Make the best tasting chicken chow mein that is even better than Chinese restaurant takeout using fresh ingredients and a rich sauce! This one pan dinner is loaded with tender juicy chicken, crunch colorful veggies, and springy noodles and brought together with an extra fragrant brown sauce.
Chicken chow mein is probably one of the best weeknight dinner recipes. Because:
- It’s a one-pot meal that includes protein, vegetables and carbs.
- Once you understand the workflow, it’s quite easy to put together.
- It uses up your leftover vegetables to create a delicious and nutritious meal.
Along with other takeout style dishes such as Beef Chow Fun, Seafood Chow Mein, Vegetable Lo Mein, and Soy Sauce Pan Fried Noodles, you should definitely put Chicken chow mein on your dinner rotation. Because once you gather the basic pantry ingredients, you can cook Chinese dishes that taste even better than takeout.
Ingredients for chicken chow mein
What type of noodles to use
To get the best tasting chicken chow mein, you should always use chow mein noodles. The noodles are thin and have a yellow color. The main ingredients are wheat flour and eggs.
If you live close to an Asian market, the best chow mein noodles are the fresh type. They are usually labeled as chow mein noodles or chow mein pan fried noodles. You can find them in either the refrigerated or freezer section.
If the fresh type is not available, you can use dried chow mein noodles as well. Many regular grocery stores carry them these days (usually in the “ethnic” aisle). And you can even find them on Amazon.
Other great alternatives include Japanese noodles for yakisoba or spaghetti. Both will yield a different texture for the final product but will be tasty nonetheless.
The key sauce ingredients of chicken chow mein include Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, and a good soy sauce. Check out my essential pantry guide to read more about the ingredients.
Vegetables and the alternative
I used cabbage, carrot and pepper in my chicken chow mein, just like how it is usually served in a Chinese restaurant.
QUICK TIP: You can use 5 cups of pre-cut coleslaw blend to replace the cabbage and carrot. It will save you some prep time!
Some other delicious vegetables for chicken chow mein include:
- Bean sprouts (add them at the end)
- Napa cabbage
- Baby bok choy
- Chinese broccoli
- Snow peas
Mise en place
It’s very important to have all the ingredients prepped right before the stir fry. Your countertop should have:
- Mixed sauce
- Marinated chicken
- Sliced cabbage and carrot
- Minced ginger and garlic
- Chopped pepper and green onion
- Chow mein noodles, cooked to al dente and drained
I like to group the ingredients together if I plan to add them at the same time during the stir fry, to make the process and the cleanup easier.
How to cook chicken chow mein
To cook chicken chow mein:
- Sear the chicken until just cooked
- Cook the aromatics
- Saute the vegetables until just turning tender
- Add the cooked noodles and chicken and mix with the sauce
- Add the pepper and green onions
- Mix everything together
Once you try cooking your own chicken chow mein at home, you won’t want to order takeout again because the homemade one tastes so much better! And you don’t even need a wok. Just a simple nonstick skillet will work wonders as long as you get the basic ingredients and follow this recipe.
Other easy noodle recipes
- Wonton Char Siu Noodle Soup (叉烧云吞面)
- Chinese Chicken Noodle Salad (鸡丝凉面)
- Chicken Pad Thai (Takeout-Style)
- Stir Fried Vermicelli with Pork (Ma Yi Shang Shu, 蚂蚁上树)
- Bacon Kimchi Fried Udon
Chicken Chow Mein (鸡肉炒面)
- 1 (6 oz / 225 g) boneless chicken breast , thinly sliced (or 2 thighs)
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 4 cups shredded cabbage (*Footnote 2)
- 2 cloves garlic , finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger , minced
- 6 oz (170 g) dried chow mein noodles (or 10 oz / 280 g fresh chow mein noodles)
- 2 small carrots , julienned (yields 1 cup) (*Footnote 2)
- 1 anaheim pepper or other hot pepper of your choice , sliced (Optional)
- 4 green onions , cut into 2” (5 cm) pieces, white part halved lengthwise
- Add the chicken along with the marinating ingredients into a medium-sized bowl. Mix well with your hands so the chicken is evenly coated.
- Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stir to mix well.
- Boil the noodles according to the package instructions until al dente. Rinse with tap water, drain, and set aside. Cook the noodles 1 minute less than the package recommends. If you use fresh chow mein noodles, you will only need to briefly dip the noodles in boiling water, 1 minute or so. Once done, drain the noodles thoroughly and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Spread the chicken in the pan with minimal overlap. Cook until the bottom turns slightly golden, 30 to 45 seconds. Flip to cook the other side until the chicken just turns white, 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Pour in the remaining 1 tablespoons of oil and the ginger, and garlic. Stir a few times to release the fragrance.
- Add the carrot and cabbage. Cook and stir until the veggies just start to turn soft, 1 minute or so. Add the noodles. Toss a few times with a pair of tongs. Add the cooked chicken. Pour the sauce over the ingredients. Toss with a pair of tongs to mix everything together.
- Add the pepper and the green onion. Toss well until the sauce is absorbed. Transfer everything to serving plates and serve hot as a main dish.
- Add 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce for a dark brown color. You can skip it and it won’t affect the taste of the dish.
- Use 5 cups of pre-cut coleslaw mix to replace the cabbage and carrot and save prep time.