Chicken Lo Mein with sweet and savory Umami flavored sauce like Chinese takeout! This chicken Lo Mein recipe is made with noodles, vegetables, chicken, and a quick homemade lo mein sauce! Lo mein can be vegetarian or made with beef, pork, or shrimp!
We love to eat Restaurant-style food at home and this Chinese Chow Mein or Shrimp fried rice (stir-fry) is super easy to make from scratch! Serve with General Tso’s chicken, Orange Chicken, or Asian Chicken Fingers for a house-special Chinese meal! We even have a recipe for Chinese Egg Rolls like the copycat take-out and crab rangoons!
What is lo Mein?
Traditional Lo Mein is made from egg noodles, a few vegetables, well-seasoned soy sauce, and some type of meat or seafood like chicken, pork, beef, or shrimp. It can be eaten plain like this Vegetable lo mein, but chicken makes it hearty and similar to the popular lo mein dish in many American Chinese restaurants known as take-out food.
Lo Mein Sauce:
This lo mein sauce recipe is mainly of soy sauce and oyster sauce, then flavored and sweetened with simple ingredients. Oyster sauce is a dark brown Chinese condiment that you can buy in the Asian section, usually, near the soy sauce. It’s a savory sweet and salty thick sauce, commonly used in Chinese cuisine, and is actually made of oyster extracts. The best substitute for Oyster sauce would be hoisin sauce, which is also a dark-colored thick sauce used in stir-frying. However, since hoisin is more fruity and fragrant it needs to be adjusted and sweetened with more sugar, and soy sauce for the perfect sweet and salty flavor in this sauce for lo mein.
The Best Lo Mein Noodles:
The most popular Chinese noodles for Lo Mein are noodles made from wheat like the Twin Marquis Fresh Noodles. They are thicker than some other Chinese egg noodles and are chewy in taste. Since they are fresh they cook in minutes and sometimes can be found in the freezer section of restaurant supply stores. Typically, any medium Chinese-style noodles like Cantonese egg noodles (from Walmart), rice noodles, or stir-fry noodles can be used. Lately, I’ve been using brown rice spaghetti noodles that are gluten-free and healthy! If you can’t find specific lo mein noodles you can use boxed spaghetti or ramen noodles.
Chow Mein vs Lo Mein:
The difference between Lo Mein, vs chow mein, is that lo mein means “stirred noodles” and chow mein means “stir-fried noodles.” In Authentic Chinese Lo Mein, Lo mein is stirred with a thin sauce and added with toppings, whereas American-style lo mein is stir-fried with seasoned soy sauce and mixed with meats and vegetables. Lo mein and chow mein noodles can differ in thickness and are both very similar in preparation when made in the U.S. Also, don’t confuse the crispy chow mein noodles in a can those are crunchy noodles typically used for garnish.
What Kind of Vegetables Should I Use?
Vegetables like bok choy (Chinese cabbage), carrots, and onions (scallions) is the most common, veggie lo mein combination. However, I don’t always have Asian cabbage (or napa cabbage) on hand so, I’ll typically slice the ends off of a head of romaine lettuce for an easy substitute. Sliced onions are crisp in texture and perfect for added crunch in this dish. Homemade lo mein is perfect for cleaning out the fridge with veggies you need to use up like bell peppers, broccoli, or even some frozen veggies like green beans. Make this with 1/2 cup of chopped veggies of choice and try not to exceed more than 3 vegetables, so as to not overpower the sauce. Always julienne or chop the veggies for even cooking.
Chicken Lo Mein Ingredients:
This is an easy lo mein recipe using simple ingredients and a couple of Asian condiments. If you cannot find oyster or hoisin sauce you can make homemade eel sauce which is a thick dark brown glaze made from soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar perfect for a teriyaki sauce substitute. Here is everything you need to make Chicken Lo Mein;
- Lo Mein Sauce- should be savory and sweet. Soy sauce should be the base and then sweetened with some sugar and spices it gets transformed into an umami sauce! Bottled oyster or hoisin sauce is already a thick consistency to start from so you do need to use cornstarch for thickening. Spices like dried ginger and fresh garlic add a pungent flavor.
