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January 30, 2024

Shrimp Chow Mein

Shrimp chow mein has it all–chewy noodles, tender veggies, and crunchy cabbage cooked until caramelized in a spicy sweet sauce.


shrimp chow mein made with tamari, chili sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and shredded vegetables on a plate with chopsticks
Photography by Gayle McLeod

Make The Best Chow Mein In Your Own Kitchen

We love a bowl of saucy-spicy-sweet shrimp chow mein noodles any night of the week, and we get to cross off “Eat more veggies” from our to-do list with one meal! Great on its own, but even better when you get to enjoy a few more of favorites like Dry Fried Green Beans, Fried Rice, Hot and Sour Cabbage. Homemade chow mein is super quick-cooking, making this classic Chinese takeout meal easy to make in your own kitchen.

shrimp chow mein made with soy sauce, chili sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil & vegetables in a skillet with chopsticks

What Is Shrimp Chow Mein?

Chow mein is a favorite American Chinese dish made of pan fried noodles, vegetables, and often a protein tossed in a light and sweet soy sauce. Chow mein is made from dried noodles, while lo mein is usually made with fresh egg noodles. Chow mein and lo mein also differ in the preparation, because chow mein calls for all of the ingredients (and their various textures) to be fried together in the pan. This recipe calls for our favorite quick-cooking shrimp, and can be made in less than an hour from start to finish.

shrimp, chow mein noodles, soy sauce, chili sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and shredded vegetables in prep bowls

Ingredients You’ll Need To Make Easy Shrimp Chow Mein At Home

The sauce for chow mein is the star of this dish, and calls for specific pantry items that will help you accomplish making other Chinese dishes once you have them.

  • Oyster sauce – This thick syrupy sauce brings a sweet umami flavor to dishes. It’s also a major hitter in our Sesame Garlic Ramen Noodles.

  • Soy sauce or tamari – If you only have one of these sauce items in your kitchen already, it’s probably soy sauce. Or at least the little soy sauce packets you’ve been saving in your condiment drawer.

  • Shaoxing wine, rice vinegar or dry sherry – Shaoxing wine is made from rice and adds a subtle flavor profile to many Chinese dishes, and has the same effect as using red wine in Coq au Vin.

  • Chili sauce – This recipe would be nothing without the beloved chili sauce. This recipe calls for 1-2 teaspoons, but this is really a you-do-you situation.

oyster sauce, soy sauce, Shaoxing, brown sugar, chili sauce, garlic, and ginger combined in a glass bowl
shrimp being tossed with oyster sauce, soy sauce, Shaoxing, brown sugar, chili sauce, garlic, ginger & salt
shrimp tossed with oyster sauce, soy sauce, Shaoxing, brown sugar, chili sauce, garlic, ginger & salt
marinated shrimp cooked in a skillet with vegetable oil and sesame oil

How To Make Shrimp Chow Mein

  • Make the sauce. A medium-sized mixing bowl will give you enough room to work.

  • Season the shrimp. Add the shrimp to the sauce, and toss until coated. A silicone spatula will help accomplish this task.

  • Boil the noodles. You’ll need a pot large enough for the noodles to move around. They might stick together, in which case you can rinse them under cold water once they’re done cooking.

  • Cook the shrimp and the vegetables.

  • Toss to combine. A wok is the best vessel for cooking shrimp chow mein, because it allows you to easily toss all of the ingredients together.

carrots, bell peppers and celery being cooked in a skillet
cooked chow mein noodles , soy sauce mixture, green onion, and cabbage being cooked in sesame oil in a skillet
shrimp, chow mein noodles, cooked bell peppers, carrots, celery, onion amd cabbage being tossed together in a skillet
shrimp chow mein made with soy sauce, chili sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and shredded vegetables in a skillet

Our Tips For Storing And Variations

  • You can freeze shrimp chow mein. Allow it to cool completely before storing it in the fridge or freezer. Best practices call for eating leftovers from the fridge in 3-4 days, and within a couple of months from the freezer.

  • Our Chicken Chow Mein recipe is a tasty alternative, and if you don’t want to use shrimp or chicken, you could substitute tofu or leave out protein completely from this recipe!

  • We love to heat up leftovers and throw a perfectly lacy fried egg on top for breakfast the next day.

  • Need more dairy free noodle recipe inspo? Check out our Dairy Free Mac and Cheese recipe.

shrimp chow mein made with soy sauce, chili sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and vegetables on a plate with chopsticks

Don’t Skimp On The Shrimp!

We’ve got plenty more shrimp recipes for you here:

For more recipe inspiration you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest. Have you tried this recipe? We love when you share your meals. Tag us on Instagram using #themodernproper. Happy cooking!

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Shrimp Chow Mein

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  25 min
  • Calories: 270


  • ¼ cup oyster sauce
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine, rice vinegar or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili sauce (such as Sambal Oelek)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1½ pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 (12-ounce) package dried chow mein noodles
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 4 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage


  1. In a small bowl, combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, Shaoxing, brown sugar, chili sauce, garlic, and ginger.

  2. In a small bowl, toss together the shrimp, salt, and two tablespoons of the soy sauce mixture.

  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cook the noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil and the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, 1-2 minutes per side. Transfer the shrimp to a plate.

  5. Add the carrots, bell pepper, and celery to the same skillet and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the plate with the shrimp.

  6. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil to the skillet. Add the cooked noodles (see Note), remaining soy sauce mixture, onion whites, and cabbage and toss to combine. Cook until slightly caramelized, about 5-7 minutes. Return the vegetables and shrimp to the skillet and toss until combined and warmed through.

  7. Serve topped with onion greens.

Note: If the noodles are stuck together, rinse them under water to separate them before adding them to the skillet.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories270
  • Protein19 g
  • Carbohydrates20 g
  • Total Fat13 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol165 mg
  • sodium1816 mg
  • Total Sugars5 g

Shrimp Chow Mein

Questions & Reviews

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  • Kay

    YES PLEASE! Take out flavor for a fraction of the price and it only took as long as it would for me to order it and go pick it up! Loved this.

    Thanks Kay, so happy you enjoyed it!