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shrimp chow mein

Shrimp chow mein is my favorite low-effort, weeknight meal because you get protein, vegetables, and carbohydrates all in one dish. The best part is that it can all be ready in under 30 minutes! 

What noodles should I use for chow mein?

  • You can use any egg or wheat noodles that are good for stir-fries. This includes chow mein noodles, yakisoba, or pancit, which can usually be found at any Asian grocery store. Usually the back of the package will tell you how best to prep and use the noodles.
  • If you go for chow mein noodles, you might find that there are both thin and thicker types. If available, go for ones that are a little thicker (at least the size of cooked spaghetti). These have a bit more bite and texture and will hold up better with the other ingredients in the dish.
  • If you can’t find fresh refrigerated noodles, you can look for dried egg noodles. They’ll just take a few more minutes to prep before stir-frying.

What substitutions can I make for this recipe?

  • For the protein, if you don’t like shrimp, you can substitute with slices of beef, pork, or chicken. If you’re using any of the proteins that are not shrimp, I recommend slicing them into strips and marinating them in a bit of soy sauce, cornstarch or baking soda, and a splash of water or cooking wine for 10-15 mins. The cornstarch or baking soda keeps the cuts tender — this is a Chinese cooking technique they often use in restaurants and is called “velveting.” If you’re keeping the shrimp as stated in the recipe, there’s no need to marinate.
  • For the vegetables, I chose to use onions, bok choy, carrots, and mung bean sprouts. I personally like the crunch of bok choy, but cabbage is very common in chow mein. Sometimes I’ll add shiitake mushrooms if I have them on hand. This is a great recipe to customize based on your preferences or with what you have in your kitchen!


shrimp chow mein

Shrimp Chow Mein

Clean out the veggies in your fridge to create this delicious chow mein that comes together in less than 30 minutes!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 2


  • 8 oz chow mein yakisoba, pancit, or other noodles for stir-fry
  • 5-6 oz shrimp
  • handful of bok choy or cabbage
  • 1/2 large carrot
  • 1/2 medium or large onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • handful of mung bean sprouts
  • Neutral oil for cooking i.e. avocado, canola, vegetable
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

Sauce for noodles


Prepare the ingredients

  • Prepare the shrimp by deveining and removing shells if present. If using other proteins such as beef, chicken, or pork, I recommend slicing into strips and marinating with 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp baking soda or cornstarch, and 1 tbsp of Chinese cooking wine or water.
    5-6 oz shrimp
  • Slice your carrots into thin matchsticks (julienne), and slice your onion and bok choy or cabbage. Mince the garlic. Wash your mung bean sprouts and set aside.
    handful of bok choy or cabbage, 1/2 large carrot, 1/2 medium or large onion, 2-3 cloves garlic, handful of mung bean sprouts
  • Prepare the noodle sauce by mixing together soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and chicken broth or water. Set aside.
    1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1/2 tsp sugar, 3 tbsp chicken broth or water
  • Prepare the noodles according to the package directions. Usually for fresh noodles, you only have to run them under hot running water or boil for about 1 min — make sure to not overcook them in this stage or else you’ll end up with gummy noodles! For dried noodles, you should boil until al dente. After the noodles are boiled and drained, rinse in cold water to prevent overcooking.
    8 oz chow mein

Stir-frying the noodles

  • In a pan or a wok, heat up 1 tbsp of neutral oil. When it’s hot, add your shrimp and season with a dash of salt. Cook for about 1-2 min on each side, or until shrimp turns color and gets just a little caramelized. Remove from the pan and set aside.
    Neutral oil for cooking, Salt
  • If needed, add a bit more oil to the pan or wok. Add your sliced veggies: bok choy or cabbage, onions, and carrots. Stir fry for 1-2 min or until they soften a bit and get some color.
  • Deglaze the pan with a splash of Shaoxing wine, add minced garlic, and stir-fry for another minute or until you can't smell the alcohol from the wine.
    1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • Add your prepared noodles and noodle sauce. Incorporate the noodles well with the sauce and veggies, and stir fry for another minute.
  • Add the shrimp back in, as well as the mung bean sprouts. Stir-fry for a final minute, season with a tbsp of toasted sesame oil, and then it’s done! Enjoy immediately.
    1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
Keyword chow mein, shrimp chow mein
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