Beef Chow Mein

Beef Chow Mein is a classic Chinese dish renowned for its tantalizing flavors and comforting textures. This beloved recipe combines succulent slices of beef, fresh egg noodles, and an array of savory sauces, creating a symphony of taste that will leave your taste buds craving for more. Follow this step-by-step guide to recreate the magic of Beef Chow Mein in your kitchen.

Slice and Marinate the Beef: To ensure tender and flavorful beef, begin by slicing 300g of beef into thin, 1/8-inch pieces. Marinate the beef with a blend of salt, baking soda, chicken or vegetable broth, soy sauce, cornstarch, and black pepper. Allow the beef to marinate for 20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and tenderize the meat.

Cook the Noodles: In a pot of boiling water, cook 2 portions of fresh egg noodles until al dente, approximately 2-3 minutes or according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain the noodles and set them aside, ready to be infused with the delectable flavors of the Beef Chow Mein.

Prepare the Wok: Achieving the perfect wok hei, or “breath of the wok,” is essential for imparting that characteristic smoky flavor to your Beef Chow Mein. Heat your wok on maximum heat until it’s smoking hot. Add a generous amount of peanut oil to create a non-stick surface, ensuring the noodles won’t cling together during cooking.

Cook the Beef and Onions: Once the wok is adequately heated, add the marinated beef, stirring continuously to ensure even cooking. When the beef is halfway cooked, introduce thinly sliced onions to the wok, allowing them to infuse their aromatic flavor into the dish. Stir-fry for approximately 15 seconds until the onions are slightly softened.

Add Noodles and Scallions: With the beef and onions cooked to perfection, it’s time to introduce the star of the dish – the cooked egg noodles. Add the drained noodles to the wok, along with freshly cut scallions, infusing the dish with their vibrant color and subtle oniony flavor. Turn off the heat, allowing the residual heat of the wok to gently warm the noodles and meld the flavors together.

Season the Chow Mein: The secret to exceptional Beef Chow Mein lies in the harmonious balance of sauces. Add a tantalizing combination of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and dark soy sauce to the wok, coating the noodles and beef in a rich, savory glaze. Mix until the sauces are evenly distributed, ensuring every bite is bursting with flavor.

Adjust Flavor and Serve: Before serving, take a moment to taste and adjust the seasoning according to your preference. For an extra layer of complexity and aroma, consider drizzling a hint of toasted sesame oil over the dish. Then, plate up your Beef Chow Mein and prepare to delight in a culinary masterpiece that’s as satisfying to the palate as it is to the soul.

Pro Tips:

  1. Control wok heat: Achieve the perfect wok hei by heating your wok until it’s smoking hot before adding oil.
  2. Be generous with oil: Prevent noodles from sticking together by adding a generous amount of oil to the wok.
  3. Turn off the heat: For an authentic Lo Mein texture, turn off the heat before adding the noodles to the wok.
  4. Quality ingredients: Use high-quality oyster sauce to elevate the flavor profile of your Beef Chow Mein.
  5. Adjust seasoning: Fine-tune the seasoning to suit your taste preferences, considering the sodium levels in the soy and oyster sauce.

Serving and Storage Tips:

  1. Serve Fresh: Beef Chow Mein is best enjoyed fresh off the wok, when the noodles are still hot and the flavors are at their peak. Serve immediately to experience the dish at its finest.
  2. Garnish and Presentation: Elevate the presentation of your Beef Chow Mein by garnishing it with thinly sliced green onions, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, or a dash of red chili flakes for a pop of color and flavor.
  3. Pairing Suggestions: Complement the rich flavors of Beef Chow Mein with a side of steamed vegetables or a crisp, refreshing salad. Additionally, serve it alongside traditional Chinese condiments such as chili oil, soy sauce, or vinegar for extra customization.
  4. Store Properly: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat gently in a skillet or microwave, adding a splash of water or broth to prevent the noodles from drying out.
  5. Freezing: While Beef Chow Mein can be frozen, it’s best to freeze the individual components separately. Cooked noodles and marinated beef can be frozen in separate containers for up to 1-2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating and assembling the dish.
  6. Meal Prep: Simplify weeknight dinners by prepping components of Beef Chow Mein in advance. Marinate the beef and prepare the sauce ahead of time, storing them in the refrigerator until ready to cook. Cook the noodles just before serving for optimal texture.
  7. Reheating: When reheating Beef Chow Mein, add a splash of broth or water to the pan to revive the noodles and prevent them from becoming dry or sticky. Heat gently over medium heat until warmed through, stirring occasionally to distribute the heat evenly.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that your Beef Chow Mein retains its delicious flavors and textures, whether you’re serving it fresh from the wok or enjoying leftovers the next day.


