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Chicken Chow Mein (like take out)

Updated: Jun 6

Author: Hetal Vanmali, BSc Hons Dinner

Let this easy recipe be the answer to your cravings! This Chicken Chow Mein tastes just like mouth watering takeout so you can skip the ordering and make a generous portion for yourself to enjoy at home! Topped with a smokey chilli oil and filled with protein and vegetables, you really don't need anything else with this delicious dish! If you're vegetarian or vegan you can leave out the chicken and it will still taste just as delicious!

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Chicken Chow Mein (like take out)
Chicken Chow Mein (like take out)

I have been through my share of recipes and trials and errors with making chicken chow mein like take out! Somehow, it always tastes 'indian'! This isn't bad, but it also doesn't satisfy that urge you get when you just want chinese take out! My problem with that is we do end up getting take out and I never know how much oil has gone into it or whether it contains MSG.

After years I finally have a perfect recipe, and I am sharing this with you to save you all the trouble! Who would have thought that the sauce and keeping it simple is the key!

Ingredients for Chicken Chow Mein
Ingredients for Chicken Chow Mein

Your questions answered about Chicken Chow Mein (like take out)

What is chicken chow mein?

Chicken chow mein is a popular Chinese stir-fried noodle dish that typically includes chicken, vegetables, and noodles cooked in a savory sauce. It's a favourite on many Chinese takeout menus!

What kind of noodles should I use?

Traditionally, chow mein is made with egg noodles. However, you can also use Shanghai noodles too that are slightly thicker.

Can I use other proteins instead of chicken?

Absolutely! While chicken is a common choice, you can substitute it with beef, shrimp, tofu, or even leave it out if you wish.

How do I prevent the noodles from sticking together?

To prevent the noodles from sticking together, make sure to cook them in a large pot of boiling water with a splash of oil. Once cooked, drain them and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and remove excess starch. Then spread the noodles out onto some parchment paper and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Removing the excess water will stop their texture from being soggy.

Can I make this dish vegetarian/vegan?

Yes! Simply leave out the chicken and add more vegetables or tofu to make a delicious vegetarian version of chicken chow mein. Make sure you check the ingredients of the noodles that you're using.

How do I achieve that authentic takeout-style flavor?

The key to achieving that authentic takeout-style flavor is in the sauce. Make sure to use a combination of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil for that classic taste. You can also add a pinch of sugar to balance out the flavors.

Chicken Chow Mein (like take out)
Chicken Chow Mein (like take out)

Tips for Success

  • Prepare all your ingredients before you start cooking. This includes chopping your vegetables, slicing your chicken, and mixing your sauce.

  • Use a wok or a large skillet to cook your chow mein. The high heat will help to quickly cook the ingredients and develop those delicious flavours.

  • Don't overcook your vegetables. They should be crisp-tender to maintain their freshness and vibrant colors.

  • Customize your chow mein to suit your taste preferences. Add more spice with some chilli sauce or Sriracha, or throw in some extra veggies for added nutrition.

  • Garnish your chicken chow mein with sliced green onions, sesame seeds, or chopped peanuts for an extra burst of flavor and texture.

Chicken Chow Mein (like take out)
Chicken Chow Mein (like take out)

Recipe for Chicken Chow Mein

Prep time:

10 minutes

Cook time:

30 minutes

Total time:

40 minutes


4 servings

Chicken Marinade ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar

  • 1 chicken breast, thinly sliced 1 inch pieces

Sauce ingredients

  • 3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce

  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha or Sambal sauce

Chow Mein ingredients

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce

  • 454g chow mein noodles

  • 4 tablespoons oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons minced or finely chopped garlic

  • 2 teaspoons minced or finely chopped ginger

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion

  • 2 cups of coleslaw salad mix

  • 1 cup bean sprouts (optional)

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced spring onions

Smokey Chilli Oil ingredients (optional)

  • 1/3 cup oil

  • 3 tablespoons chilli flakes

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Mix together the chicken marinade ingredients and set aside.

2. Follow the package instructions for cooking the chow mein noodles. While it's cooking, prepare a bowl of cold water. Once the noodles are cooked, shock them in cold water by putting the noodles in the cold water or straining the noodles and running them under cold water. Now spread them on parchment paper and pat them dry with a kitchen towel.

3. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the marinated chicken and stir-fry until fully cooked (around 4-5 minutes). Stirring frequently. Remove from the pan and set aside.

4. In the same wok, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Stir-fry the onion and garlic until fragrant. Add cabbage. Cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp (about 3-4 minutes) stirring frequently, and then remove. Optional: In the same wok, add 1 tablespoon of oil and saute the beansprouts for 3-4 minutes, then remove.

5. Now add 2 tablespoons of oil in the same wok, add the cooked noodles and fry until slightly brown, stirring occasionally while leaving them undisturbed for a while. Return the chicken and vegetables to the wok, mix well.

6. Add the sauce, salt and half the spring onions and toss everything together until well combined and heated through.

7. In a separate small pot, heat oil on high heat until very hot. Remove from heat, add chilli flakes and salt and cook off the heat until the chilli flakes change colour. toa red-brown, around 30 seconds. Pour onto the noodles, toss and enjoy. You can also remove the oil into a bowl so people can enjoy it if they choose to.

8. Garnish and Serve: Garnish with the remaining chopped green onions or sesame seeds. Serve hot and enjoy!


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