg noodles, rice noodles, soba noodles, udon noodles, and even spaghetti would work as alternatives.

an overhead close up shot of vegetable chow mien

Optional Additions and Variations

You can customize this versatile dish to suit your personal taste. Here are some optional additions and variations you can consider:

  1. Protein Options: Add your choice of protein such as sliced chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, or tofu to make it a heartier meal. Cook the protein separately before adding it to the stir-fried vegetables and noodles.
  2. Vegetable Variations: Aside from the traditional vegetables like cabbage, bok choy, and mushrooms, you can include other favorites like bean sprouts, bell peppers, carrots, snow peas, or broccoli. These additions will provide more color, texture, and nutritional variety.
  3. Flavorful Seasonings: Enhance the taste by adding extra seasonings like garlic powder, chili flakes, or Chinese five-spice powder. Adjust the amounts according to your desired level of spiciness or flavor intensity.
  4. Sauces and Condiments: Experiment with different sauces and condiments to elevate the flavors. Consider adding a drizzle of hoisin sauce, chili sauce, or Sriracha for a touch of heat and tanginess.
  5. Noodle Choices: Explore options like rice noodles, udon noodles, or even spaghetti noodles for a unique twist.
  6. Garnishes: Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds, chopped green onions, or fresh cilantro over the finished dish for added freshness and visual appeal.

How To Serve

  1. Add a splash of sesame oil at the end for enhanced aroma.
  2. Customize it with your favorite vegetables or proteins.
  3. Garnish with fresh herbs or sesame seeds for added visual appeal.
  4. Serve hot and enjoy it as a main dish or side dish.

As a side dish, this recipe is perfect with Huli-Huli Chicken, Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Drumsticks, or Cashew Chicken and Broccoli.


Fridge Storage: Allow to cool down to room temperature. Transfer it to an airtight container or a sealable plastic bag. Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Freezer Storage: To store for longer periods, freezing is a great option. Again, let cool down completely. Place it in a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bags. Ensure that the container is tightly sealed to prevent freezer burn. Label the container with the date, and store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.

Reheating: Thaw first if frozen, then transfer to a microwave-safe dish and cover it loosely with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap. Heat in the microwave, stirring occasionally, until it is heated through. On the stovetop, Heat a little oil in a pan or wok over medium heat and stir-fry until it is heated throughout. Make sure to stir gently to avoid breaking the noodles.

Chow mein noodles lifted out of the pan with tongs.

Helpful Tips

To help you achieve the perfect texture, flavor, and presentation of this dish, here are some valuable tips:

  1. Noodle preparation: Cook noodles according to package instructions for the perfect texture.
  2. Fresh is best: Use fresh ingredients for the best flavor.
  3. High heat stir-frying: Preheat the wok or pan before adding oil and ingredients and stir-fry ingredients quickly over high heat to retain crispness.
  4. Prepping ingredients: Chop vegetables, mince garlic, and grate ginger in advance, as stir-frying is a fast-paced cooking method and requires quick action.
  5. Tossing and tossing: Toss the noodles frequently while stir-frying to prevent sticking.
  6. Balance is key: Balance the flavors by adjusting the amount of sauce and seasonings.
  7. Quick cook for crisp vegetables: Stir-fry until they are just tender-crisp to maintain their freshness and texture.

More Asian-Inspired Dinners

Chow Mein noodles with tongs in a frying pan.

Chow Mein Recipe

This homemade Chow Mein recipe is loaded with veggies and is just as tasty as your favorite Chinese restaurant, but is made in even less time!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4



  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons mirin Chinese cooking wine
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


  • 1 pound chow mein noodles
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger freshly grated
  • 3 scallions cut into 1-inch pieces, white and green pieces separated
  • 3 stalks celery thinly sliced
  • 5 ounces shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 cups bok choy chopped (or green/Napa cabbage)
  • Optional additions – bean sprouts carrots, snow peas, green onion, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, cabbage, shredded or chopped chicken/pork/beef, or shrimp
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  • In a small bowl, whisk together oyster sauce, soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, cornstarch, and sesame oil. Set aside.
  • Prepare noodles according to package directions. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger and stir fry for 10-15 seconds. Add white parts of scallion, celery, and mushrooms, and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in bok choy until just wilted, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in noodles and oyster sauce mixture and stir fry for 1 minute, tossing constantly. Add green parts of scallion and toss. Serve immediately.


Feel free to customize this recipe to your own personal tastes. We like to add carrots, snow peas, green onion, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, cabbage, shredded or chopped chicken/pork/beef, or shrimp.
Keyword chow mein


Calories: 551kcalCarbohydrates: 96gProtein: 20gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1972mgPotassium: 303mgFiber: 8gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 2449IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 73mgIron: 5mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.


Erica is a Florida-bred, Dominican-wed, nerdy foodie with an eye for pretty photos and incurable wanderlust, who learned everything she knows in the kitchen and about life from her Nana. She discovered her love of food at a young age and launched The Crumby Kitchen in 2014, where she shares her kitchen triumphs with a bit of sass and panache.

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