Recipe: Takeout-Style Chicken Lo Mein

updated Sep 13, 2019
Takeout-Style Chicken Lo Mein
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Lo mein is a popular Chinese-American dish for good reason — it’s got savory noodles, crisp veggies, and your choice of protein all packed into one takeout-friendly dish. But with the help of a sauce that also doubles as a marinade for chicken, you can make and dig into a big pile of noodle stir-fry in less than 30 minutes. That’s quicker than it takes for delivery to arrive!

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

How to Set Yourself Up for Lo Mein Success

Once you heat up your wok or frying pan, this recipe goes quick — so like any other stir-fry, make sure all your ingredients are prepped and ready for action. While your noodles are boiling, start cooking the veggies. You’ll do this separately from the chicken so that they end up crisp-tender and don’t steam, but you’ll ultimately use the same pan to cook the chicken and finish the lo mein.

This recipe is easily adaptable depending on your mood and what’s available. Go with chicken thighs if you like dark meat, use udon noodles if you can’t find lo mein noodles, and use a different vegetable like asparagus if you can’t track down the snow peas or sugar snap peas. It’s hard to go wrong as long as you stick with the same amounts so that there’s a good balance of meat, veggies, and noodles.

Takeout-Style Chicken Lo Mein

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 20 minutes

Serves 2 to 4

Nutritional Info


For the sauce and chicken:

  • 1/4 cup

    tamari or soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons

    Shaoxing wine or dry sherry

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons


  • 1 teaspoon

    granulated sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more for cooking the noodles

  • 1

    medium boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 8 ounces)

    For the noodles:

    • 8 ounces

      dried lo mein or udon noodles

    • 3 tablespoons

      vegetable oil, divided

    • 1/2

      medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

    • Kosher salt

    • 4 ounces

      snow peas or sugar snap peas, halved on a slight diagonal

    • 1

      medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced

    • 1

      clove garlic, minced

    • 1

      scallion, thinly sliced (optional)


    1. Make the sauce and marinade: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, place the soy sauce, wine or sherry, cornstarch, sugar, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl and whisk until the cornstarch is dissolved. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the sauce to a medium bowl. Cut the chicken breast in half horizontally (also known as butterflying), then cut crosswise into thin strips. Place the chicken in the medium bowl and toss to coat; set the marinated chicken and the remaining sauce aside.

    2. Cook the noodles and vegetables: Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high until shimmering. Add the onion, season with salt, and cook until starting to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the snow peas or snap peas, bell pepper, and garlic and stir-fry until crisp tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside.

    3. When the noodles are ready, drain in a colander and run under cold water until cooled. Set aside to drain while you cook the chicken.

    4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken and spread into a single layer. Sear undisturbed until the chicken is golden-brown on the bottom, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Stir-fry until just cooked through, about 1 minute more.

    5. Add the noodles and reserved vegetables. Cook, tossing with tongs, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Whisk the sauce again to recombine and dissolve the cornstarch, then add to the pan. Toss until the sauce evenly coats the noodles and vegetables. Garnish with the scallions if desired and serve.

    Recipe Notes

    Make ahead: The vegetables and chicken can be cut and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead.

    Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

    Using chicken thighs: Boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be substituted for chicken breast. Skip butterflying the thighs and just thinly slice them instead.

    (Image credit: Joe Lingeman)