The Easiest Beef Chow Mein Recipes (25 Minutes!)

by Ella

Beef chow mein, a classic dish in Chinese cuisine, embodies a delightful fusion of flavors and textures. This beloved stir-fry showcases tender beef, crisp vegetables, and savory noodles, all harmoniously combined in a savory sauce. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, mastering the art of beef chow mein is an accomplishment that promises to satisfy taste buds and impress guests. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of creating a delectable beef chow mein that embodies authenticity and culinary excellence.

Beef Chow Mein

Prep Time5 minutes
Active Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Keyword: Beef Chow Mein
Yield: 1
Cost: $3


  • Wok or Skillet
  • Bowl


  • 8 ounces of thin egg noodles
  • 1 pound of beef (flank steak or sirloin), thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of mixed vegetables (bell peppers, carrots, snap peas, and mushrooms), julienned
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped green onions for garnish


  • Preparing the Noodles: The first step to creating beef chow mein is preparing the noodles. Boil the thin egg noodles according to the package instructions. Once cooked, drain and rinse them under cold water to prevent overcooking. Toss the noodles with a bit of vegetable oil to prevent sticking, and set them aside.
  • Marinating the Beef: Marinating the beef is a key step in enhancing its flavor and ensuring tenderness. In a bowl, combine the sliced beef with a tablespoon of soy sauce and a teaspoon of cornstarch. Mix well and allow the beef to marinate for at least 15 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
  • Creating the Sauce: The sauce is where the magic happens in beef chow mein. In a small bowl, whisk together the oyster sauce, remaining tablespoon of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and sesame oil. This combination of sauces introduces layers of umami, sweetness, and depth to the dish.
  • Stir-Frying with Precision: Stir-frying is a skill that requires precision and attention to detail. Heat a wok or a large skillet over high heat until it's smoking hot. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil and swirl it around to coat the surface. Add the marinated beef and spread it out in a single layer. Allow it to sear for about a minute without stirring to achieve a nice sear. Then, stir-fry the beef until it's no longer pink and is cooked to your desired level of doneness. Transfer the beef to a plate and set it aside.
  • Sautéing the Vegetables: In the same wok or skillet, add another tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the minced garlic and sauté for a brief moment until fragrant. Add the julienned mixed vegetables and stir-fry for a few minutes until they're crisp-tender. The vibrant colors and fresh crunch of the vegetables will add visual appeal and texture to your beef chow mein.
  • Incorporating Noodles and Sauce: Push the sautéed vegetables to the side of the wok, creating a space in the center. Add the cooked egg noodles to the center and pour the prepared sauce over the noodles. Gently toss the noodles to coat them evenly with the sauce. As you toss, gradually incorporate the sautéed vegetables and cooked beef into the noodles.
  • Final Touches and Presentation: Once the beef chow mein components are thoroughly combined and heated through, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Transfer the beef chow mein to a serving platter, and sprinkle chopped green onions over the top for a burst of color and a mild oniony aroma.

Savoring the Culinary

The journey of creating beef chow mein concludes with the rewarding experience of savoring each delectable bite. The tender beef, perfectly cooked noodles, crisp vegetables, and harmonious sauce come together to create a symphony of flavors that’s as satisfying as it is memorable.


See Also: 6 Reasons Why Chinese Beef Is So Tender


Variations of Beef Chow Mein

Certainly! There are various delicious variations of beef chow mein that you can experiment with to suit your taste preferences. Here are a few exciting options to consider:


1. Spicy Beef Chow Mein: Add a kick of heat to your beef chow mein by incorporating spicy elements like red pepper flakes, Sriracha sauce, or diced chili peppers. The heat will complement the savory flavors and add an extra layer of excitement to the dish.


3. Teriyaki Beef Chow Mein:
Give your beef chow mein a Japanese twist by using teriyaki sauce as the base for your stir-fry. Teriyaki sauce’s sweet and savory profile pairs wonderfully with beef and vegetables.

See Also: Teriyaki Chicken Fried Rice: Step-by-Step Tutorial

5. Garlic Beef Chow Mein: For garlic enthusiasts, this variation features an abundance of minced garlic. The strong garlic flavor will complement the beef and vegetables, creating a robust and aromatic dish.

6. Curry Beef Chow Mein: Infuse your chow mein with exotic flavors by adding curry powder or curry paste to the sauce. The fusion of Asian and Indian flavors will offer a unique and enticing taste experience.

7. Hoisin Beef Chow Mein: Swap out the traditional oyster sauce for hoisin sauce in your recipe. Hoisin sauce brings a slightly sweeter and more complex flavor to the dish, creating a delightful contrast.

8. Nutty Beef Chow Mein: Add a crunchy element by tossing toasted nuts like cashews or peanuts into your beef chow mein. The nuts will provide a satisfying texture and enhance the overall flavor profile.

10. Vegetarian/Vegan Chow Mein: For those seeking plant-based options, replace the beef with tofu, tempeh, or seitan. Load up on a variety of colorful vegetables for a nutritious and satisfying vegetarian or vegan version.

What Can be Served with Beef Chow Mein?

