chow mein

Chow mein

Chow mein is one of the world’s most popular dishes. It simply refers to fried noodles with vegetables, meat or eggs. You can use fresh and leftover vegetables in this dish. The key to the success of this dish is having all of your ingredients ready before you start to cook and then getting your pan or wok really hot and not overcooking the vegetables. You can use most veggies for this dish, but as a guide, go for a range of colours and textures and remember that the harder the vegetable, the longer it will take to cook, so the smaller you need to cut it. If using leftover veggies, the cooking time is very little indeed.

Serves 4


  • 250g pack of Chinese egg noodles or wholemeal spaghetti
  • 1 sweet pepper (finely sliced)
  • 2 spring onions (finely sliced)
  • ¼ cabbage (shredded)
  • 2 carrots (finely sliced or ribbons)
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
  • ½ tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp flaked chilli or ½ tsp mild chilli powder


  1. Cook the noodles as per instructions on the pack. Drain and keep back ½ cup of the water.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok and stir-fry all of the fresh vegetables for about 3 minutes, add a drop of water if the vegetables start to burn. Cook for less if using leftovers.
  3. Add the chilli, garlic and ginger and stir fry for a few seconds more before adding the cooked noodles.
  4. Pour in the soy sauce and some of the noodle water, mix well and stir fry for a further minute, making sure the noodles don’t stick to the pan. Serve while still hot


  • Cooked meat like chicken and turkey can be added to this dish.
  • To include egg ribbons – season two raw eggs with soya sauce and fresh coriander. Heat a non-stick pan. Add oil and when hot, add the eggs to the pan and move them around the pan with a circular movement to ensure an even thickness. Allow the eggs to set and turn over with a spatula and cook for a further minute. Remove from the heat, roll up the omelette and cut thin slices across the roll to make ribbons which you serve on top of the chow mein.

Recipe by the Community Chef

See also