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Chicken Chow Mein


Chicken Chow Mein. Chow mein are stir-fried noodles, the name being an English language corruption of the Chinese chao mian. The dish is popular throughout the Chinese diaspora where it will appear on the menu of Chinese restaurants. It is particularly popular in the United States, and Britain.

In American Chinese cuisine, it is a stir-fried dish consisting of noodles, meat (chicken is most common but pork, beef or shrimp can be used), onions and celery. It is often served as a specific dish at westernized Chinese restaurants.

There are two main kinds of chow meins available on the market:
1) Steamed chow mein
2) Crispy chow mein, also known as Hong Kong style chow mein. The steamed chow mein has a softer texture, while the latter is crisper and drier. Crispy chow mein uses fried, flat noodles, while soft chow mein uses long, rounded noodles.


Crispy chow mein has either onions and celery in the finished dish or is served “strained”, without any vegetables. Steamed chow mein can have many different kinds of vegetables in the finished dish; most commonly including onions and celery but also sometimes carrots, cabbage and mung bean sprouts as well. Crispy chow mein is usually topped with a thick brown sauce, while steamed chow mein is mixed with soy sauce before being served.

Chicken chow mein
Chicken Chow Mein

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Serves: 4 main course servings


3 ounces dried chuka soba noodles, or other Chinese egg noodles
1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons peanut oil
Kosher salt
1/2 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce, plus more for the table
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 6 ounces), cut into thin 2-inch-long strips
1 teaspoon dark Asian sesame oil
1 heaping tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 scallion, white and green minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 cup mix red, yellow and green peppers, seeded and cut in strips
10 dried shittake mushrooms, rehydrated, drained, and thinly sliced
1/3 cup thinly sliced canned water chestnuts
6 ounces fresh mung bean sprouts
3 cups cooked white rice, hot


Boil the noodles according to package instructions. Drain in a colander in the sink and rinse under cold running water. Shake the colander to drain off excess water and pat the noodles dry with a towel.

Heat 1/4 cup of the peanut oil in a large seasoned or non-stick skillet over high heat. Add the noodles, spreading them out to evenly cover the skillet, and fry, turning once, until golden brown and crispy, about 8 minutes. (Break the noodles up, by stirring, near the end of the cooking). Transfer noodles to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt to taste. Set aside. Discard any excess oil and wipe out the pan.

Whisk together the chicken broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, and sugar in a small bowl, and set aside. Season the chicken with the dark sesame oil, salt, and pepper, and set aside.


Heat the skillet over high heat. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil until very hot. Add the ginger, garlic, and scallion and stir-fry, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and stir-fry, until lightly browned, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the onion, celery, peppers and mushrooms and stir-fry, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the water chestnuts and spread the ingredients to the outside of the pan to form a well in the center. Pour the chicken broth mixture into the well, bring to a boil, and stir to coat the chow mein mixture. Stir in the bean sprouts and remove from the heat. Season generously to taste with pepper.

Transfer chicken chow mein to a warm platter and top with the fried noodles. Serve immediately with rice. Pass more soy sauce at the table.


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