Beef beef chow mein are a delicious and satisfying dish that pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Here are some options to consider:

1. Vegetable Spring Rolls: Crispy vegetable spring rolls are a perfect appetizer to complement beef chow mein. The contrast in textures and flavors adds an exciting dimension to your meal.

2. Stir-Fried Vegetables: A plate of stir-fried vegetables, such as broccoli, bok choy, and bell peppers, provides a refreshing and nutritious side that complements the richness of the beef chow mein.

3. Chinese Broccoli (Gai Lan): Chinese broccoli, blanched and drizzled with oyster sauce or a light soy-based dressing, offers a slightly bitter and earthy contrast to the savory noodles.

4. Steamed Dumplings: Dim sum-style steamed dumplings, filled with your choice of meat or vegetables, make for a delightful addition to the meal. Their soft texture pairs well with the crispy noodles.

See Also: Homemade Dumplings Recipe: Step-by-Step Tutorial

5. Hot and Sour Soup: A bowl of hot and sour soup provides a tangy and spicy contrast to the savory noodles. The combination of flavors creates a well-rounded dining experience.

See Also: Hot & Sour Soup – Easy & Authentic!

6. Cucumber Salad: A refreshing cucumber salad with a light vinaigrette can provide a cooling contrast to the warm and hearty beef chow mein.

7. Egg Drop Soup: A comforting bowl of egg drop soup offers a delicate and soothing accompaniment that balances the flavors of the noodles.

See Also: Chinese Egg Drop Soup – Easy & Authentic!

8. Fried Wontons: These crispy and savory pockets of goodness can be served as an appetizer or side dish. They add an extra layer of crunch to the meal.

12. Fried Rice: While fried noodles are the star, serving a side of fried rice provides another carb element that’s loved by many. Opt for a simple vegetable fried rice or a protein-rich version.

See Also: The Easiest Egg Fried Rice (15 Minutes)

FAQs About Making Beef Chow Mein

Q1. Can I make beef chow mein ahead of time?

While it’s best to enjoy beef chow mein fresh to maintain its texture, you can prep ingredients ahead of time and stir-fry them when you’re ready to eat. Avoid overcooking the noodles to prevent them from becoming soggy.

Q2. Can I customize the vegetables in beef chow mein?

Absolutely! You can customize the vegetable selection based on your preferences. Common choices include bell peppers, carrots, snap peas, mushrooms, and bok choy.

Q3. What type of wok or pan should I use?

A wok is the traditional choice for stir-frying due to its shape and high sides that facilitate even cooking. If you don’t have a wok, you can use a large skillet or frying pan.

Q4. Can I reheat leftover beef chow mein?

Yes, you can reheat leftover beef chow mein. To prevent the noodles from becoming too soft, reheat it in a hot skillet or wok with a bit of oil. Stir-fry until heated through.

Q5. Is beef chow mein healthy?

Beef chow mein can be part of a balanced diet, especially if you load it up with a variety of colorful vegetables and lean protein. Choosing whole-grain noodles and using less oil can also contribute to a healthier version of the dish.

Q6. Can I freeze beef chow mein?

While it’s possible to freeze beef chow mein, the texture of the noodles may change upon thawing and reheating. For the best results, enjoy it fresh or store leftovers in the refrigerator for a day or two.

Q7. Can I use other types of noodles for beef chow mein?

Absolutely! While chow mein noodles are traditional, you can use other types of noodles such as egg noodles, rice noodles, or even spaghetti as a substitute. Just be mindful of cooking times and follow the package instructions accordingly.

Q8. Can I use pre-marinated or pre-cooked beef for convenience?

Yes, using pre-marinated or pre-cooked beef can save time. However, marinating the beef yourself allows you to control the flavors and ingredients. If using pre-cooked beef, add it later in the cooking process to prevent overcooking.

Q9. How can I prevent the noodles from sticking together?

After boiling and draining the noodles, rinse them under cold water to remove excess starch. Toss them with a bit of vegetable oil to prevent sticking. When stir-frying, make sure the noodles are fully coated with the sauce to prevent clumping.

Q10. What can I substitute for oyster sauce if I don’t have it?

If you don’t have oyster sauce, you can use a combination of soy sauce and hoisin sauce to mimic its sweet and savory flavor. You can also explore using vegetarian oyster sauce or mushroom soy sauce for a similar umami taste.

Q11. How do I prevent overcooking the beef?

To prevent overcooking the beef, make sure your wok or skillet is very hot before adding the beef. Stir-fry the beef quickly until it’s no longer pink and has a nice sear. Overcooking can result in tough and dry meat.

See Also: How To Make Szechuan Beef: Step-by-Step Tutorial


Crafting beef chow mein is not just about preparing a meal; it’s an opportunity to engage in the art of cooking, combining diverse ingredients and techniques to create a culinary masterpiece. By following this step-by-step guide, you can elevate your cooking skills and delight your taste buds with the savory, satisfying goodness of beef chow mein. Whether you’re enjoying it as a comforting weeknight dinner or showcasing your culinary prowess to guests, beef chow mein is a dish that embodies both tradition and innovation, a perfect representation of the culinary world’s infinite possibilities.



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