Chicken Chow Mein loaded with savory noodles, tender chicken breast, and crispy veggies in a homemade chow mien sauce. Ready in less than 20 minutes.
This easy Chow Mein with Chicken tastes just as good as takeout but it is better for your wallet and waistline. Packed with veggies, tender noodles, and a sweet and savory sauce - this is a dish your whole family will devour. It ranks up there as one of our favorite Chinese noodles recipes along with this Healthy Chow Mein and Chicken Lo Mein.
Growing up, we always ordered Chinese food for special occasions. It was always on the table on New Year's Eve and made an appearance at special family nights and birthdays. We each were allowed to pick out a couple of things to order and I always wanted the noodles.
Fast forward and my love of Asian noodles have only deepened, with chow mein always near the top. I just love the slightly chewy, slippery noodles covered in a sweet and savory sauce. But one thing is always missing - veggies.
Most restaurant versions skimp on the veggies and I want something with lots of crunchy veggies. That's why I make it at home. I can get all the veggies I want and also control the amount of oil and sugar. It's a meal you can feel good about feeding your family.
Another thing I love about this recipe is how well it keeps in the fridge. Since it's a recipe my whole family loves, it's one of my go-to options when I know I won't be home to make dinner. All they have to do it pop it in a pan or the microwave for a few minutes.
How to make Healthy Chicken Chow Mein?
One of the most important first steps in making any quick Chinese stir-fry dish is the prep all the ingredients before starting. Stir-fries cook extremely quickly and there is no time to make the sauce or chop your veggies once the cooking gets started.
Start by tossing the cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Then toss it with the cornstarch. This helps the chicken to get a wonderful, crispy exterior. Cook the chicken until it is just cooked through since it will continue to cook as you prepare the rest of the dish.
Next, it is time to cook the veggies. Heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat if using a nonstick skillet or high heat if using a wok. Cook the veggies until they are bright and tender crisp. You don't want the vegetables overcooked or soggy, they should still have some crunch and texture.
Now add the garlic and ginger. Let it cook for 30-60 seconds until it is nice and fragrant. Try not to let it burn.
Finally add the noodles, cooked chicken, and the chow mein sauce. Toss together until everything is heated through and top with the green onions. Taste and season as needed with extra oyster sauce or soy sauce. You can also add a touch of honey or sugar if you prefer a sweeter chow mein.
What's the difference between chow mein and lo mein?
The main difference between lo mein and chow mein is the noodles. Lo mein usually uses a thicker, wider egg noodle versus chow mein, which usually a thinner egg noodle, similar to those used for ramen.
What are the best noodles for chow mein?
Not surprisingly, the best noodles to use are chow mein noodles. With that said, these noodles can be hard to find in the US without visiting a specialty market. If you can't find chow mein noodles (also called Hong Kong style noodles), here are some other options:
- Yaki soba noodles: These are normally located in the refrigerated section of the grocery store with the tofu and vegetarian products. Many times they come with a spice packet, which can just be discarded. One great thing about these noodles is that they don't need to be prepped at all and can be added right into the pan.
- Regular pasta: You can also use regular cooked spaghetti for this recipe. When preparing it, cook it until al dente, since it will continue to cook slightly in the recipe.
- Rice noodles: For a gluten free noodle, you can use rice noodles. Prepare them according to package directions.
- Dry Chinese noodles: Another option is dried Chinese style or Hong Kong style noodles. Prepare them according to package directions.
What's in chow mein sauce?
Classically chow mein sauce is made with a combination of oyster sauce, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, and white pepper. This easier at-home version eliminates the Shaoxing wine since it can be hard to find. I also add some garlic and ginger to kick up the flavors in the sauce.
Also in case you are wondering, oyster sauce is a thick, dark Chinese sauce that is sweet, salty, and savory. The traditional sauce was made with the essence of oyster but today most grocery store options are vegetarian without any actual oyster.
Recipe Tips and Ideas
- Try this recipe with different proteins. We love making it with thinly sliced pork, steak, or shrimp. It's also delicious as a vegetarian dish.
- Swap in whatever veggies you like or have on hand. It's delicious with mushrooms, bean sprouts, sugar snap peas, asparagus, or zucchini.
- For a lighter, lower carb option you can use spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles. You can also just add a few extra cups of shredded cabbage.
- This recipe works great for meal prep. Make a big batch on the weekend and pack up for lunches or quick dinners.
Looking for more healthy Chinese recipes?
Chicken Chow Mein
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- 6 oz. chow mein noodles
- 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 U carrot, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
- 1/2 cup broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
- 1/2 cup snow peas
- 1 U garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp ginger, minced
- 3 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp white pepper (or black pepper)
- 1/4 cup green onions
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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