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Chicken Chow Mein

February 6, 2024

Our chicken chow mein recipe features easy stir-fried noodles studded with bites of chicken and veggies, in a savory sweet sauce.


homemade chicken chow mein with carrots, cabbage, celery and green onion on a plate

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Homemade Chicken Chow Mein

If you were ordering Chicken Chow Mein for delivery, you probably would add a few more classics like Orange Chicken, Fried Rice, and Chinese Dry-Fried Green Beans and Vegetable Stir Fry or Chicken Stir Fry to round out the tasting menu. Don’t forget a pot of fluffy White Rice, too! We like to do this at home too, so everyone gets a few bites of their favorite dishes. Whether it’s part of a feast of many dishes, or just an easy weeknight dinner, chicken chow mein is an easy recipe to make at home.

raw chicken, chow mein noodles, soy sauce, oil, cabbage, celery, noodles, garlic, green onions and bell peppers.

What Is Chow Mein?

Chow mein falls solidly into the category of Chinese-American cuisine—it is not an authentic Chinese dish. It’s likely derived from a few different stir-fried noodle dishes, but was created in American Chinese restaurants to cater to Western palates. What’s the difference between lo mein and chow mein? A lot of people in America use these two terms interchangeably, but the most consistent differences are the type of noodles used and the order in which things are cooked. Chow mein is usually made from dried noodles, whereas most lo mein recipes call for fresh egg noodles (the kind you’d find in a refrigerated section of a grocery store). Chow mein recipes (like ours) call for the noodles, veggies and chicken to be stir-fried together, while many lo mein recipes have the noodles tossed in right at the end or even call for the veggies and/or meat to be served on top of cooked noodles.

raw chicken breast pieces velveted in a bowl with cornstarch and soy sauce
chicken pieces in a bowl that has been tossed in salt, soy sauce and cornstarch and then poached
poached chicken pieces and garlic cooking in a large skillet
shredded cabbage, sliced bell peppers, chopped celery, shaved carrots, garlic and ginger being cooked in a large skillet

Ingredients You’ll Need To Make This Easy Chicken Chow Mein

  • Chicken breast

  • Cornstarch

  • Soy sauce

  • Dried chow mein noodles

  • Garlic

  • Ginger

  • Oyster sauce. If you’re not familiar with oyster sauce, it’s time to get familiar! This classic Chinese sauce is indeed made from oysters (just like it sounds like it is) and is the key to the super savory goodness of chow mein (and lots of other beloved takeout classics).

  • Rice vinegar

  • Brown sugar

  • Chili sauce

  • Sesame oil

  • Canola oil

  • Veggies: carrots, celery and cabbage

oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar and chili sauce stirred together in a bowl
fresh chow mein noodles cooked in sauce in a large skillet
chicken, chow mein noodles and stir fried veggies being tossed in sauce in a skillet
homemade chicken chow mein with bell peppers, celery, carrots and a sauce in a skillet

How To Make Chicken Chow Mein

There’s a lot of “into the pan, then out of the pan, then back into the pan, then back out of the pan” work to do here, so it’s helpful to have a few plates set near the stovetop while you work. Here’s how to make it:

  1. Season the chicken—salt, soy sauce, cornstarch.

  2. Boil the chickenand the dried chow mein noodles separately. We use one medium pot and one large pot.

  3. Stir-fry the chicken. Stir-fry the boiled chicken pieces for a few minutes in a combo of sesame and canola oil in a large wok or skillet.

  4. Stir-fry the veggies. Stir-fry the veggies in that same sesame-and-canola oil mixture.

  5. Make the chicken chow mein sauce. Whisk together oyster sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, chili sauce and rice vinegar to make a sauce.

  6. Stir-fry the noodles! Fry the cooked chow mein noodles with the sauce until the noodles are caramelized and crispy in places.

  7. Stir-fry it all together! Add the chicken and veggies and toss it all together.

  8. Serve! Garnish with sliced green onions.

homemade chicken chow mein with bell peppers, celery, carrots and a sauce in a skillet
homemade chicken chow mein with bell peppers, celery, carrots and a sauce in a skillet

How to Store Chow Mein Leftovers + Tips

  • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days, and frozen for up to 2 months. We prefer reheating leftovers in a skillet on the stovetop.

  • A note on noodles: Our recipe calls for one 12 ounce package of dried chow mein noodles. These noodles are made with wheat, and are sturdy enough to hold up to being first cooked, then stir-fried.

