Chow Mein

4.25 from 77 votes

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Make amazing Chow Mein in 15 minutes! These noodles are highly adaptable and you can make them sweet or spicy, however you like! I originally wrote this recipe way back in 2015 and since then it has become one of my consistently top recipes. It won’t take you long to realize why. I love this recipe along with the rest of my Asian-inspired recipes!

tongs picking up a serving of chow mein

Quick and Easy Chow Mein!

I definitely have my favorite take-out dishes from various places and the chow mein is usually just fine. But when I make them myself, I can add in as much flavor as I want and eat a whole pan of them for maybe $2. I’m a cheap date, ya’ll. Also, I’m all about quick and easy recipes and this one does not disappoint. You can make these Asian-y inspired noodles as salty, sweet, spicy, or gingery as you’d like…and all in 15 minutes!

But First, What is Chow Mein?

Chow Mein is made up of stir-fried noodles with vegetables and/or meat. It’s a popular dish in most American Chinese restaurants and now in your home too!

I made this recipe so it could be a customizable base for your dinner needs; add meat, different vegetables, and even a different type of noodle if you want.

top down view of ingredients laid out on a counter

Chow Mein Ingredients

  1. Chow Mein Noodles: Made with wheat and egg, traditional chow mein noodles have a distinctive bite to them that reminds me of classic Italian pasta noodles. You will get dried chow mein noodles in the Asian aisle in nearly every grocery store. Some markets also have pre-cooked fresh noodles in the refrigerated section that you can simply throw straight into your pan with the veggies.
  1. Vegetables: Some classic vegetables used for chow mein include green onions, carrots, cabbage, or bean sprouts. However, you can get creative with your selection of veggies and use bok choy, water chestnuts, broccoli, spinach, kale, celery, corn, bamboo shoots or snap peas. If you have any leftover veggies in your fridge, making chow mein will be an excellent way to use them up. 
  1. Meat: Any type of good quality meat will work well as a source of protein for your chow mein. Opt for chicken breast or thighs, beef, pork, or shrimp – they will make your dish not only delicious but also filling. 

Are you vegetarian or vegan? You can enjoy your chow mein in its plant-based version by using vegetable stock and replacing meat with tofu or tempeh. Incredible taste guaranteed!

How to Make Chow Mein

When I say this is a super easy Chow Mein recipe, I mean it! For full recipe details, check out the recipe card below! Here is what you can expect when making this recipe:

Cook Chow Mein Noodles

Cook ramen noodles in boiling water until chewy and *just* cooked. Drain and set aside.

*Chow Mein Noodles* – AKA ramen noodles. I used the cheap packaged ramen that comes with little seasoning packets. However, you are welcome to buy and use store-bought fresh ramen or yaki soba noodles.

cabbage in a cooking pot with a wooden spoon

Sauté Cabbage, Onions + Ginger

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Sauté onion, shredded green cabbage, salt, pepper, and fresh ginger together until tender.

Toss Together with Flavorings

In a small bowl combine sugar, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil together. Pour over cooked noodles and toss until heated through. Serve hot!

hand holding tongs into a pot of chow mein

Storing Chow Mein

Any leftover Chow Mein can be stored in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. After that, things start to get a little too mushy!

Freezing Instructions

Chow Mein actually freezes really well! Let cool then transfer to a freezer-safe airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months!

To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight then do a quick stir fry to warm things up!

close up of tongs resting in a pot of chow mein

Side Dish Ideas

If you feel like you need some protein with this meal check out my Korean Beef Recipe or Better Than Take-Out Crispy Sesame Beef. Chicken thighs or shrimp would be super good too.

You could also serve this alongside some extra veggies, pot stickers, or crab rangoon!

Here are 30+ more ideas for What Serve with Chow Mein.

Chow Mein Recipe FAQs

What is Chow Mein?

Chow mein is a Chinese dish made with stir-fried noodles, vegetables, and meat or seafood. The name “chow mein” comes from the Taishanese word for “fried noodles”.

What Kind of Noodles Are Used in a Chow Mein Recipe?

Chow mein noodles are typically made from wheat flour and eggs. They can be found fresh or dried in Asian markets and some grocery stores. If you can’t find chow mein noodles, you can substitute them with ramen noodles or other long noodles, even thin spaghetti noodles.

Can I Use Frozen Vegetables in Chow Mein?

Yes, frozen vegetables can be used in chow mein. Just make sure to thaw them before cooking and drain any excess water. I typically prefer using fresh ingredients for this recipe, but I know that’s not always an option or convenient.

How Do I Prevent the Noodles From Sticking Together?

Be sure to cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water and stir frequently. After cooking, rinse the noodles with cold water to stop the cooking process and prevent them from sticking together.

