Skip the takeout and make the BEST chow mein at home in less than 30 min! Perfectly crispy noodles with bok choy, mushrooms + bean sprouts!

We were ordering Chinese take-out from one of my favorite places. And all I really wanted was a giant bowl of chow mein with pan-fried noodles to that perfect crispness and crunch.

Except Ben says to me, “I think it’s lo mein that you want.” I was hesitant. I was 99% certain it was chow mein that I was looking for. He said, “Doesn’t the ‘chow’ in chow mein mean rice?”

I should have just stopped listening to him right there. Instead, I ordered the lo mein and I did not get my crispy noodles. And someone slept on the couch that night.

Easy Chow Mein - Skip the takeout and make the BEST chow mein at home in less than 30 min! Perfectly crispy noodles with bok choy, mushrooms + bean sprouts!

So in case you all are wondering, that is the key difference to chow mein versus lo mein. Chow mein noodles are fried to crispness while lo mein noodles are boiled to softness.

Both are great – but sometimes you just want those crispy noodles.

So after that mix up, I’ve been trying to perfect a homemade chow mein dish. You know, so I don’t have to constantly fight about chow mein versus lo mein with Ben.

Easy Chow Mein - Skip the takeout and make the BEST chow mein at home in less than 30 min! Perfectly crispy noodles with bok choy, mushrooms + bean sprouts!

And lo and behold, I think I’ve got it. This recipe here is created with the most perfect crispy noodles made with Hong Kong-style pan-fried noodles.

This can be found at your local Asian grocery store, and is usually sold parboiled so they can be used straight from the bag to pan without boiling them first, yielding that amazingly crisp firmness with soft, chewy spots throughout.

But if you can’t find them or they are not available, don’t worry. Fettuccine, linguine, or even ramen noodles (with the seasoning packet discarded) make for a handy substitute!

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1 (16-ounce) package Hong Kong-style pan-fried noodles
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 (3.5-ounce) package shiitake mushrooms
4 baby bok choy, coarsely chopped
1 cup mung bean sprouts, rinsed and drained

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together oyster sauce, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and Sriracha; set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add noodles and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown and crispy, about 3-4 minutes; set aside.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil in the skillet. Add mushrooms, and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in bok choy until just wilted, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in noodles and oyster sauce mixture until well combined, about 2 minutes. Stir in bean sprouts.
  5. Serve immediately.