AN EASY CHICKEN CHOW MEIN RECIPE
You want to call for takeout? Please, put the phone down! You can easily make this favorite Chinese takeout meal at home. You don’t even need a fancy wok. I’m going to walk you through all the steps so you can whip up this meal and satisfy everyone’s cravings. I can’t wait for you to try it!
WHAT IS CHICKEN CHOW MEIN?
Chicken Chow Mein is a traditional Chinese stir fry dish. It’s made with cabbage, carrots and bean sprouts, but you’ll occasionally see one or two other veggies added to the mix, along with some protein.
The chow mein sauce is what gives this dish it’s savory flavor, while the quickly stir fried fresh veggies give this dish the smooth and crisp texture it’s known for. When these two come together, you get one of the most popular Chinese meals.
CHICKEN CHOW MEIN INGREDIENTS
I know there are quite a few ingredients here, but trust me – it’s all worth it! I’m going to break the ingredients down into two parts – the chow mein sauce and the stir fry.
The sauce is important because this is what gives the Chicken Chow Mein its classic flavor. And, the stir fry is important because without these veggies, chow mein just isn’t chow mein!
Here’s what you’ll need for the chow mein sauce:
- Low sodium soy sauce (or Tamari sauce)
- Oyster sauce
- Granulated sugar
- Sesame oil
- Fresh ground black pepper
And here’s what you’ll need for the stir fry:
- Chow mein noodles
- Vegetable oil
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or chicken breasts)
- Green cabbage
- Green onions
- Bean sprouts
- Low sodium chicken broth
BEST NOODLES FOR CHICKEN CHOW MEIN
Fresh chow mein noodles are the best for this dish, but they can be difficult to track down sometimes. When I don’t have fresh chow mein noodles on hand, I turn to dry spaghetti noodles.
Or, if you are really in a pinch, use a pack of ramen noodles and skip the seasoning packet. Whatever noodles you end up using, just prepare them according to the directions on the package and stir them in where indicated in the recipe.
HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN CHOW MEIN
- To get started, you’ll start with the sauce. Make the sauce by combining the cornstarch and soy sauce in a small mixing bowl and mix well to combine. Then, whisk in the oyster sauce, granulated sugar, sesame oil, and black pepper. Set aside.
- Next, prepare the noodles according to package directions.
- Now, you’ll heat the oil in your wok or large, non-stick skillet over high heat.
- Once your oil is hot, add the chicken and two tablespoons of the previously prepared sauce. Cook the chicken in the sauce for about three minutes on each side, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
- With the skillet still hot, heat the remaining vegetable oil. Add and sauté the cabbage, carrots, garlic and onions until the vegetables are crisp and tender.
- Add in the cooked noodles, remaining sauce and chicken broth, stirring frequently for one minute.
- Add the bean sprouts and cook until they are tender and start to wilt.
- Remove from heat and garnish with green onions before serving.
TIPS FOR THE BEST CHICKEN CHOW MEIN
- Make sure your oil and skillet are hot before adding the chicken. You don’t want to wait for it to warm up while the chicken is in there. Think of this as the same as preheating your oven.
- Keep your veggies thin and the same size so they cook quickly and evenly. They should be crisp when you serve them.
- Since everything is cooked so quickly, you’ll want to make sure you prep everything ahead of time, and not as you go, while you are in the middle of the previous step. You don’t want to risk overcooking your veggies or chicken.
WHAT VEGETABLES CAN I USE IN CHICKEN CHOW MEIN?
Chow mein almost always has cabbage, carrots and bean sprouts, but you don’t have to be limited to only those vegetables in your meal. I love to use colorful, vibrant vegetables in my chow mein because I love all the colors!
In reality, almost any stir fry vegetables can be used in this dish. Feel free to throw in some mushrooms, peppers, water chestnuts or anything you have left in the refrigerator that sounds good and you need to use up.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CHICKEN CHOW MEIN
I think this dish is amazing all on its own, but if you are looking for something extra, or to stretch this meal out to feed more people, you can serve it with my Easy Chinese Hot Pot Recipe or this simple Shrimp Fried Cauliflower Rice.
HOW TO STORE CHICKEN CHOW MEIN
- If you happen to have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
HOW TO REHEAT CHICKEN CHOW MEIN
- When you are ready to enjoy your leftover Chicken Chow Mein, simply reheat it in the microwave for a few minutes or until warm.
TOOLS USED IN THIS RECIPE
Chicken Chow Mein
Ingredients for the sauce
Ingredients for the stir fry
- 6 ounces chow mein noodles
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes (you can also use chicken breasts)
- 3 cups shredded green cabbage
- 1 1/2 cups matchstick carrots
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 green onions, chopped, white and light green parts only (chop the dark green parts and use for garnish)
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
- Make the sauce by combining cornstarch and soy sauce in a small mixing bowl; whisk to combine.
- Whisk in the rest of the ingredients and set aside.
- Prepare the noodles according to the directions on the package.
- Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a wok or a large non-stick skillet over high heat.
- Add chicken to the hot oil and stir in 2 Tablespoons of the prepared sauce; mix to combine and cook chicken for 3 minutes; turn over and continue to cook for about 3 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove chicken from skillet and set aside on a plate.
- Return wok/skillet over medium-high heat and heat up remaining 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil.
- Add cabbage and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Stir in carrots and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in garlic and chopped green onions; continue to cook for 2 more minutes or until vegetables are crisp tender.
- Add in the noodles, previously prepared chicken, sauce, and chicken broth; cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Add bean sprouts and cook until bean sprouts start to wilt, about 30 seconds.
- Remove from heat; garnish with green onions and serve.