Can I Make This Chow Mein Recipe Ahead of Time?

Yes, chow mein can be made ahead of time and reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop. Just be sure to store the noodles and vegetables separately from the sauce to prevent them from getting soggy.

What Sauces Pair Well With Homemade Chow Mein?

Basically any asian inspired, savory sauce you enjoy would be tasty on chow mein! Dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, etc. are all great options.

chow mein on a white plate

More Asian-Inspired Recipes to Try!

More from Lauren’s Latest

I hope you love this homemade chow mein recipe! It’s so easy and and great way to use up some veggies! Give this Chow Mein Recipe a try tonight and see if you like them as much as my family does.

Printable recipe card is below! Enjoy, friends.

If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you would give it a star rating and leave your review in the comments! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.

hand holding tongs into a pot of chow mein
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4.25 from 77 votes

Chow Mein Recipe

Make amazing Chow Mein in 15 minutes! These noodles are highly adaptable and you can make them sweet or spicy, however, you like! Love this recipe.
servings 4 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 packages ramen noodles* or yakisoba noodles
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion diced
  • 10 oz shredded cabbage
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger or grate in a little fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

Instructions

  • Cook ramen noodles in boiling water until chewy and *just* cooked. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onion, cabbage, salt, pepper, ginger together until tender.
  • Toss together with cooked noodles, sugar, garlic, soy sauce, and sesame oil until heated through.
  • Serve hot.

Video

Notes

*You are welcome to use fresh ramen or yakisoba noodles in place of the cheap ramen.

Nutrition

Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 844mg | Potassium: 190mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 70IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 0.8mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: Chow Mein, Chow Mein Noodles, Chow Mein Recipe

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Recipe Rating




116 Responses
  1. Kathy

    I know EXACTLY what you’re saying about your 2-year-old. When my son (now 46) was two I really thought that he would grow up with his head coming to a unicorn-type point because of all the bashing he did on his forehead! And I laughed too. So don’t feel bad!

  2. Shelli Bender

    Maybe just get your son a helmet for a few years? I am not fond of ramon noodles but I am very fond of chowmein! lol Must try this!

  3. Cheryl DeCriscio

    Want a great meal? Cook raman noodles, add in frozen broccoli florets and cook until noodles are done, not mushy. (I bring to boil and turn heat off, cover and let steam). Sprinkle with lemon juice and enjoy. You can also add any vegetable you like, but I like broccoli. This is my standby when I can’t think of anything else and want it quick.

  4. VikkiD

    5 stars
    I just made this, added in some broccoli & it was SO good. Next time I am going to make it a complete meal with even more veggies & some kind of protein such as teriyaki chicken. Delish!

  5. Michelle

    Made this for late dinner tonight. Next time I would cook the noodles for maybe two minutes, as they became too soft after cooking for four minutes, then heating through with the rest of the veggies. We also thought it was missing something, so I sprinkled a bit of the chicken seasoning packet on top, and that did the trick. Next time I’d mix it with a little water and add to the pan. Overall, a great starting point. Would be good with chicken or shrimp, and more veggies.

  6. Nancy Howard

    This looks like a good recipe for when I am in a hurry. I had 3 girls. So I am not qualified to speak, but when my girls ran into walls, I usually measured their height. With every little change, they got clumsy and forgot where their edges were.

  7. Les Alabacos

    5 stars
    thank you very much for very simple recipe, my whole family love it including the fussy child.
    Thanks
    P.S try it without the sesame oil it tastes fantastic also

  8. Samantha

    5 stars
    Tried this last night. Very pleased with it. only thing my boyfriend would like to add is some sort of protein. He was leaning towards shrimp or chicken cooked in the seasoning first then combined with the rest of the ingredients after. Loved this! 🙂

  9. Stacey

    5 stars
    Just made this for dinner,the kids love it. Next time will have to cut the sugar in half. Added fresh ginger, and green onions. Definitely making again

  10. James

    I eat Ramen on our families pick night (when everyone gets to pick what they want to eat themselves), so this work great for me to try something different. My two boys didn’t run into walls very often, but when they did, we laughed and said they pulled a Justin (my friend’s boy) because he did it all the time. (the boy could trip on air). But, he did grow out of it.

  11. Sam

    Hi thanks for the memories(long ago College days) …only additionwill be either prawns or chicken…. again thanks for the memory….

  12. Crystal Klein

    5 stars
    I made this tonight…I used fresh ginger, chopped up some baby carrots, zested a key lime plus the juice, and added some cooked chicken breast. It was great! I love cooked cabbage.

