Easy Homemade Chow Mein

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This easy homemade chow mein recipe is the perfect way to enjoy take out at home, without having to order in!

Chow Mein noodles are tossed with a mixture of carrots, cabbage and bean sprouts in a tasty sauce.

Chow Mein noodles topped with green onions and sesame seeds.

We love Chinese food but we love it even more when it is homemade! Chow mein is always at the top of our list along with mongolian beef, beef stir fry, fried rice and shrimp stir fry (and of course crispy egg rolls)!

What is Chow Mein?

Chow mein is a standard of Chinese cuisine, involving lots of lightly stir-fried noodles with veggies in a tasty sauce. The chow means “stir fry” and mein means noodles.

This dish can vary a bit by region and can be served with crispy noodles or soft noodles. This recipe is a soft noodle dish.

You can easily modify this chow mein recipe by adding chicken, pork, beef or shrimp and mixing up the vegetables however you like!

Chow Mein Noodles

You can purchase fresh chow mein noodles in most grocery stores, often near the produce or deli areas.

Often, some kind of protein is added. Various versions include beef, shrimp, pork or chicken chow mein.

Chow Mein ingredients.

Chow Mein Vs. Lo Mein – What’s The Difference?

These two dishes are very similar because they often include identical ingredients. The difference is in how the noodles are prepared.

Chow mein noodles are usually stir-fried and lo mein noodles are often boiled. Chow mein noodles tend to be thin round noodles where lo mein noodles are flatter and wider.

Both are egg noodles and can be used interchangeably in this dish if you only have one other the other. Even thin spaghetti can work in this recipe.

Two images showing the steps to prep the chow mein ingredients in the frying pan and top with homemade sauce.

To Make Chow Mein

Once you see how easy it is to make homemade chow mein, it’ll become a go-to!

  1. SAUTE: Cook the garlic, ginger, carrots, and cabbage in a wok or skillet over high heat.
  2. STIR: Stir in the noodles, sauce, and sprouts and stir fry for a couple more minutes.
  3. SERVE: Serve the chow mein with green onions and sesame seeds.

Overview of chow mein noodles in a frying pan.


Leftover chow mein will keep in the fridge for up to four days. To reheat, just pop it in the microwave or on the stovetop. Chow mein also freezes well making for great lunches. Store it in plastic freezer containers for up to four months and thaw before reheating.

More Asian-Inspired Dinner Recipes

Chow Mein in a bowl with green onions as garnish
5 from 7 votes
Review Recipe

Chow Mein

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine Asian
This easy dish includes carrots, cabbage and bean sprouts swimming in a tasty sauce.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 cup carrots julienned
  • 1 cup napa cabbage sliced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 6 ounces chow mein noodles cooked according to package directions.
  • 3 green onions sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth low sodium
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce low sodium
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

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  • Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Heat the oil in a stir fry pan or deep skillet over high heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds.
  • Add carrots and cabbage. Stir fry 2-3 minutes or until slightly tender.
  • Add bean sprouts, noodles, and sauce and stir fry an additional 2-3 minutes or until heated through. Top with green onions and sesame seeds if desired. Serve warm.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 260, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 9g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Sodium: 1410mg, Potassium: 206mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 2823IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 43mg, Iron: 2mg
Keyword chow mein
Top image - Chow Mein prepared in a frying pan. Bottom image - sauce being poured over prepared Chow Mein in a frying pan.
Chow Mein prepared in a frying pan.
Chow Mein in a serving dish garnished with green onions.

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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    1. Hello Gail, this Chow Mein recipe contains vegetables. As mentioned in the write up:

      You can easily modify this chow mein recipe by adding chicken, pork, beef or shrimp and mixing up the vegetables however you like!

      Enjoy the recipe!

  2. This is a great base recipe. We are cooks that like to modify a tad and its usually more heat and veg. Regardless, this recipe gets the engine humming. Thank you.5 stars

  3. I have never made this recipe or any Oriental recipe before but would love to. How may I lower the sodium content so as not to cause harm to my Nana’s health or becoming waterlogged myself. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you Holly for a delicious looking recipe, hope I may be able to try it soon.

    1. Hi Sherry, to reduce sodium I would check the ingredients you are using and opt for low sodium varieties. I hope that helps!

    1. Hi Meghan, we have only made this recipe as listed but you could try leaving the oyster sauce out or replacing it with additional soy sauce. Let us know how it turns out :)