Vegetable Chow Mein. Crispy noodles smothered in a savory sauce with sautéed vegetables! Ready in less than 30 minutes.
If you're looking for a great way to eat more fiber and fresh vegetables, then you've come to the right recipe! This is one of those vegetarian recipes in Chinese food that makes eating veggies much easier and tastier as the vegetables are smothered in a tasty gravy.
This easy vegetable chow mein recipe is a dish you can easily make at home. It's usually sold at any Chinese restaurant or at your local Chinese take-out place.
These Chinese noodles have a crispier texture pairing deliciously with the stir-fried veggies and stir-fry sauce.
Easy Chow Mein Recipe
My easy vegetable chow mein recipe is simple with just 5 steps! If you can't find certain ingredients, I share alternative options below that we would normally use in Chinese cuisine. You can any vegetable you like as well! Compared to many other noodle recipes, the best thing is that my sauce only requires 4 ingredients! These vegetable chow mein noodles come together in less than 30 minutes and works well for the whole family.
You will need the below vegetable chow mein ingredients. Please scroll down to the bottom Recipe Card for full measurements.
- Chinese egg noodles: These long noodles are made with egg and wheat flour. They are long, thin, and yellow in color. They are usually called "Chow mein noodles" or "Cantonese steamed egg noodles" or 'Lo mein noodles". Any Asian market will sell them in the fresh noodle section. They are different from wheat flour noodles because they contain egg.
- Leafy green: Yu Choy aka Choy Sum, Bok Choy, Gai Lan (Chinese Broccoli), Napa Cabbage or Chinese Cabbage. You may use any of these greens for this vegetarian chow mein.
- Green onions: aka Spring onions give the cooked noodles an aromatic flavor! You may also use shallots or white onion if you can't find green onions, but most grocery stores would sell this popular ingredient.
- Red pepper: red bell pepper, orange bell pepper or yellow bell pepper work very well for this dish. You can also use green bell pepper. This vegetable gives the stir-fried noodles extra crunch!
- Carrot: This vegetable gives our dish more fiber and color. Commonly used in many noodle dishes.
- Snap peas (or sugar snaps), green beans, or snow peas: any of these will work to give our dish more crunch and color.
- Garlic: for an added garlicky taste. Garlic is one of the best ways to elevate the taste profile to most savory dishes in Asian cuisine.
- Neutral oil: avocado oil, vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, or canola oil will work. Please avoid using olive oil as it contains a scent and taste. I also wouldn't substitute with sesame oil as it will be too overpowering.
Chow Mein Sauce:
- Vegetarian Stir Fry Sauce: or oyster sauce if you're not vegetarian. Many Asian markets or select online retailers, like Amazon, will carry either of these ingredients. They offer a deep umami flavor to our gravy.
- The main differences between vegetarian stir fry sauce and oyster sauce are that oyster sauce uses oyster extract making it not vegetarian. These are not the same as hoisin sauce. Hoisin sauce is very sweet.
- Regular soy sauce: Just your normal all-purpose soy sauce. The label will simply say "Soy Sauce". Do not use light or dark soy sauce for this recipe. You may use low sodium soy sauce if you wish.
- Cornstarch: or tapioca starch or potato starch. This is a sauce thickener that helps make the gravy thick so it sticks to your noodles.
- Shaoxing wine: or sub with Dry Sherry Wine. Many Asian markets will sell Shaoxing Wine which is a Chinese cooking wine.
- White granulated sugar: To balance the saltiness in the sauce. If you don't have white sugar, you can use brown sugar.
- Sesame oil: toasted sesame oil is the best for this dish. Many Asian markets or select Western grocers or online retailers, like Amazon, will carry this. If you can't find this ingredient, sub with toasted sesame seeds.
- Broth: vegetable broth, chicken broth, beef broth, or cold water will work. I highly recommend vegetable broth at the least for more flavor.