  1. Vegetable Chow Mein: For a vegetarian twist, omit the beef and instead load your Chow Mein with a colorful assortment of fresh vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, and snap peas. Stir-fry the vegetables until crisp-tender before adding the noodles and sauce.
  2. Chicken Chow Mein: Swap out the beef for diced chicken breast or thigh meat for a lighter alternative. Marinate the chicken in a similar fashion to the beef and stir-fry until cooked through before adding the noodles and vegetables.
  3. Shrimp Chow Mein: Incorporate succulent shrimp into your Chow Mein for a seafood-inspired variation. Quickly stir-fry the shrimp until pink and opaque before adding them to the wok with the noodles and sauce.
  4. Tofu Chow Mein: For a protein-packed vegetarian option, substitute tofu for the beef. Press and cube the tofu, then stir-fry until golden brown before adding the noodles and vegetables. Tofu readily absorbs flavors, making it a delicious addition to this dish.
  5. Spicy Chow Mein: Add a kick of heat to your Chow Mein by incorporating sliced fresh chili peppers or a drizzle of chili oil during cooking. Adjust the amount of spice according to your preference to create a dish that tantalizes the taste buds with its fiery flavor.
  6. Cashew Chow Mein: Introduce a delightful crunch to your Chow Mein by tossing in roasted cashews or peanuts during the final stages of cooking. The nuts add a satisfying texture contrast to the soft noodles and tender beef.
  7. Teriyaki Chow Mein: Infuse your Chow Mein with the sweet and savory flavors of teriyaki sauce by substituting it for the oyster sauce in the recipe. Drizzle a generous amount of teriyaki sauce over the cooked noodles and beef, tossing to coat evenly before serving.
  8. Garlic Lover’s Chow Mein: Enhance the aromatic profile of your Chow Mein by sautéing minced garlic in the wok before adding the beef and onions. The addition of garlic lends a robust flavor that pairs perfectly with the savory sauce and tender noodles.
  9. Curry Chow Mein: Transform your Chow Mein into a fusion delight by incorporating curry powder or curry paste into the sauce mixture. The warm, fragrant spices of curry add depth and complexity to the dish, creating a unique flavor profile that’s sure to impress.
  10. Mushroom Chow Mein: Elevate the umami factor of your Chow Mein by adding a variety of mushrooms such as shiitake, cremini, or oyster mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms until golden brown and tender before combining them with the noodles and sauce.

With these creative variations, you can customize your Beef Chow Mein to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs, ensuring a delicious and satisfying meal every time. Experiment with different ingredients and flavor combinations to discover your own signature twist on this classic Chinese dish.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) :

  1. What is Beef Chow Mein?
    • Beef Chow Mein is a classic Chinese dish consisting of stir-fried noodles, tender slices of beef, and various vegetables, all tossed in a savory sauce.
  2. What type of noodles are used in Beef Chow Mein?
    • Traditional Beef Chow Mein typically uses fresh egg noodles, but you can also use dried egg noodles or even wheat noodles depending on your preference.
  3. Can I use other types of meat instead of beef?
    • Yes, you can customize your Chow Mein by using chicken, pork, shrimp, or tofu as alternatives to beef, depending on your dietary preferences.
  4. How do I prevent the noodles from sticking together?
    • To prevent the noodles from sticking together, be generous with oil when stir-frying and avoid overcooking them. Additionally, rinsing cooked noodles under cold water can help prevent them from clumping.
  5. Can I make Beef Chow Mein ahead of time?
    • While Beef Chow Mein is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare components such as marinated beef and sauce in advance. Store them separately and assemble the dish just before serving for optimal flavor and texture.
  6. Can I freeze Beef Chow Mein?
    • Yes, you can freeze Beef Chow Mein, but it’s best to freeze the individual components separately. Thaw and reheat them gently to maintain the quality of the dish.
  7. What vegetables can I add to Beef Chow Mein?
    • Common vegetables used in Beef Chow Mein include onions, bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, and snap peas. Feel free to add any of your favorite vegetables to customize the dish to your liking.
  8. Is Beef Chow Mein gluten-free?
    • Traditional soy sauce contains gluten, so if you require a gluten-free option, use tamari or gluten-free soy sauce. Additionally, ensure that the noodles and other ingredients are certified gluten-free.

These FAQs address common queries about preparing, customizing, and serving Beef Chow Mein, helping you create a delicious and satisfying dish every time.

With its irresistible combination of tender beef, savory noodles, and aromatic sauces, Beef Chow Mein is a dish that never fails to impress. Whether enjoyed as a comforting weeknight meal or showcased as the star of a festive gathering, this authentic recipe promises to transport your taste buds on a flavorful journey to Chinese cuisine. So, gather your ingredients, fire up your wok, and prepare to savor the incomparable delight of homemade Beef Chow Mein.