Beef Chow Mein Recipe – Just 9 Steps

by Ella

Beef chow mein is a classic Chinese dish that has found its way into the hearts and homes of food enthusiasts worldwide. Its delightful combination of tender beef, crisp vegetables, and savory noodles creates a symphony of flavors and textures that are hard to resist. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the step-by-step process of crafting the perfect beef chow mein, ensuring that you can recreate this culinary masterpiece in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Beef Chow Mein

Beef Chow Mein is a delicious and popular Chinese dish that features stir-fried noodles, beef, and vegetables. Here's a simple recipe for making Beef Chow Mein at home:
Prep Time5 minutes
Active Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Yield: 4
Cost: $5


For the Beef Marinade:

  • 1/2 pound (about 225g) beef sirloin or flank steak, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For the Chow Mein:

  • 8 ounces (about 225g) chow mein noodles (fresh or cooked according to package instructions)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1 cup julienned carrots
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup sliced bell peppers (any color)
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • Sesame seeds and chopped green onions for garnish


Marinate the Beef

  • In a bowl, combine the sliced beef with soy sauce, oyster sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil, sugar, and black pepper.
  • Allow the beef to marinate for at least 15-20 minutes.

Cook the Chow Mein Noodles

  • Cook the chow mein noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Stir-Fry the Beef

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the marinated beef and stir-fry until it's cooked through. Remove the beef from the wok and set it aside.

Stir-Fry Vegetables

  • In the same wok, add another tablespoon of oil if needed.
  • Add minced garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add sliced cabbage, julienned carrots, bell peppers, and bean sprouts. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are crisp-tender.

Combine Beef and Vegetables

  • Return the cooked beef to the wok with the vegetables and mix well.

Add Noodles and Sauce

  • Add the cooked chow mein noodles to the wok.
  • In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, and sugar (if using). Pour the sauce over the noodles and toss everything together until well combined.

Finish and Garnish

  • Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
  • Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

Tips for Making Perfect Beef chow mein

Making perfect Beef Chow Mein involves a combination of the right ingredients, proper preparation techniques, and attention to detail. Here are some tips to help you make a delicious Beef Chow Mein:



High-Quality Ingredients: Use fresh, high-quality beef and vegetables for the best flavor and texture.


Noodles: Use fresh or rehydrated Chinese egg noodles or chow mein noodles. Cook them according to the package instructions and then rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking process.



Slice Beef Thinly: Slice the beef thinly against the grain to ensure tenderness.


Marinate Beef: Marinate the beef in a mixture of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and a bit of cornstarch. This helps to tenderize the meat and adds flavor.

Prepare Vegetables: Cut vegetables uniformly to ensure even cooking. Common vegetables include bok choy, mushrooms, bell peppers, and bean sprouts.


Hot Wok or Pan: Use a hot wok or a large, deep skillet to quickly cook the ingredients. The high heat helps to achieve that characteristic wok flavor.

Cook Beef First: Stir-fry the marinated beef first until it’s just cooked. Remove it from the wok and set it aside. This prevents overcooking the beef during the later stages.

Vegetable Timing: Stir-fry the vegetables in stages, starting with the ones that take longer to cook and adding the quicker-cooking ones later. This ensures all the vegetables are cooked to perfection.

Sauce: Prepare a flavorful sauce using a combination of soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and a bit of sugar. Adjust the proportions to suit your taste.

Combine and Toss: Add the cooked beef and noodles back into the wok, followed by the prepared sauce. Toss everything together to ensure an even distribution of flavors.


If you encounter issues while making Beef Chow Mein, here are some common problems and their potential solutions:

1. Overcooked Noodles:

Issue: Noodles are mushy or overcooked.

Solution: Cook the noodles according to the package instructions, and rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking process. Make sure your wok is hot enough, and toss the noodles briefly to reheat without further cooking.

2. Tough Beef:

Issue: The beef is tough and not tender.

Solution: Ensure you slice the beef thinly against the grain and marinate it for a sufficient amount of time. You can also add a bit of baking soda to the marinade to help tenderize the meat.

3. Soggy Vegetables:

Issue: Vegetables are soggy or overcooked.

Solution: Stir-fry vegetables quickly over high heat to retain their crispness. Add vegetables with longer cooking times first and quick-cooking vegetables later.

4. Lack of Flavor:

Issue: The dish lacks flavor.

Solution: Adjust the seasoning. Taste the dish and add more soy sauce, oyster sauce, or other seasonings according to your preference. Adding a touch of garlic or ginger can also enhance the flavor.

5. Sticky Noodles:

Issue: Noodles stick together.

Solution: After cooking the noodles, rinse them under cold water and toss them with a bit of oil to prevent sticking. Make sure the noodles are well-drained before adding them to the wok.

6. Unevenly Cooked Ingredients:

Issue: Some ingredients are overcooked while others are undercooked.

Solution: Cut ingredients into uniform sizes to ensure even cooking. Add ingredients to the wok based on their cooking times, starting with those that take longer.

7. Sauce Too Thick or Too Thin:

Issue: The sauce is too thick or too thin.

Solution: Adjust the consistency by adding more liquid (such as water or broth) if the sauce is too thick, or add more cornstarch slurry if it’s too thin. Mix well and continue cooking until the desired thickness is achieved.

8. Burnt Ingredients:

Issue: Ingredients are burnt or sticking to the pan.

Solution: Keep the heat high, but be attentive. Stir continuously and add a bit of oil if necessary. If the pan becomes too hot, remove it from the heat briefly.

See Also: Chinese Beef Soup Recipe From Scratch!


By following this comprehensive guide, you are well on your way to becoming a beef chow mein maestro. With attention to detail, a commitment to quality ingredients, and a passion for the art of Chinese cooking, you can create a dish that not only satisfies your taste buds but also brings the rich tradition of Chinese cuisine into your home. Enjoy the culinary journey and savor the delicious rewards of your efforts.



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