This Easy Chicken Chow Mein is my timeless favourite – it’s quick, easy to make and everyone loves it! It combines juicy chicken thighs with crispy vegetables, noodles and delicious sauce. Ready in just 30 minutes, it’s the perfect recipe for any day of the week.
WHAT IS CHICKEN CHOW MEIN
Chicken Chow Mein is a stir-fry dish that originated in Northern China. As some resources say, it’s been brought to the United States by Chinese immigrants in the 1850s and its name translates to “stir-fried noodles” in Cantonese. The preparation of chow mein can differ between regions, but all of them start with a concept of stir-fried noodles, vegetables and protein, covered in a delicious sauce.
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE IT
- Oyster sauce: For a deep, umami flavour.
- Soy sauce: Providing the essential salty element.
- Rice vinegar: Or black vinegar, adding a tangy note to the sauce.
- Brown sugar: Balancing out the flavours with subtle sweetness.
- Chilli paste: Optional, for those who crave a spicy kick.
- Garlic and ginger: Adding aromatic depth to the sauce.
- Fine egg noodles: Dried traditional or chow mein noodles can be used.
- Chicken thighs: Boneless and skinless, diced for easy cooking.
- Cornstarch: To coat the chicken, ensuring a velvety texture.
- Vegetable oil and toasted sesame oil: For stir-frying, enhancing the nutty aroma.
- Vegetables: I like to add shiitake mushrooms, onion, carrots, mange tout (snow peas) and cabbage.
- Spring Onions: For a fresh, crunchy garnish.
HOW TO MAKE EASY CHICKEN CHOW MEIN
Please note: This is just an overview – the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: Make sauce and prepare the chicken.
Begin by whisking together oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, chilli paste (if using), minced garlic, and grated ginger in a small bowl. Take 2 tablespoons of this sauce and combine it with diced chicken thighs. Add a tablespoon of cornstarch to the chicken, ensuring each piece is well-coated. For a more intense flavour, allow the chicken to marinate for 15-20 minutes.
Step 2: Cook the noodles.
Cook the fine egg noodles (or chow mein noodles) for half of the time mentioned on the packaging, usually about 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Step 3: Stir-fry chicken and vegetables.
Heat vegetable oil and toasted sesame oil in a large pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the marinated chicken and cook until it’s sealed. Incorporate sliced mushrooms and onions, sautéing for 3-4 minutes. Introduce carrots, mange tout, and sliced cabbage, stir-frying until the vegetables are tender yet crisp, and the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Step 4: Combine and enjoy!
Add the partially cooked chow mein noodles and the prepared sauce to the pan. Toss everything together until well combined and heated through. Remove from heat, garnish with chopped green onions and enjoy!
STORING AND FREEZING TIPS
This easy chicken chow mein can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. To freeze, transfer cooled portions into freezer-safe containers, ensuring there’s some space for expansion. When ready to enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stove or in the microwave until piping hot.
- Perfect noodles: Cooking the noodles until they are slightly underdone prevents them from becoming mushy during stir-frying.
- Balanced flavours: Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving. You can add a splash of soy sauce for more saltiness or a touch of sugar to balance the flavours.
- Quality oyster sauce: Invest in a good-quality oyster sauce for a richer, more authentic flavour. The oyster sauce forms the backbone of the dish, so choosing a high-quality one can significantly elevate your Chicken Chow Mein.
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Can I use chicken breast instead of thighs?
Certainly! While thighs offer a juicier texture, chicken breast can be used if you prefer a leaner option. Just be cautious not to overcook it, as breast meat tends to dry out faster.
Can I make this Chow Mein vegetarian?
Absolutely. Skip the chicken and enhance the dish with tofu or a variety of your favourite vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, or baby corn.
Can I freeze the leftovers, and how do I reheat them?
Yes, you can freeze leftover Chicken Chow Mein. Store it in an airtight container for up to three months. To reheat, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and then gently reheat in a pan on the stove or in the microwave, adding a splash of water or broth to maintain its moisture and flavour.
Did you make it?
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I’d love to see your remakes!