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Chicken Chow Mein

Chicken chow mein
Growing up, chow mein was one of my favorite meals. What kid can resist noodles, even if it is loaded with vegetables? My little man is no different, and tonight, he ate broccoli, bell peppers and green cabbage without hesitation. Now I can sleep well knowing he had his recommended daily intake of vegetables.

Chow mein translates to stir-fried noodles in Chinese. Typically, egg noodles is used however, it is just as delicious if you use spaghetti noodles. Avoid the Chinese takeouts which are laden with sodium and MSG, and make this recipe at home for a fraction of the price. The dish comes together quickly and the most time consuming aspect is in the prep work. If you are in a rush, you can chop the vegetables in bigger pieces.

Green cabbage, broccoli, peppers and carrots

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs cut into thin strips
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp canola oil
1 large carrot, julienned
2 cups green cabbage, julienned
1 head broccoli, separate the stem (julienne into thin matchsticks) and crown (into florets)
1/4 cup water or chicken broth
3 bell peppers (any color), julienned
454 g package chow mein noodles
2 tbsp soy sauce (optional)
1 tbsp sesame oil (optional)


1. In a medium bowl, mix together the chicken breast, cornstarch and soy sauce until the chicken breast is coated.

2. In a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat, add oil.

3. Add chicken strips and stir-fry until it is no longer pink. Take the chicken out of the skillet or wok and place in a bowl. Do not rinse the skillet or wok.

Cook the chicken strips

4. To the skillet or wok, add the julienned carrot, broccoli stem and cabbage and cook until just tender. Add a little water to the skillet or wok to deglaze the fond (browned chicken bits stuck to the skillet). Add julienned bell peppers and cook until the peppers are soft.

Cover with a lid to help speed up cooking times

5. In a large pot, cook the chow mein noodles according to package instructions. Remove chow mein and add to skillet/wok. Do not drain the water from the pot.

Blanche the noodles

6. To the same pot you boiled the chow mein, blanche the broccoli crowns.

7. Add the blanched broccoli crowns, cooked chicken strips, 2 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp sesame oil to the chow mein and toss with tongs until combined.

TIP: use tongs to toss everything together (pictured is my favorite OXO tongs)

  • Substitute chicken with beef, pork or seafood
  • Vegetarian option: use tofu or leave out the protein altogether
  • Substitute with any vegetables you have on hand. Here are some suggestions and the order you would cook them (cook the hardier vegetables first): 
    • shitake mushrooms, if using dry shitake, soak in warm water for 15 minutes, rinse thoroughly and julienne
    • yellow onion, julienned
    • celery, julienned
    • green beans, julienned
    • bok choy, separate each leaf
    • snap peas, julienned
    • bean sprouts
  • Substitute chow mein noodles with spaghetti noodles (cook spaghetti noodles until al-dente then add to skillet)
  • Buy fresh bone-in chicken when it goes on sale (about $3/lb in Vancouver), debone, cut into strips and freeze in a Ziploc bag for stir-fries or chow mein
  • The chow mein noodles I used (can be found in most grocery stores)

This brand is sold at T&T and Superstore.
Source: Frugal Allergy Mom

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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