How to Make Vegetable Chow Mein
- In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for Sauce as listed above.
- In a wok or pot filled halfway with hot water, bring to a boil. Add noodles and blanch for 30 seconds and strain immediately
- In a wok or large nonstick skillet on medium heat, add ¼ cup oil. Wait for oil to become shiny. Then add noodles and fry until golden and crispy. Turning the noodles occasionally for an even crust. Flip over noodles and pour another ¼ cup of oil around edges of wok. Fry until golden crispy. Transfer crispy noodle to a large serving plate.
- On medium-high heat, add in all vegetables and garlic. Sauté until soft.
- Then mix in Sauce and let it simmer to reduce and thicken for a couple of minutes, about 2-3 minutes. Once the sauce thickens to your desired consistency, immediately pour over crispy noodles. Enjoy!
Below are some frequently asked questions about authentic vegetable chow mein recipe:
For a vegan or vegetarian version, feel free to add: Tofu, tempeh, or any vegan based protein that you enjoy!
For a meat-based version, feel free to add sliced chicken, beef, pork, or scrambled eggs.
Can I use other vegetables as a substitute for the ones above?
Yes! Some other recommendations can be bean sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots
How can I make this a vegan chow mein recipe?
To make this a vegan version, feel free to sub with any egg free noodles like rice noodles, Hakka noodles or vegan ramen noodles. I wouldn't suggest using udon noodles, sweet potato noodles or noodles that are thick. Please also use vegetarian stir fry sauce to make it a vegan chow mein sauce.
How long will this dish last?
Up to 3 days stored in an airtight container. I would suggest keeping the sauce and crispy noodles separate.
I don't have a wok; can I use a large skillet?
Yes of course! This will be very helpful when frying the noodles as you can spread the noodles across the pan and get them very crispy.
Other recipes you may like!
If you enjoyed my delicious recipe for vegetable chow mein, please check out these other easy recipes:
- Chicken Chow Mein
- Cantonese Soy Sauce Chow Mein
- Crispy Chow Mein Noodles
- Spicy Vegetable Lo Mein
- Singapore Curry Vermicelli Noodles
- Pad See Ew Noodles
- Mushroom Tofu Yakisoba Noodles
- Chinese Vegetable Lo Mein
Cantonese Vegetable Chow Mein (20-min. Recipe)
- 454 g Chow Mein Noodles pre-steamed kind
- 2 cups Yu Choy chopped into 1 inch long pieces (or sub with bok choy, gai lan, napa cabbage)
- ¼ cup green onion chopped 1 inch long pieces (or sub with white onion or shallots)
- ½ red bell pepper sliced into matchsticks (or sub yellow or orange bell pepper)
- ¼ cup carrots matchsticks
- 1 cup snap peas ends snipped (or sub with green beans or snow peas)
- 1 teaspoon garlic minced
- ½ cup avocado oil or any neutral tasting oil
- 2.5 tablespoon vegetarian stir fry sauce or oyster sauce if you're not vegetarian
- 2.5 tablespoon cornstarch or sub with potato starch or tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoon regular soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine or sub with Dry Sherry Wine
- 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil toasted
- 2 cups vegetable stock unsalted, or sub with chicken or beef stock
- In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for Sauce as listed above.
- In a wok filled halfway with water, bring to a boil. Add noodles and blanch for 30 seconds and strain immediately
- In a wok on medium heat, add ¼ cup oil. Wait for oil to become shiny. Then add noodles and fry until golden and crispy. Turning the noodles occasionally for an even crust. Flip over noodles and pour another ¼ cup of oil around edges of wok. Fry until golden crispy. Transfer crispy noodle to a large serving plate.
- On medium high heat, add in all vegetables and garlic. Sauté until soft.
- Then mix in Sauce and let it simmer to reduce and thicken, a couple minutes. Once the sauce thickens to your desired consistency, immediately pour over crispy noodles. Enjoy!
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