This easy homemade chow mein recipe both delicious and easy to make!

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

Bowl of Chow Mein with green onions

What is Chow Mein?

We love Chinese food and Chow mein is always at the top of our list.

This dish 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.

Ingredients for Chow Mein on a cutting board

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

These two dishes are very similar because of the 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 or the other.

Chow Mein ingredients in a pan with sauce being poured on

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.

Chow Mein in a pan with green onions


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 Homemade Favorites

Chow Mein in a bowl with green onions as garnish
5 from 36 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Easy Homemade Chow Mein

This easy dish includes carrots, cabbage and bean sprouts swimming in a tasty sauce.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
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  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ½ 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


  • cup chicken broth low sodium
  • ¼ cup soy sauce low sodium
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch


  • 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.
5 from 36 votes

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

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine Asian
Chow Mein with writing
Chow Mein with a title
Chow Mein in a bowl with writing


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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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Recipe Rating


  1. Great recipe! I added broccoli and omitted bean sprouts. I did cook the veggies much longer to get them tender. Pro tip: toast your sesame seeds, small nonstick pan sprayed w Pam or small bit of oil on med-high and just stir a bit until toasted-it elevates any dish instantly. ***** 5 stars5 stars

  2. I came back to read reviews incase I missed something. I made this tonight for dinner and doubled everything given our big appetites and desire for leftovers.
    My experience (using a stove top wok) the heat on big was too hot and created splatter when adding the ginger and garlic. I had my ingredients pre cut so I could stay on the pan since it was a quick cook time and hands on need. I couldn’t find nappa cabbage at my grocery store & used a standard head in place & shredded it using a knife. I couldn’t find “chow mein noodles” and opted for “lo mein” noodles. (Based on what I read online – same egg based -dry noodle (looked like short spaghetti).
    I cooked my cabbage & carrots way longer and added the lid because they were still too crisp/raw after 3 minutes.
    The end result was very pasty, and sadly flavorless.
    I followed the recipe and measured everything. What am I missing?

    I don’t normally have this result with any recipe, let alone one from Holly/ Spend with Pennies. I must have done something wrong but can’t place it. Any suggestions/ideas?

    1. Oh no! I am sorry to hear this happened Virgina. You want the carrots and cabbage to be just tender because they will continue to cook when you add the rest of the ingredients.

  3. I’ve been searching for an easy and tasty chow mein recipe. After many failed attempts I found this one! Second time making it tonight and my only mistake was not doubling lol! I only use a tri color shredded cabbage pack and fresh green onions in the stirfry and the family loved it :) Thank you!!5 stars

  4. This recipe was amazing! Made the chowmein as directed, served with sweet chili sauce on the side and pineapple! Thankyou for such a great recipe, will be making it again!5 stars

  5. This recipe looks especially good and I would love to try it but I cannot have oyster sauce because of allergy What could I substitute for it. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes on here and for your help. .

    1. Hi Mary, 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 :)


    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!

  7. 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

  8. 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 :)