chicken chow mein
Entree

Soy Sauce Chicken Chow Mein Recipe

Hey everyone, it’s Kevin here! Today I have a quick and easy recipe for chicken chow mein with a soy sauce-based sauce!

Chow mein is one of my favorite Chinese takeout dishes. It’s quite a guilty pleasure of mine and a big dismay to my parents because there are so many other delicious Chinese dishes out there. While I’ve learned to appreciate all sorts of Chinese dishes as I’ve grown up, I still love my simple fried noodles tossed with vegetables and protein with soy sauce.

chicken chow mein

What Kind of Noodles to Use?

For authentic chow mein, you should use thin egg noodles. They can be either dry or fresh (I personally think fresh ones taste better), but make sure to read the packaging! Sometimes the package will say “chow mein noodles” but there is no egg in the noodles. Instead, they’ll imitate the color by adding food coloring (I fell for this once when I was working on this recipe). If you accidentally get the wrong kind, it’ll still taste great, but the noodles may feel a bit limp and won’t be as chewy as egg noodles.

chicken chow mein noodles

You should be able to find chow mein egg noodles in most Asian supermarkets. If you can’t find the Asian variety, you can also use Italian egg noodles like tagliatelle.

Ingredients

Chicken

Chicken thigh is my favorite cut for making any stir-fried chicken because it doesn’t overcook easily and remains tender and juicy. Chicken breast tends to dry out very quickly and becomes tough and difficult to eat. I prefer to save breasts for grilling.

For almost every Chinese stir fry, the meat is marinated in the same type of marinade before cooking. The marinade helps impart flavor to the chicken while also tenderizing the meat to help it withstand the hot heat of stir-frying.

The marinade consists of soy sauce, shaoxing wine, sugar, cornstarch, and sesame oil (shaoxing wine is a popular Chinese cooking alcohol used in almost every meat dish and can be found in any Chinese supermarket). The salt in the soy sauce and shaoxing wine penetrate the meat and help the proteins hold onto more of their moisture. Cornstarch helps bind the marinade together to stick to the meat and also protects the meat when stir-frying from burning too quickly.

Vegetables

The vegetable choices are very flexible. I chose to use bell pepper and onion to go along with the chicken because they add natural sweetness to the chow mein along with a nice crunchy texture. Some other vegetables that are commonly used in chow mein include bean sprouts, carrots, and cabbage. Any of these will pair well with this chicken chow mein!

Sauce

This sauce is inspired heavily by the sauce used for traditional Cantonese soy sauce chow mein. It’s a very simple sauce, which as the name suggests, uses soy sauce as a base. In addition to both light and dark soy sauce (yes, they are different!), we add some sugar and sesame oil. This creates a sauce that is full of umami as well as hints of sweetness and nuttiness.

chicken chow mein

Tips

Once you’ve made chow mein a few times, you’ll find that it’s a super quick and easy dish to make. However, there are a few things that can be tricky for first-timers, so here are some tips that can help!

  • Prepare everything before you start cooking! This is by far the most important thing to keep in mind. I’m someone who usually prefers to start cooking and prepare the rest of the ingredients as I’m cooking, but for stir-frying, this just doesn’t work. The cooking happens so quickly that you must have everything ready to go, or else you will end up burning your food.
  • Don’t be stingy with the oil. If you don’t use enough oil, your food WILL stick to your wok (especially if it’s not well-seasoned yet). A tip I found particularly useful was to toss your noodles with a tablespoon of oil after cooking them.
  • Cook everything in batches. Don’t try to take a shortcut by cooking everything in the wok at the same time. If you do, everything will steam and you won’t get the smoky wok hei flavor that makes stir-fries delicious.

That’s all there really is! Once you’ve mastered this recipe, you’ll never need to order chow mein for takeout again! Let’s get started on this simple and delicious soy sauce chicken chow mein!

chicken chow mein

Looking for more authentic Chinese dishes?

Soy Sauce Chicken Chow Mein

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Kevin Lee Course: Main CourseCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Easy
Servings

3

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

10

minutes

Learn to make this soy sauce chicken chow mein and you’ll never need to order it for takeout again! It only takes 30 minutes to make and will rival the taste of your favorite Chinese takeout restaurant.

Ingredients

  • Chicken Marinade
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (3 if you want more protein)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • Chow Mein
  • 3 servings chow mein noodles (prepared according to the package)

  • 1 bell pepper (I prefer orange, red, and yellow bell peppers)

  • 1/2 yellow onion

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1 teaspoon ginger

  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil

  • Sauce
  • 1.5 tablespoons light soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • Equipment
  • Mixing bowls

  • Wok (or large nonstick pan)

  • Spatula

Directions

  • If your noodles need to be cooked first before stir-frying, cook them now (usually just boil them for 1 minute). Rinse them under cold water and then set aside in a bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil to prevent sticking
  • Pat the chicken thighs dry with a paper towel. Cut them into small 1/2-1 inch pieces and place in a small bowl. Add the ingredients for the chicken marinade and mix well. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredientschicken chow mein chicken marinade
  • Slice your bell pepper and onion into strips. For the onion, remove the root and then cut slices from root to tip. Mince the garlic and ginger and set asidechicken chow mein sliced vegetables
  • Mix the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside
  • Once all the ingredients are prepared, heat up a large wok or nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Once the wok is hot, add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and wait until it starts smoking. Swirl to coat the entire bottom of the wok
  • Pour off any excess marinade from the chicken then add the chicken to the wok. Quickly toss and stir with a spatula to coat the chicken with oil. Cook for about 2 minutes while tossing and stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and place in a bowl and set asidechicken chow mein chicken cooked
  • Still over medium-high heat, add another tablespoon of oil to the wok and swirl to coat. Add the bell pepper and onion and toss and swirl to coat with oil. Cook for 2 minutes, just until onions start to soften. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Remove everything to a bowl and set asidechicken chow mein vegetables cooked
  • Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the wok, swirl to cover, then add the noodles. Cook for 1 minute over medium-high heat while tossing, stirring, and pulling to loosen the noodles up
  • Add the chicken and vegetables back to the wok and stir to combine everything. Stir in the sauce, 1/4 at a time, and taste, adding until the desired flavor is reached. I usually end up adding 1/2 to 3/4 of the sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes more, then serve!

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Learn to make this soy sauce chicken chow mein and you'll never need to order it for takeout again! It only takes 30 minutes to make and will rival the taste of your favorite Chinese takeout restaurant.

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