Skip to Content
Home » Recipes » Dinner » Cantonese Chow Mein Recipe

Cantonese Chow Mein Recipe

Cantonese Chow Mein is a classic and flavorful Chinese dish that has become popular not only in Guangzhou but across the world.

Characterized by its crispy pan-fried noodles, tender meats, and an assortment of fresh vegetables, this dish is perfect for those who crave a delicious combination of texture and taste.

As you embark on your culinary adventure, you’ll find that creating Cantonese Chow Mein at home is simple and satisfying.

With a few essential ingredients, such as soy sauce, sesame oil, and chow mein noodles, you can easily master the art of preparing this tasty meal.

The key to perfecting your dish lies in the balance of flavors and the careful handling of the noodles to achieve that much-desired crispy texture.

With some practice and a little patience, you’ll be serving up a delectable Cantonese Chow Mein that leaves your family and friends craving for more.

How to Make Cantonese Chow Mein

cantonese chow mein recipe

Ingredients List

To make Cantonese Chow Mein, you will need the following:

  • Fresh noodles (0.5 lb), or substitute with crispy chow mein noodles or rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 0.5 lb chicken breast, sliced
  • 3 stalks green onions, chopped
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon regular soy sauce
  • 6–8 medium-sized shrimp
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons water mixed with 1 tsp cornstarch
  • Optional: baby bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, shiitake mushrooms, and sliced bamboo shoots

Step-by-step process

Step 1: Prepare fresh noodles

If using fresh egg noodles, boil a pot of water, and cook the noodles for 1–2 minutes.

Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water, and set aside.

Note: If using pre-cooked noodles or rice noodles, you can skip this step.

Step 2: Stir-fry chicken and vegetables

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan or wok over medium heat.

Add the chicken slices and stir-fry them until cooked through.

Then, add the green onions along with any optional vegetables (such as baby bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) and continue to stir-fry until they are softened.

Step 3: Cook shrimp

Add the shrimp to the pan and cook them until they turn pink and opaque.

Remove the chicken, shrimp, and vegetables from the pan and set aside.

Step 4: Pan-fry noodles

In the same pan, heat another tablespoon of oil over medium heat.

Spread the noodles in an even layer, and let them cook for 3–4 minutes until they become crispy.

Flip the noodles and cook the other side until crispy.

Step 5: Prepare the sauce mixture

Mix together the oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, dark soy sauce, regular soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons of water with corn starch.

Set aside.

Step 6: Combine all ingredients

Add the cooked chicken, shrimp, vegetables, and sauce mixture to the pan with the noodles.

Stir-fry everything together over medium heat, making sure the noodles, meat, and vegetables are well-coated with the sauce.

Cook for another 1–2 minutes to let the sauce thicken and absorb into the noodles.

Serve your Cantonese Chow Mein hot and enjoy this delicious Chinese dish.

Side Dishes for Cantonese Chow Mein

Cantonese Chow Mein is a versatile and flavorful dish that can be paired with various side dishes to enhance your dining experience.

Here is a list of notable side dishes that you can serve with Cantonese Chow Mein:

Spring Rolls

Spring rolls are a popular appetizer in Chinese cuisine, featuring a thin, crispy pastry filled with vegetables or meat.

They make an excellent side for Cantonese Chow Mein, providing a satisfying contrast in texture.

The crispiness of the spring rolls complements the soft noodles, and their savory filling adds an extra layer of flavor to the meal.

Steamed Dumplings

Steamed dumplings are another Chinese classic that goes well with Cantonese Chow Mein.

These delicate, flavorful bites have a tender dough skin encasing a mixture of meat or vegetables.

Steamed dumplings pair nicely with the relatively robust flavors of chow mein, offering a pleasing contrast in taste and texture that will delight your palate.

Chinese Broccoli with Oyster Sauce

Chinese broccoli, or gai lan, is a leafy green vegetable often served as a side dish in Chinese cuisine.

It stands out for its tender yet crunchy texture.

Pairing it with a savory oyster sauce enhances the natural flavor of the greens.

This side dish brings a much-needed freshness and balance to the rich flavors of Cantonese Chow Mein.

Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Garlic

Bok choy is a versatile and nutritious vegetable commonly used in Chinese cooking.

Stir-frying bok choy with garlic creates a simple yet flavorful side dish that complements the chow mein nicely.

The light, fresh taste of bok choy, accented by the gentle aroma of garlic, adds a delightful contrast to the main course.

By selecting one or more of these side dishes to accompany your Cantonese Chow Mein, you can create a well-rounded and satisfying meal.

Each side dish offers a different taste, texture, and overall experience, allowing you to enjoy a diverse and unique combination of flavors.

Ingredients Substitutes

Soy Sauce

If you don’t have dark soy sauce on hand, you can substitute it with regular or light soy sauce.

You might need to adjust the amount to achieve the desired saltiness and color.

Another option is to mix regular soy sauce with a little bit of molasses or brown sugar for a darker and richer flavor.

Oyster Sauce

For a vegetarian alternative to oyster sauce, you can use mushroom-flavored soy sauce.

It still provides the umami flavor and slight sweetness that oyster sauce offers without the use of shellfish.

Another option could be using hoisin sauce, which has a similar consistency and taste, just a bit sweeter.

Cornstarch Mixture

If you need to thicken the sauce for your Cantonese chow mein but do not have cornstarch available, you can create a slurry using either potato starch or tapioca starch mixed with a little water.

These starches will provide a similar thickening effect without altering the flavor.

