Chicken lo mein is an easy Chinese take out dish to make at home in less than 30 minutes! Laden with colorful vegetables and Chinese noodles.
Technically speaking this dish is Chinese-American take-out. The first Asian immigrants to come this country took dishes that they ate at home and made them with what was available here.
When Chinese restaurants showed up, they Americanized their dishes to please American palates.
Fun Fact: Did you know there are more Chinese restaurants in the US than there are of the top 6 fast food restaurant chains combined? It’s a fact. Check out this article.
What you need
- bell peppers
- snow peas
- bean sprouts
- soy sauce
- sesame oil
- oyster sauce – optional, skip if you don’t have any
- Chinese egg noodles
How to make it
- Cook noodles according to package directions, just shy of done. Slice chicken into thin strips.
- Mix soy sauce, sugar, and garlic in medium bowl.
- Add chicken. Toss well.
- Allow chicken to sit in marinade while you prepare vegetables. (see notes below)
- Prepare the vegetable into strips or bite sized chunks.
- Add oil to wok. Heat over high heat. Cook chicken in batches. Remove from wok when done.
- Add scallions and broccoli to wok and cook until tender crisp.
- Stir fry remaining vegetables, except bean sprouts.
- Add remaining sauce ingredients. Add chicken and bean sprouts back to pan.
- Finally add noodles and toss. Serve hot.
This stir fry is totally customizable. Use your favorites.
- bok choy
- water chestnuts
- baby corn
- Shrimp lo mein – just add briefly stir fried shrimp instead of chicken
- Lobster lo mein – substitute lobster chunks for chicken (add cooked lobster last)
- Beef lo mein – use beef stew meat instead of chicken
- Vegetable lo mein – vegan and vegetarian friendly version
Pro tips for your success
- Use egg noodles rather than Japanese rice noodles. They tend to break when stir fried.
- If you don’t have Asian style egg noodles, you can substitute any other egg noodle, such as linguini.
- Cook chicken just until browned. It will continue cooking when all of the hot vegetables and sauce are added to it, so it doesn’t matter if it is pink inside.
- Don’t crowd wok with chicken. Cook it in batches.
- Substitute any of your favorite vegetables. (suggestions above)
- Don’t overcook vegetables. They should be tender crisp at the end and they will continue to cook just like the chicken.
- You can just double the soy sauce if you don’t have oyster sauce. Hoisin can also be substituted.
- Brown sugar can be substituted for white sugar.
What’s the difference between lo mein and chow mein?
The basic difference between lo mein and chow mein are the way the noodles are prepared. Lo mein translates to tossed noodles. Chow mein translates to fried noodles.
So in lo mein the noodles are just tossed into the dish. In chow mein the noodles are fried to give them a bit of texture. Then the meat and vegetables are added. Chow mein sauce tends to be slightly thicker too.
Why try this recipe?
- incredibly easy
- less than 30 minutes to make
- tastes so much better than take-out
- contains low sodium and no MSG
- adds lots of veggies to your family’s diet
More delicious Asian take-out recipes
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Chicken Lo Mein
- 2 whole chicken breasts cut into strips
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp sugar plus 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- peanut or vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 c broccoli
- 5 scallions sliced
- 6-7 medium mushrooms
- 1 yellow pepper cut into strips
- 1/4 lb snow peas I substituted sugar snap peas because that's what I had on hand
- 8 oz Chinese egg noodles
- Mix chicken, garlic, ginger and 1 Tbsp. soy sauce mixture.
- Let stand while you prepare the rest of the vegetables.
- Cook noodles, linguine or rice according to package directions. Drain when done.
- Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in wok over high heat. Saute’ chicken 3-5 minutes, in batches.
- Remove to large bowl. If wok becomes too dry add a bit more oil.
- When chicken is all cooked, stir fry vegetables according to the length of time they require to cook. In other words, because the broccoli takes longer to cook, Start with that, stir fry for approximately 1-2 minutes, then remove to the bowl with the chicken.
- Next stir fry scallions and mushrooms, then the peppers and snow peas.
- When chicken and vegetables are cooked, return to the wok.
- Add the sherry, oyster sauce, ginger, soy sauce mixture and pepper. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 1 more minute.
- Add noodles to wok. Stir to coat.
- Serve immediately.
Originally published 4/8/2015 Updated 2/8/2021