- Vegetables- should be sliced evenly or julienned for even cooking. I like my onions a little on the chunkier side for added crunch so, they get sliced on the thicker side. The cabbage is best cut thin at an angle and the carrots are so easy to julienne using this julienne slicer.
- Chicken- is a great protein to add to lo mein! For a vegetarian option use diced tofu!
- Egg Noodles- can be bought at Asian supermarkets, Walmart, or Target. Look for an egg noodle pasta that is pale yellow in color and mainly made of wheat and eggs. Any long and stringy pasta will work too, simply follow the package instructions for cooking then rinse with water, and let it dry out.
Cooking Tip: for added aroma drizzle a little sesame oil into the stir-fry after tossing all the ingredients together.
How To Make Lo Mein With Chicken:
Chicken Lo Mein is an easy one-pan dish with an even faster cooking time. With some prep time, this can make a 20-minute meal! You can cook this on the stovetop in any pan with high sides. A Wok is a Chinese cooking pan perfect for high cooking temperatures, I cook in this cast-iron wok but you can use an enamel dutch oven or a simple pan. The key to cooking any lo mein is to cook everything over high heat to caramelize the veggies and create a dark glaze for the noodles.
- Make the lo mein sauce by whisking all the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
- Prep the vegetables. Julienne the carrots, and slice the onions and cabbage. Set aside.
- Cut the chicken into thin strips.
- Cook the egg noodles according to the package instructions. Rinse with cold water and allow to dry out in the colander.
- Heat a wok or pan over high heat. Add 2 Tbsp of oil and sear the vegetables for 1-2 minutes stirring once (you want charred pieces.) Remove with a slotted spoon.
- In the same pan add 2 more Tbsp of oil and cook the chicken strips until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add 2 more Tbsp of oil to the wok and add the cooked noodles. Stir in the sauce, reserved vegetables, and chicken. Toss everything together over high heat until the noodles are browned in the sauce (about 2 minutes.)
How To Make Chicken Lo Mein:
Chicken Lo Mein Recipe
- 1 wok or pan
- 1 slotted spoon (to remove vegetables and chicken)
- 1 julienne slicer (for carrots)
- 1 sharp knife
- 1 pot (to cook egg noodles)
Chicken Lo Mein
- 1 lb Chinese egg noodles (or spaghetti cooked to package instructions, and drained.)
- 1 carrot (peeled and julienned)
- 1/2 cup chopped cabbage (can use the bottom of salad greens or bean sprouts)
- 1 small onion (sliced)
- 1 large chicken breast (thinly sliced)
Lo Mein Sauce:
- 2 Tbsp oyster sauce** (see substitute)
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1/8 tsp dried ginger
- dash of white pepper
How to make Chicken Lo Mein:
- Combine the sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Prep the Vegetables. Julienne the carrot, slice the onions and cabbage. Set aside.
- Cut the chicken into thin strips. Set aside.
- Heat a wok or pan over high heat. Add 2 Tbsp of oil and sear all of the vegetables for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the chicken pieces and cook until done. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- In the same pan add 2 more tablespoons of oil and add the cooked noodles. Pour in the sauce, and add the reserved vegetables, and chicken, then toss everything together over high heat until nicely browned (about 2 minutes.)
Nutrition per serving
- Hoisin or Oyster can be used in this recipe! If using Hoisin add more sugar and soy sauce to balance the fruity taste.
- Use the ends of romaine or iceberg lettuce for the cabbage or bean sprouts!
- To make ahead, precook noodles rinse with cold water and toss in oil. Keep sauce separate and combine in the wok over hi heat before serving!
- Spaghetti and other egg noodles work great! Simply over cook by 2 minutes for softer noodles!