Chicken Chow Mein

11 views 3:34 pm 0 Comments May 10, 2024

Here I’ll show you the most delicious way to make the classic Chicken Chow Mein!

Quick dinners don’t come more delicious than this. It’s one of the few takeaways that actually takes less time to make than order! If you haven’t made it at home before you’ve got to give it a go. Follow me…

chicken chow mein in large wok with wooden spoons at the side

Chicken Chow Mein

I like using chicken thigh as it’s more fatty and flavoursome than breast. You’ll want to thinly slice the meat, just so it’s more evenly distributed throughout the noodles, as opposed to big chunks here and there.

Chicken Chow Mein Marinade

Whilst you prep the veg and sauce, you’ll want to marinate the chicken. Just to inject some flavour as it’s sitting waiting to be fried. The marinade consists of sesame oil, cornflour (cornstarch), white pepper and soy sauce. Nothing fancy, but it really helps the chicken hold its own in the noodles. The cornflour will help bind the marinade and also give the chicken a nice crust, which in turn helps it soak in the sauce.

Process shots: add ingredients to small bowl (photo 1), mix then marinate (photo 2).

3 step by step photos showing how to prepare chicken chow mein

Chow Mein Sauce

The sauce is what really sets a chow mein apart from other types of noodle dishes and stir fries. It only requires simple ingredients, but each one plays their part in creates a delicious final product.

I actually like my chow mein a little saucier than what you’d get from a takeaway, especially because I typically make it for dinner as a main. Having said that, the noodles shouldn’t be drowning in sauce – they should just be slippery and coated in a light glossy sauce. As such, I like to make the sauce with some chicken stock (which I forgot to add to the photo 😭). Alongside the cornflour, this will create a light glossy sauce for the noodles.

Process shots: add ingredients to bowl (photo 1), whisk to combine (photo 2).

3 step by step photos showing how to make chow mein sauce

Chicken Chow Mein Stir Fry

The preparation takes longer than the cooking in this recipe. The cooking process is pretty quick so I recommend having everything ready to go beforehand.

What kind of noodles should I use?

Chow mein noodles are of course traditional, but since this is an easy homemade version, any type of dried egg noodle will do the trick. I use medium thickness, but you could use fine if you’d prefer. In all cases I recommend cooking them until al dente (a touch firm). Because there’s quite a lot of sauce in this recipe, the noodles will continue cooking in the wok as they soak up the sauce.

What veg should I add?

I’ve seen recipes range from just beansprouts, right up to adding peppers, mushrooms and the full works. I tend to keep it more minimal and mirror what you’re more likely to see from a takeaway. As such I use onion, carrot, cabbage, beansprouts and spring onion. I find this combo bulks out the noodles enough to qualify as a main for dinner, without turning into a ‘full works’ stir fry.

Process shots: add chicken to hot oil (photo 1), fry then remove (photo 2), fry onion (photo 3), fry cabbage, carrot and white part of spring onion (photo 4), toss in noodles and sauce (photo 5), toss in beansprouts, chicken and remaining spring onion (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to make chicken chow mein

Chicken Chow Mein FAQ

Can I use chicken breast instead of thigh?

You can yes. It’ll just be slightly less flavoursome than thigh and it’ll cook more quickly.

Can I use different veg?

Yes, just stick to the rough quantities in the recipe below and keep in mind which ingredients will cook faster than others.

Can I make this ahead of time?

This is best served fresh but leftovers are lovely too! Just allow everything to completely cool then tightly store in the fridge. Reheat until piping hot again (namely the chicken).

close up overhead shot of chicken chow mein

Serving Chicken Chow Mein

You really don’t need anything to garnish this or serve alongside, it’s perfect as is! This will make 2 hefty portions or 3 modest.

