Tender steak strips with chow mein noodles and vegetables in a tasty stir-fry sauce.
I love this beef chow mein for a quick dinner that everyone enjoys. It’s not spicy, just full of umami flavour.
You can use whatever vegetables you have to hand, and even use them to replace the meat if you’re looking for a meat-free easy dinner.

Beef chow mein on a blue plate on a grey background. There are chopsticks on the edge of the plate.
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I love a great noodle stir fry, and this one has so much flavour!

We don’t need to marinade the beef for this recipe – just a little sprinkling of garlic salt and black pepper, to compliment the flavour of the meat.

The rest of the flavour (besides the noodles and vegetables), comes from the chow mein sauce, which is made from store-cupboard ingredients.

So let’s take a look.

📋 What do we need?

For The Stir Fry:

Ingredients for a beef stir fry on a wooden table.

  • Steak – I like to use thin sirloin steak for the BEST flavour. You can replace with flank/skirt steak for a less expensive cut. If you’re using flank/skirt steak, be sure to cut really thinly, as it can be chewy if sliced too thick. Always sliced AGAINST the grain.
  • For The Chow Mein Sauce:

    Overhead photo of Ingredients for chow mien sauce on a wooden table.
    • Chinese rice wine – this is made from fermented glutinous rice and has a slightly sweet flavour. You can use white rice wine, or Shaoxing rice wine (which is amber in colour and slightly richer). If you don’t have rice wine, you can replace with sherry or mirin – but use 3/4 of the amount of mirin as it’s a fair bit sweeter, and we already have sweetness in the kecap manis.
    • Kecap manis – this is a sweet soy sauce with a syrupy consistency that adds a lovely sweet and savoury flavour to sauces.
    • Chow mein noodles – these are wheat-based noodles, often made with egg, but not always. They’re usually quite thin and pale in appearance. I buy the dried ones online, as they’re difficult to find any of my local supermarkets. You can use fine egg noodles instead, but I find them a little more eggy. If I can’t find chow mein noodles, I tend to replace with ramen noodles (from ramen noodle packets, but with the flavour sachet discarded).

    📺 Watch how to make it

    Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

    1. First we cook the noodles, then drain and rinse under cold water to stop the noodles sticking together.
    2. Make up the chow mein sauce next. We simply mix the ingredients together in a bowl, but be sure to mix the cornflour (cornstarch) into the other sauce ingredients BEFORE adding the beef stock (adding cornflour to warm/hot stock will cause the sauce to go lumpy).
    3. Slice the steak into thin strips and season with garlic salt and black pepper, then fry in hot oil for a few minutes, until browned. Then remove from the pan/wok.
    4. Now we fry the vegetables in the wok in a little oil – onions, garlic, carrot, green pepper, cabbage and beansprouts.
    5. Add in the cooked steak strips, the noodles and the chow mein sauce and toss it all together using a set of tongs until everything is hot and the sauce clings to the noodles and vegetables.
    Close up of beef chow mein noodles being lifted with a set of chopsticks.

    👩‍🍳PRO TIP Place the steak in the freezer for 30-40 minutes to firm up a little. This will make it much easier to slice the steak into thin strips.

    I like to sprinkle with some sesame seeds, chilli flakes and chopped spring onions (scallions) before serving.

    Tall image of beef chow mein on a blue plate with a set of chopsticks on top. The is a further plate of chow mein, just out of shot. The plates are on on a grey background with a napkin and some sesame seeds and spring onions around the dish.

    Check out more tips in the recipe card below for scaling the recipe up and down and a few ingredient swap ideas.

    I’d love to know if you make it too! Drop me a comment below if you do 😊

    🍲 More fantastic Noodle dishes

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    5 from 4 votes

    Beef Chow Mein

    Tender steak strips with chow mein noodles and vegetables in a tasty stir-fry sauce. A quick dinner that everyone loves!
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 30 minutes
    Servings: 4
    Course: Dinner
    Cuisine: Chinese


    • 150 g (5.3 oz) dried chow mein noodles or dried fine egg noodles
    • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
    • 300 g (10.5 oz) thin sirloin, skirt or flank steak sliced thinly, against the grain *Tip 1
    • ¼ tsp garlic salt
    • ½ tsp black pepper
    • 1 small onion peeled and sliced
    • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
    • 1 carrot peeled and sliced into matchsticks
    • ½ green bell pepper deseeded and sliced
    • ¼ savoy cabbage thinly sliced
    • 100 g (3.5 oz) beansprouts

    Chow Mein Sauce:

