Forget the Chinese takeout and make these Chow Mein stir-fried noodles in 15 minutes! These chow mein noodles are made with simple Kikkoman sauces to fix dinner fast! The whole family loves this Chow Mein recipe, even children!

chow mein noodles are the best Asian noodles!

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If you want to make from scratch Chow Mein sauce try the sauce from our Vegetable or Chicken Lo Mein that’s as good as a Chinese Restaurant dish! We also love this cold Asian Noodle Salad from crab meat (Kani Salad) as a side dish!

Asian Noodles

There are many different types of Asian noodles and recipes for a good stir fry, however, none can beat the ease of this Asian noodle dish! The sauce is simply the easiest of easy because you use bottled sauces that are on sale in most grocery stores and you can use plain spaghetti noodles.

What noodles to use can be a controversy topic, but when it comes down to easy dinner fast–spaghetti noodles are so handy, besides spaghetti is much likely to sit in a cupboard than specialty chow mein or lo mein noodles, which often times requires a trip to an Asian store. Furthermore, one will hardly tell the difference between egg noodles and spaghetti here, because Italian pasta are egg noodles made with wheat flour and eggs just like chow mein noodles.

My son claimed these were, “the World’s Best Noodles” when I had to make dinner in a cinch again (yes, we had these noodles back to back on one busy week), and believe me 1 pound of these Asian noodles get eaten in one sitting because everyone wants seconds! Even my toddler enjoys these so, they are the least spicy.

This recipe goes back to when our friends served these Asian Noodles for us. It was love at first bite for its super tasty sauce! Turns out these are the same Asian noodles many Slavic people cook at home with no fuss ingredients. And I totally get why–these Chow Mein noodles are the best when it comes to ease! If you love Lo Mein, wait until you try these Asian noodles!

Chow Mein Sauce

Now, here’s where the huge shortcut to chow mein lies, in the bottled sauces. I’m all for homemade sauces but, most Asian sauces already have the soy sauce, sugar, and spices all in a bottle, which means dinner is a breeze since you literally dump and toss the sauces right into the stir-fried noodles!

As a result, if you go to the Asian aisle of most grocery stores you’re likely to find Kikkoman stir-fry and sweet and sour sauce which I use in combination with Sriracha and sweet chili sauce (also easily available) to make the best chow mein concoction that even toddlers can eat!

Chow Mein vs Lo Mein

The difference between chow mein and lo mein is that chow mein noodles are thinner in size than lo mein noodles. Both noodles are prepared by boiling the egg noodles in water (thinner noodles take faster to boil or par-boil.)

Chow mein means stir-fried noodles and lo mein means stirred noodles-both are typically combined with vegetables (or tofu), meat (chicken), or seafood (shrimp). I typically toss and stir fry the noodles in the sauce regardless of which kind of noodles I make–chow mein or lo mein. It enhances the flavors and noodle texture when tossing through a wok.  


What Is Chow Mein?

Chow Mein is a Chinese dish made from stir-fried noodles. Sometimes it’s made with meat, vegetables, and tofu. This Taishanese, (chāu-mèn) dish is popular throughout Chinese Restaurants translating fried noodle.

It’s not only an American Chinese cuisine, but this stir-fried chow mein dish is popular in India, Nepal, the UK, and the US. What goes in chow mein is typically, cabbage, bean sprouts, and julienned carrots however, many variations include chicken. 

What Noodles To Use For Chow Mein?

Chow Mein noodles differ from Lo mien noodles in size. Typically chow mein noodles are thin dried and crinkly egg noodles found in the aisle of most Asian stores. Whereas, Lo mein noodles are usually fresh noodles sold in the freezer or fridge section of supermarkets and thicker in size. The thinner the noodles the quicker prep time. Italian pasta, like spaghetti is typically thicker than chow mein and takes the longest to boil. 

Ramen noodles are nearly instant to prepare and can easily be used for the chow mein noodles. Here is a list of the different noodles that can be used interchangeably; 

  • Ramen Noodles 
  • Chow Mein Noodles
  • Lo Mein 
  • Spaghetti
  • Thin Egg noodles
  • Fresh Chow Mein Noodles 

How To Make Chow Mein?

Chow Mein Noodles are made with wheat flour and eggs just like Italian pasta noodles (spaghetti)! The sauce is a combination of bottled Asian sauces found in the Asian Aisle of most grocery stores. This makes super quick and easy dinner as you can dump the sauces straight into the pan with noodles and stri-fry!

chow mein sauce

It’s faster to make homemade noodles than home delivery, because everything can be done in about 15 minutes from start to finish! Feel free to switch up the veggies and proteins! 

Watch how to make it with my photo tutorial in the recipe box! It’s super fast to cook and toss everything together. 

  • To Begin: boil and cook the noodles according to box instructions (spaghetti pasta takes 10 minutes to cook to al dente, however, 12 minutes makes fluffy noodles!)
  • Cut the chicken breast into thin strips and fry with oil in a large wok over high heat. Feel free to add up to 2 cups of your favorite vegetables (cabbage, onions, bean sprouts, or carrots). Stir-fry the meat until browned and cooked thoroughly.
  • When the noodles have cooked throughly drain and toss them straight into the chicken stir-fry. Add the sauces and toss to coat all the noodles evenly.
  • Garnish with green onions if you wish.
  • Serve.

