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.
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:
For The Chow Mein Sauce:
- 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 ¾ 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.
- First we cook the noodles, then drain and rinse under cold water to stop the noodles sticking together.
- 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).
- 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.
- Now we fry the vegetables in the wok in a little oil - onions, garlic, carrot, green pepper, cabbage and beansprouts.
- 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.
👩🍳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.
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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Beef Chow Mein
- 150 g (5.3 oz) dried chow mein noodles - (or dried fine egg noodles)
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 300 g (10.5oz) 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 (3.5oz) beansprouts
Chow Mein Sauce
- Chopped spring onions (scallions)
- Sesame seeds
- Chilli flakes
- 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.
- 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.
- Then add in the kecap manis, hoisin sauce, beef stock, sesame oil and white pepper. Mix together to combine and put to one side.
- Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a wok over a high heat.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the green pepper, cabbage and beansprouts and fry again for 2 minutes, keeping everything moving in the wok with your spatula.
- 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.
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.
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