Easy 30-minute chicken chow mein with tender chicken bites, plenty of veggies, and an addictive savory sauce coating it all. Today I’m sharing all my tips and tricks on how to make chicken chow mein BETTER than takeout!
Best type of noodles to use for chicken chow mein
- Yakisoba: (such as Fortune brand) is generally found in refrigerated produce section of grocery stores
- Fresh chow mein noodles: are a good option but are often hard to find in the U.S. (they are available at some Asian grocery stores).
- Dry spaghetti: if using, grab the thin spaghetti. The flavor will be slightly different, but still good.
- Dry chow mein noodles: (such as Wel-Pak) is generally found in the Asian aisles of grocery store alongside soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil (which are all conveniently needed for this dish :)).
Using other vegetables
One of the great things about this chicken chow mein is how easy it is to customize. I like celery, carrots, and cabbage best, but feel free to use your favorites. As long as the quantities remain consistent (and the veggies are chopped so they’ll cook in the right amount of time), you can use whatever. Below are some ideas:
- Bean Sprouts
- Thinly sliced green bell pepper
- Thinly sliced sweet peppers
- Snow peas
- Red cabbage
- Water chestnuts
Tips for this recipe
- Making healthy chicken chow mein: to put a healthier spin on this recipe, replace some or all of the noodles with spiralized zucchini!
- Ultra tender chicken: I learned this trick from Cooks Illustrated. Chop the chicken into small bite sized pieces (smaller the pieces = more even dispersed chicken throughout the dish and quicker to cook) and toss with baking soda. This keeps the chicken super tender!
- Veggie chopping: it’s important the veggies are cooked to even sizes (and as indicated in the recipe) so everything will cook through in the right amount of time. If the veggies are too big or thick, they’ll take longer to cook and the chicken will likely be overdone. Very thin celery slices, thin julienned carrot pieces, and finely shredded cabbage for this chicken chow mein recipe.
More delicious chicken dinners:
Easy 30-minute chicken chow mein with tender chicken bites, plenty of veggies, and an addictive savory sauce coating it all. Today I'm sharing all my tips and tricks for how to make chicken chow mein BETTER than takeout!
- 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into small bite-sized pieces
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 cups green cabbage, cut in small shreds
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced (~1 inch piece)
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons garlic cloves, minced (~2 large cloves)
- 3/4 cup julienned carrots (~1 large carrot)
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced celery (~2 stalks)
- 1/4 cup green onions (~3 onions)
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 package (6 ounces) chow mein noodles (I use WEL-pak)
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons lite soy sauce
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1/3 cup chicken stock (chicken broth works)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (lightly measured, do not pack!)
- 1/2 teaspoon toasted (or plain) sesame oil
- Freshly cracked pepper
CHICKEN PREP: chop the chicken into small bite-sized pieces. Place in a small bowl and toss with baking soda. Place in the fridge, covered, for 15 minutes. This will make the chicken super tender! After 15 minutes, place chicken in a fine mesh sieve and rinse thoroughly. Pat dry with paper towels and use in this recipe! (This step is optional; you can simply chop the chicken and use like that.)
VEGGIE PREP: prepare the ingredients because the cooking goes fast! Finely shred the cabbage, coarsely mince the ginger and garlic (don't want too fine of a mince or they burn; don't use jarred/tube ginger or garlic). Peel the carrot and then julienne into very small/thin pieces. (I cut into rounds and then cut into matchsticks) Very thinly slice the celery (I slice on the diagonal). Thinly slice the green onions to separate the white root from the green. You should get about 1/4 cup thinly sliced white roots. Reserve the thinly sliced green part for later.
SAUCE PREP: in a small bowl add the cornstarch and soy sauce. Whisk with a fork until completely smooth. Stir in the oyster sauce, chicken stock, brown sugar, and sesame oil. Add pepper to taste (I add about 1/2 teaspoon). Whisk until smooth. Reserve for later.
NOODLES: follow package directions to prepare the chow mein noodles. Rinse in cold water and set aside.
COOK: Add vegetable oil to a large skillet pan and put over high heat. Add the white roots of the onion for a minute or two and then and in the garlic and ginger. Be very careful to make sure neither burn -- only cook for about 20 seconds. Add chicken and stir constantly for about 1 minute or until both sides are lightly browned (still not cooked through).
COOK CONT.: Add in all the prepped veggies: the shredded cabbage, julienned carrot, thinly sliced celery. Stir near constantly until veggies are crisp tender and cabbage is wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in those cooked noodles and the sauce mixture. Toss with tongs for 1 minute. Add in the thinly sliced tops of the green onions.