Chicken Chow Mein

All, Chinese, Poultry

You can make this dish with either fresh, canned, or a combination of noodles. And you have to use noodles, because that’s what mein means. If you use rice, call it chop suey, although chop suey is usually made with pork. Shoot, it’s all good. Make it the way you want and call it anything you want.

Traditionally, chow mein is served over buttered soft noodles, with crunchy fried noodles sprinkled over the top. That’s the best way to do it. But a shortcut, shown in the photo, is to use canned crunchy noodles and let the sauce soften the ones on the bottom. I won’t tell if you won’t.

If you use fresh egg noodles, boil them in water according to the package directions, and then set aside about 1/3 of them for frying. Cut the ones you are going to fry into two inch pieces, heat some oil in the skillet, and fry them until they are golden brown. Drain them on paper towels. Keep the other noodles warm with some butter on them to keep them from sticking together. (The egg noodles will be wide and flat, not like the noodles shown in the photo.)


1 green pepper, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 cup boiling water
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 four ounce can sliced mushrooms, drained
8 ounces cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces


Put the pepper slices in the boiling water for five minutes. Remove and drain the peppers. If you don’t already have cooked chicken on hand, put the diced raw chicken in the water and boil for ten minutes. Remove and drain.

Heat the butter and oil in a saucepan and, when hot, add the onions and celery. Sauté for four or five minutes, and sprinkle with the flour. Cook another minute, stirring in the flour. Add the chicken broth, stirring constantly. Simmer for ten minutes, and season with soy sauce and pepper to taste. Add the pepper slices, the mushrooms, and the chicken pieces. Cover and simmer for five or ten minutes.

In the meantime, you will have boiled the noodles, fried some of them, or at least opened the can of noodles. Serve the chow mein with the noodles and soy sauce on the side.

In the photo, I’ve served the chow mein with potstickers on the side. They came frozen in a package with a packet of sauce included. I boiled the potstickers for a few minutes, drained them, and then, in the traditional fashion, browned their bottom sides in a frying pan with a little oil.

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