Vegetable Oil

If you prefer a different oil, you can substitute vegetable oil with canola oil, peanut oil, or sunflower oil.

These oils have a high smoke point, making them suitable for high-heat stir-frying.

Rice Noodles

Cantonese chow mein usually uses thin Hong Kong-style egg noodles, but if you can’t find them, you can use rice noodles, udon, or even regular spaghetti in a pinch.

Just make sure to cook the noodles according to the package instructions before stir-frying.

How to Store Cantonese Chow Mein

Storing Cantonese chow mein properly is essential for preserving its taste and texture.

Here are a few main storage methods to help you keep your Cantonese chow mein fresh for as long as possible:

Refrigerating

Place your leftover Cantonese chow mein in an airtight container before placing it in the refrigerator.

This will help maintain its freshness and prevent it from absorbing odors from other foods.

Store the dish in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Freezing

Cantonese chow mein can also be stored in the freezer for long-term storage.

To do this, let the dish cool down to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight, freezer-safe container or a resealable freezer bag.

Make sure to label the container with the date and type of dish.

You can store the chow mein in the freezer for up to 3 months.

How to Reheat Cantonese Chow Mein

When you’re ready to enjoy your Cantonese chow mein again, reheat it properly to bring back its original texture and flavors.

For refrigerated chow mein, you can use a microwave or stove to reheat the dish.

If using a microwave, place the chow mein on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a microwave-safe lid or another plate.

Heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

If using the stove, heat a pan over medium heat and add the refrigerated chow mein.

Stir frequently until properly heated.

For frozen chow mein, it’s best to let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating it using one of the methods mentioned above.

If you’re in a hurry, you can also defrost it in the microwave using the defrost setting and then reheat it as usual.

Remember always to check the temperature of your reheated chow mein to ensure it reaches at least 165°F (74°C) before consuming.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when preparing Cantonese Chow Mein.

Overcooking the Noodles

One mistake people often make when preparing Cantonese chow mein is overcooking the noodles.

To achieve the perfect texture, stir-fried noodles should be cooked on medium heat until golden brown.

If you cook them for too long, they can become soggy and will not produce the desired crispy chow mein noodles.

Using Too Much Water

Another common mistake is using too much water in the sauce mixture.

For a Cantonese chow mein with a balanced taste and consistency, combine hot water, cold water, and cooking sake carefully according to the recipe.

Too much water can make the dish too watery and affect the final taste.

Inaccurate Cooking Times

It’s crucial to pay attention to the recommended cooking times for each ingredient.

For instance, yellow onion should be sautéed for 2-3 minutes, while baby corn and water chestnuts may take around 1-2 minutes.

Sticking to these cooking times will ensure that your ingredients are cooked just right and not over or undercooked.

Not Adjusting Your Heat Properly

Another important aspect of preparing Cantonese chow mein is managing the heat throughout the cooking process.

Be sure to maintain medium heat for stir-frying the noodles to achieve a golden brown texture while using a higher heat for the sauce mixture when required.

Forgetting to Add Key Ingredients

Finally, to get that authentic Cantonese chow mein taste, do not forget key ingredients such as sesame oil and sesame seeds.

Just a teaspoon of sesame oil can greatly enhance the flavor of your dish, while sesame seeds add a nice touch of crunch to the final result.

cantonese chow mein recipe

Cantonese Chow Mein Recipe

Characterized by its crispy pan-fried noodles, tender meats, and an assortment of fresh vegetables, this dish is perfect for those who crave a delicious combination of texture and taste.
As you embark on your culinary adventure, you'll find that creating Cantonese Chow Mein at home is simple and satisfying.
With a few essential ingredients, such as soy sauce, sesame oil, and chow mein noodles, you can easily master the art of preparing this tasty meal.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 2
Equipment
  • 1 pot
  • 1 non-stick pan
  • 1 tablespoon
Ingredients
  
  • 0.5 lb Fresh noodles or substitute with crispy chow mein noodles or rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 0.5 lb chicken breast sliced
  • 3 stalks green onions chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon regular soy sauce
  • 6-8 medium-sized shrimp
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons water mixed with 1 tsp cornstarch
  • baby bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, shiitake mushrooms, and sliced bamboo shoots Optional
Instructions
 
  • If using fresh egg noodles, boil a pot of water, and cook the noodles for 1–2 minutes.
    Drain the noodles and rinse with cold water.
    Set aside.
    Note: If using pre-cooked noodles or rice noodles, you can skip this step.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan or wok over medium heat.
    Add the chicken slices and stir-fry them until cooked through.
    Then, add the green onions along with any optional vegetables (such as baby bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) and continue to stir-fry until they are softened.
  • Add the shrimp to the pan and cook them until they turn pink and opaque.
    Remove the chicken, shrimp, and vegetables from the pan and set aside.
  • In the same pan, heat another tablespoon of oil over medium heat.
    Spread the noodles in an even layer, and let them cook for 3–4 minutes until they become crispy.
    Flip the noodles and cook the other side until crispy.
  • Mix together the oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, dark soy sauce, regular soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons of water with corn starch.
    Set aside.
  • Add the cooked chicken, shrimp, vegetables, and sauce mixture to the pan with the noodles.
    Stir-fry everything together over medium heat, making sure the noodles, meat, and vegetables are well-coated with the sauce.
    Cook for another 1–2 minutes to let the sauce thicken and absorb into the noodles.
    Serve your Cantonese Chow Mein hot and enjoy this delicious Chinese dish.

Do you like this recipe or these cooking tips?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

(Visited 15 times, 1 visits today)

DMCA.com Protection Status