  13. Gillian

    This looks yummy! And I’m 27 and I still walk into door frames and walls (and chairs and tables and the corners of kitchen counters) if I’m not paying attention or distracted. So he’ll probably grow out of it, but maybe not, and it’s not just a boy thing 😉

  14. Katie

    5 stars
    We made this for lunch today with some leftover cabbage from earlier in the week. First thing my hubby said was, “oh, it’s got a little kick.” Even using the ground ginger, there still is enough spice there to make this really tasty. Thanks!

    1. Natalie

      This would be perfect for dinner tomorrow night! I run into walls all the time and I’m a 24 year old female. Hahaha. Some of us at just born clumsy

  15. Melissa

    Please take your son to a doc and tell him how much he runs into things. It may be nothing more than he isn’t paying attention or it could be something else. I don’t want to scare you but running into walls was a symptom of a serious problem that a grandson of a friend of mine had. Also have his eyes checked… Better to rule all that out and give yourself peace of mind than to have ??? in the back of your mind.

  16. Elizabeth

    Phew. I’m just glad to read that my son isn’t alone in his habit of walking into walls, posts, chairs, doors, the counter, etc etc etc. (Noodles look good too. 🙂 )

  17. Aly

    It’s a boy thing. My 7 year old gave himself a black eye at Disneyland, walking into a lamppost. I am used to watching where he is going in order to yell in a vain hope of him looking in front of him. It usually fails.

  18. Trish - Mom On Timeout

    Awww, boys 🙂 Gotta love ’em! I have a 6 year old and an 8 year old and can totally relate. But gosh are they FUN! These noodles are the bomb Lauren! Can’t wait to give them a try!

  19. Karen

    This sounds delicious! I was wondering if I could use a different oil besides sesame oil since my son is allergic to sesame.

  20. Megan {Country Cleaver}

    Oh my gosh – how is he almost TWO?!? And I want a bowl of these noodles and just to sit back while I hang out with that crazy kid!!

  21. Jill

    This recipe sounds good! A great way to use up the noodles from the chicken flavor packages that my daughters don’t particularly care for. I am curious what you mean by granulated garlic? Is that garlic salt? Also, did you know that you can freeze fresh ginger? I just peel it and freeze in a small container or freezer bag. That way I always have some on hand when I need it. Thanks for all the great recipes!

    1. Lauren

      No, its NOT garlic salt! It’s like garlic salt without the salt. Yes, I knew about the frozen ginger. Fabulous tip 🙂

  22. Patricia

    Definitely a boy thing, my grandson is nearly 5 & he throws himself around the place, I nearly have heart failure lol

    1. Lauren

      sure! Just add it into the pan with the cabbage and onion. You might need more seasoning because it’s more food, but besides that, it should be just fine.

  23. Peggy

    It is truly the first sign that he is all male… he is displaying the male trait of being single minded. Ha ha! As a mom to 3 boys (who are now actually young adults) with 3 COMPLETELY different personalities… well ALL 3 of them ran into stuff on a regular basis. Serious goose eggs followed. and it was too funny. we did take after pictures (i know i’m such a bad mom but we had to have some evidence to show them later in life when they wouldn’t believe us.) Yes he will quit running into things at some point in time, and there will be no lasting damage. 🙂

  24. Maddie

    What a fantastic idea for a quick and easy vegetarian meal!! Can’t wait to try this the next time I get a noodle craving 🙂

  25. Karen @ On the Banks of Salt Creek

    Mmmmm. I love Asian noodles.
    Yes, it is a boy thing. Eventually he will notice more things in his way (not all things) as he goes 90 mph through life. My husband who is 41 doesn’t run into things so at some point boys do get some sense. However, that boy gene always has that ‘go go go’ to it. It’s one of the things we love about them.

  26. Patricia Miller

    This might be a dumb question, but for the ramen noodles, you’re talking about the kind that come with the little seasoning packets, right? I’ve heard of some ramen that’s in the refrigerated section at the grocery store, so I just wanted to make sure.

    1. Lauren

      Yes, the 15 cent ramen noodles that are dried and come with the flavor packets. I mean, you could probably get a better result by using the fresh noodles in the refrigerated section, but my kids like the cheap-o kind. They have such refined palates.

  27. Shelley

    I make this too! I usually just use 1 packet of ramen seasoning and soy sauce, but will try your sauce! Sounds yummy! I roast my sliced cabbage, onions and celery in the oven! 🙂

  28. Susan

    This sounds tasty but ground ginger in no way substitutes for fresh ginger – they are two different animals entirely. You will get a much better flavor overall if you just use some grated fresh ginger. This is a quickie recipe I am going to definitely try, as my girl is a bottomless pit when it comes to ramen noodles.

      1. Cheryl H

        FYI, When you buy fresh ginger buy enough to put the rest in the freezer. You can scrape/peel it frozen and use what you need. Grating is easy when it’s frozen. Then you’ll always have fresh ginger to use in your recipes.

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