Plain Chow Mein - Khin's Kitchen (2024)

Published: · by Khin · This post may contain affiliate links.

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Simple quick plain chow mein recipe made with egg noodles, bean sprouts, spring onions, and classic Chinese soy sauce seasonings. Delicious on its own or pair it with your favourite main dishes. Learn how to make this takeaway favourite chow mein at home perfectly with our instructions.

Plain Chow Mein - Khin's Kitchen (1)

If you have read my other posts, you might already know that our family loves noodles and we have many versions of chow mein on our website. Prawn Chow Mein and Chicken Chow Mein recipes are our readers' favourite quick and easy chow mein recipes you don't want to miss!

What is plain chow mein?

Plain chow mein is one of the most popular Chinese takeaway noodle dishes in the UK and across the world. It is also known as Chinese plain noodles, plain lo mein, or vegetable chow mein. You can make chow mein with noodles and soy sauce or stir-fry it together with vegetables or a choice of protein. Plain chow mein is a perfect combination of soft egg noodles, crisp vegetables and savoury umami chow mein sauce. A humble noodle dish that every Asian household love to have at least once a week.

One of the simplest chow mein recipes with minimal ingredients. You don't need to add plenty of vegetables or special sauces to make this dish. Super quick preparation time and easy to clean up. Healthy, nutritious, and budget-friendly too!

Ingredients we need

Following is a quick guide and details measurement is on the recipe card at the bottom of this blog post.

Plain Chow Mein - Khin's Kitchen (2)
  • Noodles - Medium-thick dried or fresh egg noodles, chow mein noodles, or lo mein noodles are ideal for this recipe. You can also add wheat noodles, wholewheat noodles, pasta, udon, etc.
  • Dried noodles - Most Chinese takeaways use Lucky Boat Number 1 dried noodles but it doesn't come in small packets. You can use any medium thick dried egg noodles available at your local grocery stores. I usually use Sharwood or the supermarket's own brand of dried noodles which are available at our local supermarkets in the UK.
  • Vegetables - bean sprouts, onions, and spring onions ( green onions ) are ideal for this recipe but you can swap them with your choice of stir fry vegetables.
  • Seasonings - Light soy sauce, dark thick soy sauce, sesame oil, and sugar are essential ingredients you must add.
  • Chicken powder - is a dehydrated, concentrated chicken stock and it had a salty, umami chicken flavour. You can add chicken powder or msg for the best flavour. Recommend using Asian chicken powders like Knorr, Jumbo, Honor, Amoy, Ajinomoto, etc.

How to make it

Prepare Noodles

  1. Boil the dried noodles for 3-4 minutes or according to the packet instructions. Then rinse with cold water and set it aside. ( If you are using fresh egg noodles, you can skip this step. )
Plain Chow Mein - Khin's Kitchen (3)

Gather sauce ingredients & vegetables

  1. Meanwhile, the noodles are boiling, prepare the vegetables. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Set them aside.

Make a stir fry

  1. Heat the large wok/pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Add onions and garlic and stir fry for a few seconds until fragrant.
  2. Next, add the noodles, add chicken powder and pour the sauce mixture over the noodles.
  3. Bring the heat to high and stir fry for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce dries out.
  4. Add bean sprouts and spring onions and toss everything well for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a serving plate and serve immediately! Enjoy!
Plain Chow Mein - Khin's Kitchen (4)

Quick Tips

  • Dry noodles cooking time - it usually takes 3-4 minutes to boil them, but it can vary according to the brands you use. So make sure to check the packet instructions and make sure to rinse with cold water just right after boiling it.
  • Storing and reheating - You can keep the leftover chow mein in the fridge in an air-tight container for a couple of days. Reheat in the microwave or stir fry over the stovetop for 1-2 minutes until hot, before serving.Add a splash of water if the noodles are too try.
  • Salt - Soy sauces, chicken powder, and some noodles brands contain salt and I don't usually add extra salt. You can make a taste test and sprinkle some salt to your taste if needed. Or if you prefer your noodles less salty, you can add low-sodium soy sauces or reduce the amount of sauce.
Plain Chow Mein - Khin's Kitchen (5)

FAQ

What to serve with this dish?

Plain chow mein is delicious on its own without any meat or seafood. You can pair it with Sweet and Sour Chicken, Sesame Chicken, or Salt and Chilli Chicken and make it a takeaway style complete meal.

What other ingredients can you add?

You can add fried prawns, cooked chicken slices/strips, fried eggs, fried tofu, fried minced meat, or your choice of meat or seafood.

Why do you add chicken powder?

Chicken bouillon powder brings a rich umami flavour to the noodles. The secret behind the delicious Chinese takeaway plain noodles is the' Msg '. So if you wish to taste your chow mein like takeaway, you will need to add msg or chicken powder.

