Chow Mein is one of the most popular Chinese recipes. Walk into any Chinese restaurants or takeouts, you will see it on the menu.
Chow Mein is made with an assortment of ingredients: chicken, shrimp, vegetables, and seasoned with a savory sauce.
The Best and Proper Chow Mein Recipe
This is the ONLY recipe you should be making. Why? Because I wrote the best selling Chinese cookbook “Easy Chinese Recipes“.
I am going to teach you the authentic techniques to make this dish at home. Trust me when I say this, there are NO peanuts, lime, and cilantro in Chow Mein!
What is in a Chow Mein?
There are many things that go into Chow Mein, here are the different categories:
- Protein – you can use pork, chicken, beef, shrimp and other seafood such as squid, scallop. You can also use a combination of the protein.
- Vegetables – bean sprouts, napa cabbage, cabbage, carrots and scallions. You want to have at least a couple of vegetables in the recipe.
- Chow Mein Sauce – a combination of oyster sauce, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and sugar.
You can customize the ingredients above to make different versions, for examples:
- Chicken Chow Mein
- Panda Express Chow Mein Copycat
- Shrimp Chow Mein
- Vegetable Chow Mein
- Soy Sauce Chow Mein
What Kinds of Noodles to Use?
There are all kinds of fresh and dry noodles available in the market. For the best homemade Chow Mein, you want to use fresh egg noodles.
These noodles are packed in a clear plastic bag and sometimes labeled as steamed chow mein. You can find them in the noodles section of Chinese grocery stores or Asian grocery stores.
If you use dry egg noodles, just make sure you follow the package instructions to achieve an equally amazing result.
The picture above shows two brands of fresh chow mein egg noodles. Despite the slightly different color, the texture is similar. Both noodles are made with eggs and lightly coated with flour.
Difference between Chow Mein and Lo Mein
Many people are confused about the difference between chow mein and lo mein. Chow Mein means 炒面 in Chinese, or stir-fried noodles literally. Lo Mein means 捞面 in Chinese, which is mixed noodles.
So in Lo Mein, the noodles are simply mixed with other ingredients and there is no stir-frying. Chow mein is dry, but Lo Mein is saucy. Check out my Shrimp Lo Mein to see the difference.
How to Make Chow Mein?
First, you need to make sauce by mixing all the ingredients together. Then, using a wok or skillet, stir fry the garlic, chicken, shrimp and vegetables.
Add the noodles and the sauce and stir fry until the noodles and all the ingredients are cooked.
Complete Meal Plan
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