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this chicken chow mein shall we?!

chicken chow mein in large grey bowl on chopping board with one more in the background

How to make Chicken Chow Mein (Full Recipe & Video)

chicken chow mein in large wok with wooden spoons at the side

Print

Chicken Chow Mein

Here I’ll show you the most delicious way to make the classic Chicken Chow Mein!
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 – 3
Calories 557kcal
Cost £3.50 / $4

Equipment

  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Jug (for stock)
  • 2 Small Bowls (one for chicken, one for sauce)
  • Large Pot & Colander (for noodles)
  • Large Wok & Wooden Spoon
  • Tongs

Ingredients

Chicken Marinade

  • 250g / 9oz boneless skinless Chicken Thighs (see notes)
  • 2 tsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp Cornflour/Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper

Sauce

  • 2 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Cornflour/Cornstarch
  • 60ml / 1/4 cup Chicken Stock

Noodles

  • 200g / 7oz dried Egg Noodles (see notes)
  • 2 tbsp Groundnut Oil (or other cooking oil)
  • 1/2 medium White Onion, thinly sliced
  • 100g / 3.5oz Carrot, julienned/sliced into thin matchsticks
  • 150g / 5oz thinly shredded Cabbage (see notes)
  • 150g / 5oz Beansprouts
  • 3 Spring Onions (sliced into 2cm/3/4″ pieces)

Instructions

  • Slice the chicken thighs into thin strips then combine in a bowl with the rest of the marinade. Leave to marinate as you prep everything else.
  • Whisk the ‘Sauce’ ingredients except the stock in a small bowl. Once the cornflour has blended into the sauce, whisk in the stock.
  • Cook the noodles in boiling water until al dente (typically a minute off the packet instruction). Drain and rinse in cold water, then leave in the colander until needed.
  • Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large wok over high heat. Once you see wisps of smoke, add the chicken and immediately use a wooden spoon to separate the pieces so they don’t stick. Fry until the strips are golden and cooked through the centre (approx 3 minutes) then remove and place on a plate to one side, leaving the excess oil behind.
  • Add the onion and stir fry for 1-2 minutes until it softens and just begins to colour, then add the cabbage, carrot and white part of the spring onion and fry for another 2 minutes, or until they soften/wilt.
  • Give the noodles a final shake in the colander to discard excess water, then add them to the wok and immediately pour in the sauce (give it a quick whisk before pouring it in). Toss to coat the noodles in the sauce, then toss in the beansprouts, remaining spring onion and chicken (alongside the resting juices). Toss and shake the wok until all of the sauce is soaked up and everything is evenly distributed (check for pooling underneath the noodles). The noodles shouldn’t be watery at all, just coated in a very light glossy sauce.
  • Serve up and enjoy!

Video

Notes

a) Noodles – You can use chow mein noodles if you can find them or any other dry egg noodles. I use medium noodles to film this. Since there is a lot of sauce, it’s important to slightly undercook the noodles so they can soak in the sauce and finish cooking in the wok. I also like my noodles a touch al dente (nothing worse than super soft/mushy noodles!). 

b) Chicken – I like using chicken thigh as it is more fatty and flavoursome than breast, but you could use breast if you’d prefer. It’ll just cook quicker.

c) Cabbage – I find the easiest way to get finely shredded cabbage is to slice off the firm core, then peel off the outer leaves (150g/5oz worth). Stack them on top of each other and use a knife to slice into thin shreds. The outer leaves are also much more tender than the centre, which is sometimes hard to soften in the pan in such a short space of time.

d) Texture – Try and get the cabbage and carrot nice and fine, just so they cook quickly. The onion will need the full time to properly soften, otherwise it’ll be far too pungent. You can work to preference with how soft you like the cabbage and carrot though.

e) Speed – This comes together very quickly, so I recommend having everything set out ready to go before the first ingredient hits the wok.

f) Seasoning – The soy sauce will provide plenty of seasoning, as will the stock. Hopefully you’ll find it seasoned enough, especially if you reduce the sauce right down to condense the flavour, but you can always add in some more soy sauce as the end if you think it needs it.

g) Calories – Whole recipe divided by 3.

Nutrition

Calories: 557kcal | Carbohydrates: 65.05g | Protein: 29.05g | Fat: 20.29g | Saturated Fat: 3.133g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5.251g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10.244g | Trans Fat: 0.057g | Cholesterol: 135mg | Sodium: 1095mg | Potassium: 730mg | Fiber: 5.1g | Sugar: 9.02g | Vitamin A: 6338IU | Vitamin C: 34.7mg | Calcium: 90mg | Iron: 4.42mg

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