Chicken Chow Mein

This stir fried noodle dish is in constant rotation in my house because it's super fast and easy to prepare, and, an added bonus, it is delicious for lunch the next day. You can make this faster than you can say "Let's order takeout", plus, it is cheaper and healthier than any restaurant version.

Chicken Chow Mein

Print Grocery List Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 2 pounds chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces (you can also use chicken breast)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda (only if using chicken breasts)
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • One package fresh Chow Mein noodles (you can also use dry noodles if you can’t find fresh)
  • 4 cups green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 carrots, julienned
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 6 scallions, green and white part, cut into 1/4” pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon Chow Mein Sauce (recipe below)
  • Chow Mein Sauce Recipe
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (for GF you can use tamari instead)
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce (you can substitute hoisin sauce)
  • 3 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine (you can substitute chicken broth, cooking sherry or Japanese sake)
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • White pepper



If using chicken breasts instead of thighs: Combine chicken and baking soda in a large gallon Ziploc bag and toss to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes to marinate, then rinse chicken well and pat dry. Set chicken aside. This is called “velveting” the chicken is a technique used to create super tender chicken. See TIP below.


Next, make the Chow Mein Sauce. In a small measuring cup, whisk together cornstarch and soy sauce, then whisk in remaining ingredients. You can also use a mason jar. Add all the ingredients to the jar, cover and give it a really good shake to blend.


Pour 2 tablespoons of Chow Mein Sauce over the chicken and set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.


Cook the Chow Mein noodles per instructions on the package. If using fresh noodles, no need to cook them ahead of time. Heat oil in a wok (preferred method!) or large skillet over high heat.


Add garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds until the garlic is golden brown and you can smell the garlic in the oil. Remove garlic from wok and discard.


Add chicken and cook until chicken just starts to brown.


Add the cabbage, carrot, and the white part of the scallions. Stir fry for about 5 minutes until the cabbage is just starting to wilt and the chicken is cooked through. Depending on how large your pieces of chicken are they could take a couple of extra minutes to cook, or they cook in about 2-3 minutes. To check the chicken, take out a piece and cut it in half. You will be able to tell instantly if it’s cooked or still raw.


Add the noodles, the rest of the Chow Mien sauce and water. Stir fry for another 1 minute, tossing to coat the noodles in the sauce.


Add bean sprouts and remaining scallions. Stir through quickly then remove from heat.


Serve immediately.


TIP: I highly recommend you “velvet” the chicken if you are using chicken breast. The baking soda makes the chicken soft and tender by breaking down the fibers in the chicken. Chicken thighs are plenty tender and juicy, so no need to do this step if you are using thighs, but I would definitely use the technique if using chicken breast.

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