    • 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
    • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
    • 2 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
    • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
    • 90 ml (1/3 cup) beef stock
    • 1 tbsp sesame oil
    • ¼ tsp white pepper

    To Serve:

    • chopped spring onions (scallions)
    • sesame seeds
    • chilli flakes
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    • Cook the chow mein noodles, in boiling water, as per the pack instructions, then drain and run under cold water to stop them sticking together.
      150 g (5.3 oz) dried chow mein noodles
    • While the noodles are cooking, make the chow mein sauce. In a small bowl, mix together the cornflour, soy sauce, and Chinese rice wine, until the cornflour is fully incorporated.
      1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch), 2 tbsp dark soy sauce, 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
    • Then add in the kecap manis, hoisin sauce, beef stock, sesame oil, and white pepper. Mix together to combine and put to one side.
      2 tbsp kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), 2 tbsp hoisin sauce, 90 ml (1/3 cup) beef stock, 1 tbsp sesame oil, ¼ tsp white pepper
    • Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a wok over a high heat.
      3 tbsp sunflower oil
    • Season the steak strips in the garlic salt and pepper, then add to the wok and fry for 2-3 minutes, turning once or twice, until the steak is just cooked.
      300 g (10.5 oz) thin sirloin, skirt or flank steak, ¼ tsp garlic salt, ½ tsp black pepper
    • Remove the steak from the pan with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.
    • Add the remaining one tablespoon of oil to the wok
    • Add the onion, garlic, and carrot, and fry for 3 minutes, regularly tossing everything together with a spatula.
      1 small onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 carrot
    • Add the green pepper, cabbage, and beansprouts and fry again for 2 minutes, keeping everything moving in the wok with your spatula.
      1/2 green bell pepper, ¼ savoy cabbage, 100 g (3.5 oz) beansprouts
    • Now add the steak strips back to the wok, along with the noodles. Pour the chow mein sauce over the top.
    • Stir fry everything together for 2-3 minutes, tossing regularly with a set of tongs, until the noodles are hot.
    • Serve topped with spring onions, sesame seeds, and chilli flakes.
      chopped spring onions (scallions), sesame seeds, chilli flakes



    *Tip 1 Freeze the Steak – just a little
    Place the steak in the freezer for 30-40 minutes before slicing. This will make the meat firmer and easier to slice thinly.
    Can I make it ahead and/or freeze?
    I don’t recommend making this dish ahead, it tastes much better when eaten right away.
    Ingredient swaps
    Swap out the steak for chicken or prawns
    Add different vegetables – mushrooms, bamboo shoots, red peppers and mange tout all work great!
    How to scale up and scale down this recipe
    You can halve this recipe to serve two (or reduce it by one-quarter to serve 2 hungry people), sticking to the same ingredient ratios and cooking times.
    You can also scale up this recipe to serve more people, but there is quite a lot of volume in the wok, once the vegetables and noodles are in there, so you’ll need to use a very large wok in order to double the recipe.
    If you are doubling, cook the steak in two batches (so the steak browns properly). You’ll also need to cook the vegetables, and then the whole chow mein (once everything has been added to the wok) for a few minutes longer, to ensure it’s all hot throughout.
    Nutritional information is per serving – this recipe serves 4.


    Calories: 470kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 1486mg | Potassium: 614mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 3173IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 4mg

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

    Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

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    1. Sarah says:

      5 stars
      We made this tonight, it was so much nicer than buying the ready made mixed stir fry vegetable bags from the supermarket , It Was lovely and fresh and very tasty loved the chow mien sauce taste, thank you.

    2. Rick Jones says:

      5 stars
      The key is the chow main sauce. Absolutely delicious and you can then use this for any type of food. Thank you

    3. Jean hinds says:

      5 stars
      Made this chow mien. Recipe .
      Loved it , so easy and tasty

    4. Andrean says:

      5 stars
      Excellent have made it twice now one as per original and next with chicken and different veg. This and your crispy sesame chicken with Asian sauce are family favourites
      Thanks Nicky

    5. Vicky says:

      So sorry to hear of the health problem but as you say, family comes first.
      I do appreciate your recipes .Thank you.

    6. Geraldine says:

      Hi Nicky & Chris. Really sorry to hear you’ve been having a difficult time lately. It’s always hard juggling things where family is concerned. But we’re all here waiting patiently for when you are ready again to share your wonderful recipes. I wish your relative a speedy recovery. . Take care. Geraldine X

      1. Chris Corbishley says:

        Thank you so much Geraldine

        Chris & Nicky