I have been craving Chinese takeout all week, which is a bit of a problem as here in the Italian countryside, Chinese restaurants at few and far between! I always try to stock up on ingredients at the Asian market in the city so I can be ready when a noodle emergency strikes.
I’ve got lots of favourite ‘Fakeaways’ or copycat recipes that I like to cook at home, but today it’s all about delicious Chicken Lo Mein Noodles.
What is Chicken Lo Mein?
Chicken Lo Mein is a super delicious noodle stir fry. This Chinese restaurant classic is packed with loads of fresh vegetables, tender chicken breast and slippery egg noodles, all coated in delicious lo mein sauce.
This recipe is made from simple ingredients and it’s super quick and easy to make at home. Chicken Lo Mein is a complete meal and all made in one pan. (less washing up, hooray!)
As with any stir fry, the most time-consuming part is slicing up all your vegetables, as once it hits the pan your Lo Mein will be ready in under 10 minutes.
LO MEIN VS. CHOW MEIN
There is a lot of confusion around Lo Mein and the similar sounding Chow Mein.
The main difference between the two is that Lo Mein or ‘tossed’ noodles are pre-cooked, then stirred through the dish at the end of the cooking time, while Chow Mein noodles or ‘fried’ noodles are fried before the other ingredients are added.
Both dishes are perfectly delicious, but for me, soft and saucy Lo Mein noodles will win every time.
To make my easy Chicken Lo Mein recipe, you’ll need the following main ingredients:
- Chicken Breasts: I’ve made my Lo Mein with chicken, though you can use whatever protein you have to hand. Thinly sliced beef sirloin or pork, prawns, or even tofu are all brilliant.
- Dried Egg Noodles: Thin, dried, egg noodles are easily available in most larger grocery stores in the international section. In a pinch you can use ramen noodles.
- Vegetables: Lo Mein is a fabulous fridge clearer as it is a great way of using up vegetables you have that are looking a bit tired. I like to use brightly coloured vegetables like bell peppers, carrots and beans and green onion, as well as some deliciously earthy mushrooms, but zucchini, spinach, bok choy or broccoli are great too! Mix and match to suit your tastes.
- Soy Sauce, Oyster Sauce and Chinese Cooking Wine (Shao Xing): These are the most specialised ingredients in this recipe, and the building blocks for the sauce. If you can’t get Chinese cooking wine, you can substitute it with a cheap dry sherry, or even a dry white wine.
How to make Chicken Lo Mein
- First make the sauce by whisking the ingredients together in a bowl. Add the sliced chicken and set aside.
- Next, cook the noodles. I recommend checking the instructions on the packet as noodles vary by brand. It’s best to slightly undercook the noodles (al dente) as they will cook a little more in the sauce later on.
- Then you need to slice your vegetables thinly. As stir fries come together very quickly, it’ best to have everything ready and prepared before you start frying.
- When the vegetables are sliced and ready, it’s simply a matter of browning the chicken, cooking the vegetables, then tossing the whole lot together with the noodles and the sauce for a final warm through. Lastly, a mixture of chicken broth and cornstarch is added to make loads of delicious sauce for your noodles.
I’ve made my Lo Mein with chicken, though you can use whatever protein you have to hand. Thinly sliced beef sirloin or pork, prawns, or even tofu are all brilliant.
Lo Mein is also a fabulous fridge clearer as you can throw in whatever vegetables you have that need using up. I like to use brightly coloured veg like peppers, carrots and beans, as well as some deliciously earthy mushrooms, but zucchini, spinach, bok choy or broccoli are great too! Mix and match to suit your tastes.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What sort of noodles should I use to make Lo Mein?
I always use thin egg noodles (pictured above), easily available in bigger supermarkets and Asian grocers, but you can use nearly any type of noodle you like. Egg based noodles will give you the closest flavour to takeout.
You’ll need to adjust the cooking time if you use a different type of noodles, most packets will have cooking instructions on the back.
Can I use different meat to make Lo Mein?
Absolutely! Try thinly sliced beef sirloin, pork, prawns or even tofu.
Can I prepare Lo Mein in advance?
Of course, Chicken Lo Mein is great fresh or reheated and makes a terrific batch cooked lunch to bring to the office.
EASY CHICKEN LO MEIN RECIPE
for the sauce:
- 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp oyster or hoisin sauce
- 1 Tbsp Shao Xing cooking wine
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp brown sugar
for the stir fry:
- 500g (1 lb.) chicken breast, thinly sliced
- 200g (½ lb.) dried egg noodles
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 150g (5 oz.) oyster or shiitake mushrooms
- 125g (¼ lb.) beans or snow peas
- 100g (3.5 oz) carrots
- ½ red bell pepper / capsicum
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced, not crushed
- 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 2 spring onions (green onion)
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 125ml (½ cup) chicken broth or stock
- 1 Tbsp cornflour / cornstarch
- MAKE THE SAUCE: Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add the chicken and allow to marinate while you prepare the noodles and vegetables.
- COOK NOODLES: Bring a pot of water to the boil, add the noodles to the pan and cover. Remove from the heat and set aside for 4 minutes. Drain, rinse well under cold water, then toss with the sesame oil and set aside. The noodles should be al dente as they will cook a little more in the hot sauce.
- SLICE VEGETABLES: Slice all of the vegetables finely, leaving the mushrooms a little chunkier as they will shrink during cooking.
- FRY CHICKEN: Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok over a medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Use tongs to lift the chicken out of the sauce and into the pan, reserving the sauce. Allow to cook for 2 minutes, then stir and cook a further 2 minutes.
- SAUTÉ VEGETABLES: Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Add the mushrooms, beans, carrots, peppers, garlic and ginger to the pan with a splash of cold water and cook for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- SIMMER UNTIL THICKENED: Return the chicken to the pan along with the drained, cooked noodles and the reserved sauce. Whisk the chicken stock and cornstarch/ cornflour together and add to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-4 minutes until the sauce has thickened, tossing everything to mix and coat in the sauce. Garnish with the spring onions and serve immediately.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 491Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 159mgSodium: 1032mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 5gSugar: 8gProtein: 53g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.
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