Chicken lo mein is an easy stir-fried noodle dish loaded with protein and vegetables. The meat is quickly cooked in a wok until tender, along with bok choy, bean sprouts, and carrots. The chewy egg noodles are tossed in a savory sauce that ties this flavorful Chinese meal together.
Chinese takeout restaurants are famous for their stir-fried dishes like lo mein. The thick cooked noodles soak up the umami-laden sauce. Noodles are not only delicious, but they also signify longevity in the Asian culture. They are a popular dish to serve at celebrations like the Lunar New Year.
Chicken lo mein is easy to make, but the key is to use the right type of noodles and sauces for an authentic taste. Thin slices of chicken breast cook quickly in a blazing hot work, along with crispy bok choy, shredded carrots, and fresh bean sprouts. Fresh egg noodles and a savory oyster sauce mixture help the dish come together in a snap!
In less than 15 minutes, you’ll have dinner ready faster than you can order take out. Don’t forget a bowl of hot and sour soup as a starter!
How to make chicken lo mein
- Marinate chicken with salt, pepper and sesame oil.
- Stir-fry the ginger and garlic until fragrant in a wok or large saute pan.
- Add the chicken and briefly cook until tender, followed by carrots and bok choy.
- Place noodles into the pan and cook until warmed through.
- Pour in the sauce, cook until thickened, and toss together with noodles and vegetables.
- Add bean sprouts and onions and briefly cook to soften.
What noodles are used for lo mein?
Lo mein noodles are fresh or dried egg noodles. If you venture into an Asian market, you’ll find the endless options, and most often they won’t be clearly labeled as “lo mein,” but if you see it, grab it! I use fresh noodles that I found in the refrigerated section called chow mein stir fry noodles.
You could also use fresh yakisoba, Chuka soba, and ramen as acceptable substitutions for this stir fry. Dried noodles can like chow mein noodles, pancit, chuka soba, or even a thick Italian spaghetti are good options.
Just boil the noodles until chewy or al dente, rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process, and then drain well before adding it to the wok. You’ll need about 6 ounces (170g) of dried noodles.
What is lo mein sauce made of?
Lo mein sauce is a combination of oyster sauce, soy sauce, chicken broth, and cornstarch. It provides a strong rich and savory flavor to the noodles. It will get quickly soaked up and infused into each bite. If you like more of a gravy-style or “wet” noodles, double the sauce for this chicken lo mein recipe.
What is the difference between lo mein and chow mein?
The main difference between lo mein and chow mein is the thickness and type of the noodle used in the dish. Each region showcases a different style, which has evolved over time. However traditionally, lo mein noodles have a soft and thicker texture, that is tossed in a thickened sauce.
Chow mein noodles tend to be thinner in size, and are either crispy and fried (Hong Kong style is how my father would order it), or the noodles are soft, both being covered with a sauce.
No matter how it’s prepared, both lo mein and chow mein are delicious. When you’re making it at home, you can experiment with different noodle and add-in combinations.
How to make it healthier
Now that you have a base recipe for lo mein, you can switch up the proteins and vegetables. Tofu, beef, pork, or shrimp are tasty alternatives. Snow peas, snap peas, bell peppers, mushrooms, and broccoli are colorful and healthy add-ins. Whatever you crave, toss it into the noodle mix for a scrumptious one-pot dish.
More Chinese recipes
How do I thicken lo mein sauce?
Using cornstarch is the quickest and most effective way to thicken lo mein sauce. For about a ½ cup of sauce, I find that 2 teaspoons are a good amount of starch to create a luscious sauce that clings to the noodles. Arrowroot powder can also be used as a substitute, use 1 tablespoon for every 2 teaspoons cornstarch.
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Chicken Lo Mein
- ½ pound boneless skinless chicken breast, ¼-inch slices
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoon sesame oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- ¼ cup unsalted chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 2 ounces baby bok choy, leaves separated
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- 1 pound fresh lo mein noodles
- ½ cup bean sprouts
- ¼ cup green onions, 1 ½-inch long pieces
- In a medium bowl combine sliced chicken, salt, pepper, and ½ teaspoon sesame oil.
- In a small bowl whisk together 1 teaspoon sesame oil, oyster sauce, soy sauce, chicken broth, and cornstarch.
- Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, then add the vegetable oil.
- Once the oil is hot add in garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 20 seconds.
- Add the chicken in one layer, allow to cook for 1 minute without moving. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add in bok choy and carrots, cook for 1 minute.
- Loosen the noodles and then add them to the pan and stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Add in the sauce mixture, stir and cook until the sauce is thickened, about 1 minute.
- Add in the beans sprouts and green onions, cook for 1 minute.
- Immediately serve the chicken lo mein while still hot.
- Fresh noodles can be found in the refrigerated section. Also sold is ramen, chow mein, or yaki-soba.
- Dried noodles can be used instead of fresh. Use 6 ounces dried noodles of lo mein, chow mein, pancit, yaki-soba, chuka-soba, or thicken spaghetti noodles. Cook to manufacturers directions and drain well before adding to the pot.
- Double the sauce ingredeints for extra saucey noodles.
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