Who is in for some weeknight Asian dinner?
Many years ago when I was living in Atlanta, a group of girlfriends and I would get together in a small Chinese restaurant every Thursday. It was one of those places tucked in the corner of a large shopping area. Everyone loved the food there and it was always packed.
My favorite dish to order was their Chicken Lo Mein packed with vegetables and creamy Asian style noodles. Now, years later, living in a small town in Vermont with no Chinese restaurant nearby I am recreating one of my favorite Chinese dishes at home. And my take on this classic recipe is ready in 30 minutes and it could not be easier to make.
Intrigued? Read on.
What is Chicken Lo Mein
If you are new to cooking Chinese food at home, you might ask, “What the heck is lo mein?” Well, you are not alone because even though I ordered it many times I had no idea what it meant.
Come to find out, lo mein stands for the Chinese dish made with egg noodles. It is usually served with some sort of meat (like shrimp, chicken, beef or pork) and vegetables. It can also be served with only vegetables.
Some people also refer to it as Chinese noodles with chicken and vegetables. Simply put, chicken is marinated in a ginger-garlic sauce and then mixed with cooked noodles and a quick lo mein sauce made by mixing classic Chinese ingredients like sesame oil, hoisin and soy sauce.
Some recipes also use oyster sauce, but I made mine without it as I did not have it on hand.
What is In Chicken Lo Mein
This homemade lo mein noodle recipe has 3 sets of ingredients:
- Quick Lo Mein Sauce: Made by mixing soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and honey.
- Chicken Marinade: Made by marinating pieces of chicken thighs or breast in a sauce made by mixing soy sauce, fresh garlic and fresh chicken.
- Chinese Style Egg Noodles: While the authentic recipe is made with chow mein or lo mein noodles, you can use any noodles you have on hand. We will cover this in detail more below.
- Vegetables: Shredded cabbage and broccoli
How To Make Chicken Lo Mein Like Chinese Restaurants
This Chinese lo mein recipe has 4 folds.
- Make the magical sauce
- Marinate the Chicken
- Cook the Vegetables and Noodles
- Assemble it all together
I know it sounds like too many steps, but once you have the ingredients out, it comes together in no time. Let’s look into every step one by one:
How To Make The Sauce
If you ask me, the best part of this recipe is the sauce. It has all the characteristics of Chinese flavors and comes together in 2 minutes.
Lo Mein Noodle Sauce Ingredients:
If you are someone who cooks Asian meals regularly, you probably already have all the ingredients already in your fridge. If not, you can easily find them in the Asian section of your supermarket.
To make the lo mein sauce, simply mix all the ingredients below in a mason jar or a bowl.
- Soy sauce
- Honey (or brown sugar)
- Hoisin sauce
- Sesame Oil
Give it a good shake and set it aside. You’ll use it at the very end.
Marinate The Chicken
In terms of the chicken, I used boneless and skinless chicken thighs. However, you can also use chicken breasts.
Simply cut them in small cubes and mix it with some fresh ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. I usually do this at first so that it will have a chance to marinate a few minutes as I am working on the rest of the ingredients.
The Noodles: What Kind of Noodles Should I Use?
Truth be told, if you are not a stickler for the authentic chicken lo mein recipe, you can use any noodles you have on hand (including spaghetti and linguini). However, if you want to make the “real” thing, then go with Asian-style egg noodles like lo mein, chow mein, and ramen noodles.
You can find different kinds of egg noodles in the Asian section of your supermarket. They come in various thickness levels. I find that the best noodles for lo mein are the super-thin egg noodles (almost like Angel hair pasta) as they cook quicker than most other ones.
If you want you can order the noodles that I used here (affiliate link).
With all this being said, as I mentioned earlier, any noodles you can get your hands on would work for this Chinese chicken noodles recipe.
What is the difference between lo mein and chow mein
If you are like me, don’t cook Chinese on the regular, one look at the noodle aisle you might have a hard time which noodles to choose; Lo Mein or Chow Mein noodles??
Guys, I have been there.
According to this site, essentially they are both egg noodles made from wheat. Which one you use is actually a personal preference as lo mein uses soft noodles while chow mein uses crispy fried noodles. I made this recipe with both types of noodles and it was good both times.
If you are wondering how to cook noodles for this stir fry dish, I am going to have to refer you to the packaging instructions as it depends on the kind you are using. The one I used cooked in less than 5 minutes.
Vegetables and The Assembly
The best part of this easy chicken recipe is that it is so versatile, especially when it comes to vegetables. In terms of vegetables, I used cabbage, broccoli, onion, and bell peppers. However, you can use whatever vegetable you have on hand. Other veggies like carrots, bean sprouts, and even mushrooms would also work.
As you can see in the recipe card video below, I precooked the broccoli for a few minutes with the noodles so that they will be soft when mixed in with the rest of the vegetables. If you are using a similar vegetable, feel free to use the same method.
The rest of the recipe is pretty straight forward. If you need a visual of how I made it be sure to watch the quick how-to video I made in the recipe card.
There you have it. If you were wondering how to make lo mein like Chinese restaurants, now you know. Next time you crave Chinese food, give this recipe a try. Making it at home is much healthier, and with this recipe, it is now easier too.
Similar Weeknight Chicken Dinners You Might Like
- Thai Lemongrass Chicken Recipe
- Quick Chicken Stir Fry with Broccoli
- Spicy Orange Ginger Chicken
- Vegetarian Ramen Bowl
Or check out all of my easy chicken recipes and pick one for dinner tonight.
Like Cabbage? Here Are A Few More Recipes Made with Cabbage:
- Vinegar Based Coleslaw – Vegan
- Stuff Cabbage Soup
- Wilted Red Cabbage
- Chicken Almond Salad
- Napa Cabbage Salad
Chicken Lo Mein
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs or breasts, cut into small cubes or strips
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
For Veggies and Noodles:
- 6 oz. egg noodles chow-mein, lo-mein, or any other Asian style noodles
- 1 large head of broccoli approximately 2 cups - broken into pieces
- 2 tablespoons vegetable sesame, olive, or canola oil
- 1 medium sized onion sliced thinly
- 1 bell pepper cut into small pieces
- 1 ½ cups cabbage sliced thinly
- ¼ cup scallions chopped
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped (optional)
- sliced lime optional
- To make the sauce: Place all ingredients in a small bowl and give it a whisk. Set aside.
- To prep the chicken: Place chicken thighs, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic into a bowl. Give it a mix. Cover it with stretch film and set aside while you are prepping the veggies.
- To cook the noodles: Cook the noodles based on the packaging instructions. 2 minutes before the noodles are fully cooked add in the broccoli florets. Rinse and set aside.
- To cook the chicken lo mein: Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add in onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes. Add in the chicken and cook until it starts to brown 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in the cabbage, cooked noodles and broccoli, and stir in the prepared sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes while gently tossing everything around using tongs.
- Garnish with scallions, sesame seeds and cilantro if using.
- Serve with a wedge of lime.
- What to do with the leftovers: I doubt that you will have leftovers, but if you do they make the best lunch on the next day. Simply place your chicken lo mein in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge up to 2 days.
- Freezing Chicken Lo Mein: I tried freezing some of this dish and it ended up being okay. However, I can’t say the same thing about the way it looked after it was thawed. It looked mushy. Unless you have to, I do not recommend freezing this dish.
- The Toppings: I topped my noodles with scallions, sesame seeds, and some chopped cilantro. You could certainly serve this dish without the toppings, but if you are like me, live for the toppings, go for it.