Chef’s chicken chow mein recipe is the perfect takeaway alternative

Chow mein is a stir-fried dish consisting of noodles, onions and bean sprouts and can be found in most Chinese restaurants.

Traditionally, it contains chicken, beef and sometimes pork, though it can be substituted with items like prawns or tofu.

While it is incredibly easy to make with just a handful of ingredients, it’s hard to match the exact flavours found in takeaway food.

But according to one chef, it’s easy to remedy by adding just one cheap ingredient into the mix. And the results taste “just like a takeaway would do it”.

Sharing the authentic recipe on his YouTube channel, chef Ziang of Xiang’s Food Workshop demonstrated exactly how to make it from scratch. And it costs just a fraction of the price of ordering in.


For one serving:

  • One chicken breast, poached
  • One white onion, sliced
  • One tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of MSG
  • Singapore-style noodles
  • Dark soy sauce
  • A handful of beansprouts
  • Spring onions and fresh red chilli to serve

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Start by poaching a raw chicken breast in a pan filled with hot water over low heat on the hob. This should take around 10-12 minutes until the juices run clear when pierced.

Once cooked, place the breast into a bowl of iced water to “stop the cooking process”. After around 10 minutes when the chicken is cool, slice it into even strips across the grain of the meat.

In a large Wok or non-stick frying pan, heat some vegetable oil. Add the sliced white onion and sizzle until they start to brown.

At this point, the sliced chicken can be poured into the hot pan followed by a pinch of salt and MSG.

Chef Ziang said: “Run off the MSG and you’ll know when it’s done because it will smell like a takeaway.”

Next, add in the Singapore-style noodles and let them sit in the pan for around 20-30 seconds to “get a char flavour”.

Move them around and repeat the process again until the charred fragrance really comes through. Add another pinch of salt and MSG then cook off for 10 to 15 seconds.

Drizzle in the dark soy sauce to coat the noodles and then add the beansprouts. The chef said: “You always add your beansprouts last to maintain colour, and texture, and deliciousness!”

Continue to cook for a further 15 seconds to get extra heat through the ingredients before serving. Top with chopped spring onions and red chilli for added flavour.

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