Not sure what to do with that delicious leftover char siu? Here’s a great way to use the famous Cantonese barbecue pork to make the best ever fried noodles — divinely filling, sweetly-umami and loaded with different textures. This recipe uses plenty of fresh herbs and a rich sauce to bring you the best pork chow mein (fried noodles) in 30 minutes. It tastes even better than takeout!
So you’ve successfully made Char Siu Pork for your guests, but there’s a chance (though not a big one!) that there are some leftover slices, still coated in that gorgeous glaze. What to do? There are so many options that you have for quick-to-cook yet stylish dinners for the rest of the week. For example, char siu fried rice, topping the sliced char siu on noodle soup, making creative dishes such as my scallion biscuits & char siu gravy, or cooking this char siu chow mein. With just a couple extra pantry ingredients you’ll have a feast on the dinner table in no time: noodles, aromatics, baby bok choy, and a super-quick stir-fry sauce.
1. Best chow mein noodles
Since moving to New York, I have better access to Chinatown and more options when sourcing ingredients. Recently I discovered a type of noodle that makes perfect fried noodles and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since.
It is called “Pan Fried Noodles (Hong Kong Style)”. The special thing about this brand is, it is a type of steamed noodle that is semi-dried. Since the noodles are already cooked, you don’t need to boil them before using. You can simply pour some oil into the pan, add the noodles, and add some water to quickly rehydrate them. Not only can you skip the boiling, but the noodles also have a nice chewy texture that creates that heavenly crispy noodle texture just like a Chinese restaurant.
Do grab a pack if you see them in the Asian market the next time! And of course, you can use regular chow mein noodles for this recipe and the result will still be tasty.
2. How to prepare baby bok choy for stir fry
The key to any good stir fry is to cut all the ingredients into consistent pieces so they cook evenly. For baby bok choy, here is the way I prepare it for stir fry:
- Remove the tough end on the bottom of each head.
- Remove the outer layer of leaves (they are usually big and thick), until it exposes the center that just has a few pieces of young and thin leaves. During this process, I also run tap water to rinse the bok choy, because sometimes there’s dirt between the leaves near the root.
- For the outer leaves, I chop off the white part. For extra large heads of baby bok choy, I might even chop the white part further into bite-size pieces. I cook everything together in this recipe, because my baby bok choy is fresh and quite young. If you’re using larger heads, you can cook the white part first, for 1 minute or so, before adding the rest. So the result will be more consistent without the leaves being overcooked.
3. How to prep efficiently
The key to prepping for fried noodles is to get everything ready near your stove. I found the easiest way is to group the ingredients in bowls according to the recipe. So you have a less cluttered countertop, plus it’ll be easier to add the ingredients during the cooking process.
For this recipe, you should have four things on the table before stir frying:
- Noodles (Pan-Fried Noodles, or boiled dried noodles)
- Sliced char siu
- Mixed sauce
- Aromatics (garlic and green onion)
That’s it! It’s such a quick and delicious way to use your leftover char siu pork. I hope you enjoy!
More fried noodle recipes
- Real-Deal Beef Chow Fun
- Hokkien Noodles (Hokkien Mee)
- Easy Fried Udon (Yaki Udon)
- 15-Minute Chicken Chow Fun (Chicken Fried Rice Noodles)
- Easy Singapore Noodles
- Chinese Beef Chow Mein
If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.
Char Siu Chow Mein (叉烧炒面)
- 1/2 lbs (225 g) Hong Kong style pan fried noodles (or chow mein noodles) (*footnote 1)
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
- 2 cups (130 g) baby bok choy , cut into bite-sized pieces (*footnote 2)
- 1 1/2 cup (160 g) char siu pork , chopped
- 4 green onions , sliced
- 4 garlic , minced
- If you’re using regular dried noodles, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles according to the instructions until al dente. Drain and rinse with tap water. Set aside. You can skip this step if you are using Hong Kong style pan fried noodles.
- Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. Mix well.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet (or a carbon steel or cast iron pan) over medium high heat until hot.
- Add the noodles. If you’re using Hong Kong style pan fried noodles, pour in 1/2 cup water. Cook and stir for 2 minutes, or until the noodles are cooked. If you’re using boiled noodles, cook the noodles for 1 minute, stirring occasionally, until it’s evenly coated with oil. If the noodles start to look dry or stick to the pan (which happens more frequently if you’re using a carbon steel or cast iron wok), pour in more oil or water to loosen it up.
- Move the noodles to one side of the pan. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, green onion, and garlic to the other side of the pan. Stir for 20 seconds to release the fragrance. Then stir everything together.
- Add the baby bok choy, char siu, and pour in the sauce. Toss with a pair of tongs to mix everything. Cover the pan. Let steam for 1 minute or so, or until the bok choy is cooked and the sauce fully absorbed. Toss a few times. Carefully taste the noodles. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and stir again, if needed. Transfer everything to serving plates.
- Serve hot as a main dish.
- Hong Kong style pan fried noodles are packaged semi-fresh noodles that are already cooked (steamed) and then lightly dried. If you’re using this type of noodle, you can either quickly rinse them in a pot of boiling water for a few seconds or cook them in a frying pan directly with some water. Compared to regular dried noodles, this type is very fast to cook and it yields a crispier result. You can use regular dried noodles in this recipe as well.
- See the blog post above on how to prepare bok choy for stir frying.
- The dark soy sauce adds brown color to the noodles and the way it caramelizes makes the dish look very appetizing. If you do not have dark soy sauce, use regular soy sauce instead.
The recipe was originally published on Jan 27, 2016 and updated by Oct.19, 2019.