More fantastic chow mein & noodle recipes

  • Easy Beef Chow Mein
  • Singapore Chow Mein ( Singapore Noodles )
  • Duck Chow Mein
  • Teriyaki Salmon Noodles

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📖 Recipe

Plain Chow Mein - Khin's Kitchen (10)

Plain Chow Mein

Simple plain chow mein with bean sprouts, spring onions, and delicious savoury sauce. Made with minimum cupboard-friendly ingredients and taste just like your favourite Chinese takeaway. Ready in 15 minutes and so delicious!

5 from 11 votes

Print Pin Rate

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Chinese

Prep Time: 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes minutes

Servings: 2 - 3

Calories: 529kcal

Author: Khin

Equipment

  • 1 Large wok or pan Non-stick or traditional carbon steel wok

  • 1 Medium pot For boiling noodles

Ingredients

  • 150 grams Dried egg noodles About 5.3oz, Medium/thick dried egg noodles, see details in note
  • 2 cloves Garlic Finely chopped
  • ½ Onion Cut thin slices
  • 100 grams Bean sprouts Washed/cleaned
  • 3-4 Spring onion Cut 2" pieces
  • 1 tsp Chicken powder Chicken bouillon powder or msg, see details in note
  • 2-3 tbsp Cooking oil Sunflower, canola, vegetable, peanut oil, etc.

Chow mein sauce

  • 1 tbsp Light soy sauce thin soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dark soy sauce thick dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Sesame oil toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Brown sugar or regular white sugar

Instructions

  • Prepare the dried noodles according to the packet instructions. Then rinse with cold water and set it aside. ( If you are using fresh egg noodles, you can skip this step. )

  • Meanwhile the noodles are boiling, prepare the vegetables. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until sugar dissolved. Set them aside.

  • Heat the large wok/pan over medium-high heat, drizzle 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Add onions and garlics and stir fry for a few seconds until fragrant.

  • Next, add the noodles, add chicken powder and pour the sauce mixture over the noodles.

  • Bring the heat to high and stir fry 1-2 minutes or until the sauce dries out.

  • Add bean sprouts and spring onions and toss everything well for 1-2 minutes.

  • Transfer to a serving plate and serve immediately! Enjoy!

Notes

  • Noodles - Medium-thick dried or fresh egg noodles, chow mein noodles, or lo mein noodles are ideal for this recipe. You can also add wheat noodles, wholewheat noodles, pasta, udon, etc.
  • Dry noodles cooking time - it usually takes 3-4 minutes to boil them, but it can vary according to the brands you use. So make sure to check the packet instructions and make sure to rinse with cold water just right after boiling it.
  • Fresh egg noodles - If you are using fresh noodles you will need 350-400 grams ( 12.3-14.1 oz ) of noodles.
  • Chicken powder - is a chicken bouillon powder, and it brings a rich umami flavour to the noodles. The secret behind the delicious Chinese takeaway plain noodles is the' Msg '. So if you wish to taste your chow mein like takeaway, you will need to add msg or chicken powder. Vegetable/vegetarian seasoning powder can be also used.
  • Vegetables - bean sprouts, onions, and spring onions ( green onions ) are ideal for this recipe but you can swap them with your choice of stir fry vegetables.
  • Protein choice - you can also add fried prawns, cooked chicken slices/strips, fried egg, fried tofu, or your choice of meat or seafood.
  • If you have leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge in an air-tight container for a couple of days. Simply reheat in the microwave or over the stovetop for 1-2 minutes until hot, before serving.
  • Do I need salt?Soy sauces, chicken powder, and some noodles brands contain salt and I don't usually add extra salt. You can make a taste test and sprinkle some salt to your taste if needed. Or if you prefer your noodles less salty, you can add low-sodium soy sauces or reduce the amount of sauces.

Nutrition

Calories: 529kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 0.1mg | Sodium: 2286mg | Potassium: 341mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 200IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 4mg

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Mushen says

    Plain Chow Mein - Khin's Kitchen (11)
    Really good, tastes very close to a takeaway!

    Reply

    • Khin says

      Glad that you enjoyed it, Mushen.

      Reply

  2. Laura says

    Plain Chow Mein - Khin's Kitchen (12)
    Recipe was easy and OMG delicious! I added a little of hoisin sauce and came out delicious.

    Reply

  3. Marlene says

    chop suey without the noodles? would like it.

    Reply

  4. Sammy says

    Plain Chow Mein - Khin's Kitchen (13)
    Sweet and sour chicken and plain chow mein is our favourite from Chinese takeout. I’ve got all the ingredients except bean sprouts. Can’t wait to try it out! Thanks for this recipe.

    Reply

    • Khin says

      It's a great combo! You can also add your choice of stir fry vegetables like, bell peppers, pak choy, bok choy, baby corn, mangetout, etc. Hope you enjoy this recipe, Sammy.

      Reply

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