Better Than Takeout Chow Mein

There is no need to order out! This Better than Takeout Chow Mein is flavorful, delicious and ready in under 20 minutes! 

Make it a night and make all your takeout favorites! Try our cashew chicken, fried rice, sesame chicken, sweet and sour chicken, or Szechuan beef, they are all better than takeout!! 

Homemade Chow Mein recipe in bowl

What is Chow Mein?

If you are like me it’s easy to get confused between chow mein and lo mein. I made that mistake only once when ordering out and remember it better now. What’s the difference?

Hong Kong-style pan-fried noodles (chow mein) are more crispy as opposed to the soft boiled noodles you get with lo mein! 

Today, I’m sharing how to make our famous chow mein noodles. You only need a handful of ingredients (all of which can be found at your regular supermarket). However, if you have an Asian supermarket nearby I would suggest checking out their selection of parboiled noodles. Otherwise, yaki-soba or linguine noodles work too! 

Chow mein made at home in skillet

How to Make Chow Mein

You’ll need:

  • A large skillet (the biggest you have)
  • Cooked chow mein noodles (see NOTES),
  • Veggies: carrot, celery, onion, garlic, cabbage (bok choy and water chestnuts if desired)
  • Sauces: soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, (Not everyone has oyster sauce and sesame oil on hand, but it’s definitely something you’ll want to purchase!  Especially if you plan on making any of my other “better than takeout” recipes… or really any Asian recipe for that matter)
  • Seasonings: brown sugar, ground ginger, salt, and pepper.

Steps :

  1. Mix the sauces and seasonings together and set aside
  2. Cook the noodles while sauteing the veggies
  3. Put cooked noodles and sauce in the pan with all the veggies and cook for another 2-3 minutes-that is it!!

Variations/additions: sometimes I like to mix things up an add or swap ingredients! 

  • Shiitake mushrooms 
  • Bean sprouts
  • Sriracha 
  • beef/chicken/pork/shrimp


How to make crispy chow mein? to make sure your noodles are extra crispy you can begin by sauteing them first until they get golden brown and then set them aside and then saute your veggies and follow the recipe from there.

How to know if bok choy is ripe? Ripe bok choy has bright green leaves and a creamy white stem. Old bok choy is dull in color and the stem has begun to yellow.

Different types of noodles? You can use egg noodles, fettuccine, linguine, or if you don’t have those around you can use instant noodles (ramen) just discard the seasoning packet.

Homemade Chow Mein recipe in bowl

How to Store Chow Mein

I don’t recommend making this dish ahead of time because it is just so much better fresh. But I will have it as leftovers, you just need to know how to reheat it. 

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze in a freezer-safe ziplock for 2-3 months. To reheat skip the microwave because it creates a mushy/chewy texture. Instead reheat chow mein in a pan on the stovetop! Add a little bit of oil and over medium heat add your noodles and cook until warmed through. 

This better than takeout chow mein couldn’t get easier! 

 For dishes to serve with chow mein, check out:

  • Mongolian Beef Stir Fry
  • Vegetable Ramen Stir Fry
  • Sweet And Sour Pork
  • Better than takeout orange chicken

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    Better Than Takeout Chow Mein

    Better Than Takeout Chow Mein Recipe

    There's no need to order out! This better than takeout chow mein is flavorful, delicious and ready to go in just 20 minutes!
    4.75 from 8 votes
    Pin Rate
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: Chinese
    Prep Time: 10 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Total Time: 20 minutes
    Servings: 6 servings
    Calories: 293kcal
    Author: Andrea
    Print Recipe


    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
    • 1 tsp sesame oil
    • 1 tbsp brown sugar
    • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
    • pinch salt and pepper
    • 12-14 oz refrigerated chow mein noodles*
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 carrot - sliced into rounds
    • 1/2 yellow onion - sliced into strips
    • 2 stalks celery - sliced
    • 4 cloves garlic - minced
    • 2 cup cabbage - shredded
    • 1 baby bok choy - shredded (optional)
    • 1/3 cup water chestnuts - sliced (optional)
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    • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, ginger, salt and pepper, set aside.
    • Set a large pot of water of high heat, bring to a boil. Add in the noodles and cook according to the package's instructions, about 2-3 minutes, then drain.
    • Meanwhile, while the water is coming to a boil, in a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. When hot, add in the carrots, onion and celery, cooking until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant.
    • Stir in the cabbage, bok choy and water chestnuts, then the cooked noodles. Pour in the sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the cabbage and boy choy become slightly wilted. Serve immediately.


    *I used two packages of Yaki-Soba noodles (ramen noodles) and discarded the flavor packets- but feel free to visit your local Asian supermarket, they'll definitely have a bigger selection of noodles.


    Serving: 6serving | Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1013mg | Potassium: 164mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2619IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 2mg

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Hi I'm Andrea!

Hotelier turned Food Blogger to help make your life simple, one recipe at a time.

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