Chicken Chow Mein

Surely everybody loves chicken chow mein? It’s the most popular dish at most Chinese takeaways and, I’m not knocking Chinese takeaways, but this is a fresh, cheaper version which you could eat all through the week! With costs going up everywhere and takeaways becoming more and more expensive, why not have a go at making this seriously simple dish at home?

Chow mein is a noodle dish with many different variations, and this is certainly not an authentic one – but it is a delicious one. With mange tout, mushrooms, and chicken, plus plenty of garlic, it’s a flavourful little dinner which will make the whole family happy.

Fancy a vegetarian version instead? You’re in luck! I have a recipe here.

Marinading the Chicken

Marinading is the key (and by far the most time consuming) part of this chicken chow mein recipe. Don’t skip it! First, you thinly slice the chicken – aim for 5mm. This means that the chicken will absorb the most flavour, plus it will cook more quickly and evenly later on (there’s nothing worse than big chunks of dry chicken in a stir fry).

You can marinate the chicken for a minimum of 20 minutes. 20 minutes will give you the flavour you want – marinate for longer and it’ll just get better and better. You can marinate for up to 24 hours. Just pop the chicken, soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil in a bowl, cover with cling film and keep in the fridge until you’re ready to get going with your stir fry.

The Stir Fry Ingredients

One of the key ingredients in a chow mein is garlic, and lots of it, so don’t be shy! I used 6 big cloves in this recipe and it was perfect.

I also use prosciutto in this recipe. Obviously – it being an Italian ham – it is not authentic, but it does bring a really incredible depth of flavour. You could use any cured ham in place of this, just be sure to cut it thinly.

The vegetables I chose were mange tout – a wonderful burst of freshness and sweetness – and some gorgeous tiny enoki mushrooms that I picked up from my local greengrocer. If you can’t find these, don’t panic! Thinly sliced chestnut mushrooms would be a great substitute.

Once you’ve made it the first time, start mixing up the ingredients – baby corn, bamboo shoots etc would go perfectly. Depends what you have in the fridge!

Cooking the Chicken Chow Mein

The tip for cooking a chow mein is to get all of your ingredients prepped first. Everything cooks so quickly that you don’t want to end up burning your beautiful dinner because you need to slice some mushrooms. I’ve stated this in the recipe, but do be sure to follow it – it’ll make your cooking process much less hectic! Use a nice big wok for this if you can, and make sure you cook over a high heat.

Chicken Chow Mein

Save This Recipe
Harriet Young
A delicious variation on the takeaway favourite using prosciutto for a blast of flavour
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinating Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4 people


  • 400 g chicken breast
  • 4 tbsps light soy sauce
  • 4 tbsps rice wine
  • 4 tbsps sesame oil
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 200 g mange tout
  • 70 g prosciutto
  • 100 g enoki mushrooms
  • 400 g fresh medium or egg noodles
  • 8 spring onions
  • Sesame seeds, to serve


  • Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips and put in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons each of the soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, then cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for about 20 minutes (or longer – up to 24 hours!)
  • When you're ready to cook, prep your ingredients. Peel then crush or finely dice the garlic cloves. Finely slice the prosciutto. Cut the mushrooms into bitesize pieces.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil to a wok over a high heat and tip in the chicken. Sizzle for 2 minutes, then add the crushed garlic.
  • After 10 seconds, add the mange tout, mushrooms and thinly sliced ham.
  • Stir fry for another minute, then add the noodles, remaining soy sauce and rice wine. Stir fry for 2 more minutes.
  • To finish, add the thinly sliced spring onions and remaining sesame oil and fry for another 30 seconds.
  • Top each bowl with a sprinkling of sesame seeds for a bit of crunch.
Keyword chicken, stir fry

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Hi there!

I’m Harriet, writer and cook, and I’m so pleased to have you here! I love nothing more than cooking delicious food and sharing it with the world. You can find out more about me here.

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