Chow Mein is a classic takeout favorite and this shrimp version is so quick and easy to make at home you’ll forget where you put the takeaway menu.
This delicious and quick noodle recipe uses grocery store ingredients, to have dinner on the table in no time. This Shrimp Chow Mein is perfect for families as there are plenty of veggies included and everyone loves slurping bowls of noodles. Making Chinese takeout recipes at home is much easier than you think!
Tips for making Chow Mein at home
- Prepare your vegetables before you start cooking. Chinese stir-frying is quick cooking so you need everything prepped and ready.
- Mix the sauce ingredients together before you start cooking, but ensure you whisk it well before you add it to the pan.
- Don’t let any of the ingredients cook for too long, you want everything to be crisp and just cooked.
- For a truly authentic flavor grab a bottle of in Chinese rice wine also known as Chinese Cooking Wine or Chinese Shaoxing Wine. You can find it in the Asian section of the grocery store or online. It will make ALL the difference.
What is Chinese cooking wine?
Chinese Cooking Wine is also known as Chinese Rice Wine, Shaohsing Rice Cooking Wine, Shaoxing wine or Shaoxing Cooking Wine. You can find this in most grocery stores in the Asian section. Just don’t get it confused with rice wine vinegar as that will ruin your stir fry!!! If you can’t find Chinese Cooking Wine, you can use dry sherry.
What noodles to use for Chow Mein
So for this chow mein, you are going to need.....Chow Mein noodles. Sounds kind of obvious doesn't it. But there are so many different noodles out there you want to pick one that specifically says for chow mein (or low mein).
I prefer the fresh ones as they have a better texture, here in Australia the brand I tend to buy is Fantastic Noodles - Chow Mein noodles. They taste great, have a good texture and only need soaking for a minute in boiling water.
If you can only by dried noodles then don't panic just cook them as directed on the packet.
For other great takeout dishes why not try:
- Beef and Broccoli
- Ginger Shrimp Stir Fry
- Happy Family Stir Fry
- Beef and Tomato
- Wandering Dragon Stir Fry
- Chicken and Snow Peas
Takeout Style Shrimp Chow Mein Recipe
For the Chow Mein:
- 8 spring onions/green onions
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 cups shredded green cabbage
- 2 cloves garlic - finely chopped
- 2 carrots
- 14 oz peeled raw shrimp
- 12 oz chow mein noodles - see note 1
- 2 cup bean sprouts
For the Chow Mein Sauce:
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 4 tsp soy sauce
- 4 tsp Chinese cooking wine - see note 2
- 4 tsp oyster sauce
- ½ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp white pepper
Start by making the sauce:
- Mix the cornstarch with the soy sauce and Chinese cooking wine. Once combined add in the oyster sauce, sugar and white pepper. Set to one side.
Prep the veg and noodles:
- Finely chop the spring onions into thin disks.
- Peel the carrot and cut into thin strips (alternatively, you can peel strips off with a potato peeler)
- Prepare the noodles as per the instructions. If using fresh this is usually soaking in water for a minute. If using dried then it is usually boiling for 3-4 minutes. But each packet is different so check yours.
To cook the Chow Mein.
- Heat all of the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan or wok.
- Once smoking hot, turn off the heat and add all of the chopped spring onions. It will sizzle and spit like a crazy thing!
- Once the sizzling has subsided. Drain the oil through a sieve, reserving the spring onions for later.
- Pour half of the oil back into the pan and place on high heat.
- Add the shredded cabbage and carrot, then stir fry over high heat until softened. Add in the shrimp and garlic and stir together well.
- Once the shrimp have turned pink (2-3 minutes)
- Remove the veg and shrimp to a plate - See note 3
- Add the remaining oil to the pan and allow to get hot. Add the noodles, stir gently to coat the noodles in the oil. Once glossy and heated through, return the veg and shrimp to the pan and stir gently to combine.
- Give your prepared sauce a whisk together, then add it to the pan turning and stirring constantly until everything is coated.
- Add the bean sprouts and reserved spring onions and toss for 30 seconds or until the bean sprouts have just started to wilt.
- Serve immediately.
- You will want to buy noodles that specifically say for chow mein (or low mein). I prefer the fresh ones as they have a better texture, here in Australia the brand I tend to buy is Fantastic Noodles - Chow Mein Noodles. They taste great, have a good texture and only need soaking for a minute in boiling water. If you can only by dried noodles then don't panic just cook them as directed on the packet.
- Chinese Cooking Wine is also known as Chinese Rice Wine, Shaohsing Rice Cooking Wine, Shaoxing wine or Shaoxing Cooking Wine. You can find this in most grocery stores in the Asian section. Just don’t get it confused with rice wine vinegar as that will ruin your stir fry!!! If you can’t find Chinese Cooking Wine, you can use dry sherry.
- I remove the veg from the pan as it starts to get too hard to stir everything together without losing food over the edges. If you have a very large frying pan or wok, you can keep everything in the pan.