This Chicken Chow Mein tastes just like takeout, and comes together in one skillet in 30 minutes! The easy sauce uses pantry staples to boot.
Ingredients in chicken chow mein
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
- Cornstarch – The chicken will be coated in cornstarch. As a result, it helps to thicken the chow mein sauce.
- Sesame oil
- Fresh mushrooms, cut in half – You can use any type of mushrooms that you like. Just be sure they are small enough that they’ll cook quickly.
- Carrot, julienned – A julienne cut means you will cut the carrots thinly, similar to the width of matchsticks.
- Yellow onion, sliced – If you want to use a different type, white onion will be fine as well.
- Green cabbage, sliced – If you want your chicken chow mein to be authentic, you can use Chinese cabbage. Napa cabbage is another tasty option.
- Chow mein noodles
- Chicken broth or stock
- Green onions (scallions), sliced – I usually just use the green tops, but you can also use the white portion.
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
What is chicken chow mein?
Chicken chow mein is one of the most popular Asian stir fry dishes. It usually includes white or dark meat chicken, vegetables, and a delicious chow mein sauce. The ingredients are cooked in a wok or skillet with chow mein noodles.
What kind of noodles are used for chow mein?
Chow mein is made using wheat egg noodles. To keep things a bit healthier, you can look for whole wheat egg noodles.
Or, get super adventurous and make homemade chow mein noodles! There are videos on YouTube to show how it’s done. It takes about an hour to make egg noodles from scratch.
Ingredients in chow mein sauce
Here are the ingredients you need for chow mein sauce – you should be able to find them all in your pantry!
- soy sauce
- sesame oil
Authentic chow mein sauce usually includes oyster sauce, sugar, and sometimes cornstarch as well.
Because this recipe doesn't use sugar, this chow mein sauce is a little bit healthier!
How to make this recipe
Here's how to make this easy chicken chow mein recipe!
- Cut your chicken into cubes and place them into a bowl. Season them with salt and pepper, then add the cornstarch and toss to coat. Meanwhile, mix the chow mein sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over med-high heat. Add the carrots and mushrooms and saute them for a few minutes, just until the carrots soften.
- Add the chicken and saute for another 5 minutes. Be sure to toss the ingredients every couple of minutes so that all of the chicken browns.
- Stir in the onion and cabbage and cook for another 2-3 minutes, then stir in the chicken broth.
- Add the chow mein noodles and sauce, cooking for 2-3 more minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Stir in green onions and remove from heat. Serve garnished with sesame seeds, if desired. Enjoy!
If you prefer dark meat chicken, you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts. Or, use another protein entirely.
Other tasty protein options for chow mein include beef, pork, or tofu.
Feel free to swap out or omit any veggies that you don’t care for. There are plenty of other veggies that are delicious in this chicken stir fry. Broccoli, bok choy, water chestnuts, and even zucchini are great choices.
You can also substitute tamari or coconut aminos for the soy sauce, use brown sugar instead of honey, or use canola oil instead of sesame oil.
Difference between lo mein and chow mein
If you love Asian food, chances are good that you are familiar with both of these noodles. While they do have a couple of similarities, they are also quite different.
Lo mein and chow mein are both made with wheat flour and eggs. So, they are both egg noodles.
For authentic chow mein noodles, the noodles are boiled in water first, then pan fried or added to a wok to stir fry them until they’re crispy.
On the other hand, lo mein noodles are simply boiled. As a result, they are softer and chewier than chow mein noodles.
Storing and reheating instructions
If you have any leftovers, let them cool to room temperature. Then, refrigerate them in a covered container and enjoy them within 5 days.
Reheating the meal is easy! You can either microwave the leftovers on high power for a couple of minutes, or toss everything into a wok or skillet and reheat over medium-high heat. I recommend sprinkling some water overtop before reheating so your noodles don't dry out.
Can you freeze chow mein?
Chow mein freezes well, so it’s a great meal prep idea! Before you freeze it, be sure to allow it to cool to room temperature first. This helps to prevent freezer burn. Once it has cooled, transfer the cool chicken chow mein to freezer-safe meal prep containers or other freezer friendly containers. Or, to save some room in your freezer, package the chow mein flat in plastic zip top bags. Once frozen, chicken chow mein will keep well frozen for about 3 months.
To reheat, defrost in the fridge overnight then proceed as normal by reheating in the microwave or in a wok/skillet.
More easy stir fry recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you plan on turning this recipe into your weekly lunches
- I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months
Chicken Chow Mein
- 2 chicken breasts, diced
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 cup mushrooms, cut in half
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 cup green cabbage, sliced
- 1 (454g) package chow mein noodles
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
Chow mein sauce
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- In a large bowl, season chicken with salt & pepper, then toss with cornstarch. Meanwhile, mix the chow mein sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over med-high heat. Add carrots and mushrooms to skillet, cooking for 5 minutes until carrots soften and mushrooms release juices. Add chicken and saute for another 5 minutes until browned, stirring often.
- Add onion, green cabbage and chow mein noodles to the skillet, sauteeing another 2-3 minutes, then add broth and chow mein sauce, cooking for 2-3 more minutes until sauce thickens.
- Stir in green onions and remove from heat. Serve garnished with sesame seeds (optional), and enjoy!