  • Stir fry is a technique that loves high heat, and constant stirring. It also helps to have a wok, but is definitely not necessary.

  • Save yourself some prep time, and buy pre-cut vegetables.

  • We often use this recipe as a way to do a fridge cleanout–everything from peas and corn and spinach have made their way into our chicken chow mein.

homemade chicken chow mein with bell peppers, celery, carrots on a serving plate
homemade chicken chow mein with bell peppers, celery, carrots on a serving plate

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Chicken Chow Mein

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  25 min
  • Cook Time:  35 min
  • Calories: 649


  • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 5 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 (12-ounces) package dried chow mein noodle
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, divided
  • 1 cup julienned carrots or bell peppers
  • 2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chili paste (we like Sambal Oelek or Sriracha)
  • Green onions, thinly sliced (optional)


  1. In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the salt and cornstarch until evenly coated. Add 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce and mix until evenly coated.

  2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the coated chicken and cook until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the chicken and cook, stirring, until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add another tablespoon of the sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil to the wok. Add the carrots, cabbage, celery, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant, 4 minutes more.

  5. In a small bowl, combine the oyster sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, chili sauce, and the remaining 3 tablespoons of soy sauce until fully combined.

  6. Increase the heat to high and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and the remaining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the wok. Add the noodles and sauce and cook, stirring, until combined and caramelized, 5 minutes. Return the veggies and chicken to the wok and toss to combine.

  7. Sprinkle with green onions and serve warm.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories649
  • Protein46 g
  • Carbohydrates65 g
  • Total Fat26 g
  • Dietary Fiber2 g
  • Cholesterol66 mg
  • sodium1803 mg
  • Total Sugars8 g

Chicken Chow Mein

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Angela

    I’m having a hard time finding the type of chow Mein noodles you call for where I live. What brands do you suggest?

    You can get La Choy and Sun Luck on amazon. Any brand you can find will work. Kroger makes some too. Hope you can find some Angela!

  • Karen

    Recipe shares to cook noodles as pkg indicates...yet my can of chow mein does not...they are crunchy

    The package should list instructions. Depending on the brand the cooking instructions might differ.

  • Sandra

    Why am I coating the chicken in cornstarch and soy sauce just to then "wash it off" again when I put the chicken in a pot of boiling water for 4mins? Am I missing something here?

    The cornstarch does not wash off. This is a technique called "Velveting." When you coat the meat in the cornstarch mixture and then blanch it you create a coating that seals in all of the juices so that those small thin pieces of chicken don't get dried out. It also creates a coating of velvet texture on the chicken. Hope this helps!

  • Candy

    What is oyster sauce

    It is a rich, syrup like sauce that is used in Chinese cuisine made from oyster extract.

  • Shaylen

    How many people does it serve?

    Serves 6!

  • Christene

    LOVED IT! Like Kelly, I make a lot of online recipes and never leave reviews and never mind taking a picture! So...we have already sent it out to a few friends!

    I prepped everything earlier in the day and would recommend prepping in advance. It did make a large recipe and was delicious out of the fridge today!

    Thank you Christene, we are so glad you loved it! Thanks for taking time to leave a review we love to hear the feedback!

  • Joanne

    I have made this recipe twice now and it is the best we have ever had, it truly is delicious. The only comment I have is, that for me, I found the recipe a little cumbersome to follow, as it requires lots of scrolling up and down (I have it saved on my laptop) to see each measurement, for each ingredient, at the time it is needed/added. Anyway, maybe it is just me and I do love the recipe.

    Thanks Joanne, so happy you loved it!

  • RockinRic

    I just made this for dinner tonight and it was awesome. I did add sprouts, bok choy and canned chestnuts and of course baby corn on the cob to your recipe and it was amazing. There is enough for at least another dinner and a lunch as I’m a single person but no matter I will enjoy the left overs. I find meals like this are much taster the next day. Thank you so much for such an easy meal and so tasty. It does take a while to prep all the ingredients but once you’ve done this it goes together in a flash. I highly recommend making this recipe. Cheers everyone and enjoy.

    Thanks Rick, we are so happy that you loved it!

  • Kelly

    Seriously the best chicken chow mein. It tastes just like take-out chow mein. I cook from online recipes a lot but never leave a review. This recipe is SO GOOD that I had to. 10/10

    Thank you so much Kelly! We are so glad you loved it and are so happy you left a review!

  • L

    Absolutely delicious! Will definitely make again

    Thank you, this is so wonderful to hear! Glad you loved it!