Note: fluff up the noodles by covering the stir-fried noodles with a lid for 5 minutes. I typically turnoff the stove and do this before serving–it makes a huge difference!

How Chinese Restaurants Tenderizer Meat?

Have you ever wondered how the chicken in your favorite Chinese dishes are super tender? Well, a secret Chinese Restaurant technique to tenderize chicken is to soak chicken thighs or chicken breasts in a baking soda solution. This is a quick and easy method to make incredibly tender meat fast (same day).

For every pound of meat use 1/2 tsp of baking soda. Dissolve the baking soda in 1-2 Tbsp of white distilled vinegar and enough water to barely cover the chicken surface. The vinegar quenches the bitterness, making it suitable to use without rinsing the meat. 

Can I Make In A Skillet? 

A wok is convenient for its deep and wide dimensions, making it easy to toss and coat the noodles with sauce. If you do not have a wok simply use a deep skillet or pot to stir-fry the chicken and noodles in sauce.  


ingredients for chow mein

Chow Mein can be dressed like any Chop Suey dish (celery, bean sprouts, or cabbage). It can remain a vegetable Chow mein but adding a protein like chicken, beef, or shrimp will make this chow mein hearty! Panda Express Chow Mein serves stir-fried wheat noodles with onions, celery and cabbage, so use vegetables and meats that best suit your style! 

  • Noodles- Any egg noodles like Italian pasta, chow mein noodles, Lo mein noodles or ramen noodles will work. Keep in mind every type of noodle will cook differently so cook according to package instructions. 
  • Chow Mein Sauce- can be made with soy sauce, oyster sauce, and granulated sugar. However, many bottled sauces already have sugar and soy sauce as the base. This chicken chow mein recipe is made from stir-fry sauce, sweet and sour sauce, sweet chili sauce, and Sriracha sauce all of which are bottles Asian sauces. 
  • Oil- the Chinese cuisine uses lots of oil when stir-frying noodles or vegetables. Don’t skimp on the oil if you want slippery stir-fried noodles. 
  • Chicken- add different proteins to make a hearty noodle recipe! Make shrimp chow mein, or use leftover steaks or even pork! 

Note: to make crunchy chow mein noodles use La Choy chow mein noodles (sold at Walmart) as a garnish over the slippery noodles in sauce! It will give chow mein noodles a crispy crunch. 


Keep prepared and cooled noodles refrigerated up to 3 days. Reheat Chow Mein in a skillet or large wok in a few tablespoons of oil until noodles are hot. 

What To Serve With Chow Mein?

Chow Mein can easily be a main dish meal if served with a protein like chicken. Serve this easy Chow Mein recipe with these sides;


Handy Equipment:

BEST Tips To Make Asian Noodles:

  1. Use a Large Wok to stir-fry one pound of pasta and the chicken in one pan.
  2. Stir in 2 cups of mixed vegetables.
  3. Make your own chow mein sauce by using the sauce from my Lo Mein Recipe.
  4. Use chicken breasts, thighs, or tenderloins and toss in a baking soda meat tenderizer (Chinese Restaurant technique)!

More Asian Sides To Try:

How To Make Chow Mein:

Quick Chow Mein (Asian Noodles)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Alyona Demyanchuk
Forget the Chinese takeout and make these Chow Mein stir-fried noodles in 15 minutes! These chow mein noodles are made with simple Kikkoman sauces to make dinner fast! The whole family loves this Chow Mein recipe, even children!


  • Large Wok or Skillet
  • 5-quart pot
  • chopsticks


  • 1 lb spaghetti (broken in half)
  • 1 chicken breast (cut into strips)


  • 1/4 cup sweet and sour sauce (Kikkoman)
  • 1/4 cup stir-fry sauce (Kikkoman)
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce (MAE PLOY brand)


  • how to boil noodles for chow mein
    Cook pasta according to box instructions for 12 minutes.
  • how to cook chicken for chow mein in a wok
    Meanwhile, in a large wok or skillet sauté the chicken in 3 Tbsp of oil until done and browned.
  • how to toss and stir fry noodles for chow mein
    Add in 3-4 Tbsp of oil, the cooked and drained pasta, and add all the sauce ingredients. Toss to coat and stir fry for 1-2 minutes over high. Serve or fluff up the noodles by covering them with a lid for 5 minutes (optional.)


  • Quick Meat Tenderizer- sprinkle 1/2 tsp of baking soda and 1 Tbsp of vinegar over the chicken strips for 10 minutes. 

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1servingCalories: 292kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 14gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 282mgPotassium: 231mgFiber: 2gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 9IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg

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    • Monica

    It was delicious, hubby said to add this recipe to my collection! I will definitely make it again, thank you!

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Thanks for sharing!


    Very easy to make. My family really enjoyed it. I added frozen broccoli and it was a super hit. Thank you

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Wonderful, Tiffany!

    • Tina

    Thank you so much for this recipe. The ingredients were easy to find, fast to cook and my picky family absolutely loved it.

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Wonderful, Tina! Happy to hear the family loved it.

    • Adry

    Mmmmmmm this recipe is soo good glad I ran across your blog

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