Take-out Fake-out: Chicken Lo Mein

by Shawnda on November 12, 2013

in Chicken & Poultry,Pasta, Rice, and Grains,Take-out Fake-out

Chicken Lo Mein

There are some days that only the ringing of the door bell can fix. Assuming the person on the other side of that door is holding a large brown bag full of an oil-drenched sodium bomb.

Or a margarita. (And one day, I’ll bring that dream of a margarita delivery service to life. Or at least be their very best customer.)

No amount of justifying “but homemade is soooo much better – and better for you!” fixes those days. Carbs must be over-paid for. Then delivered outside of the promised window without the extra spicy mustard you specifically requested. And then consumed in excess, and far too fast.

But on days when you don’t need the psychological effect of throwing your credit card at a stranger standing on your front step, homemade is so better. And better for you. Because there’s room in everyone’s kitchen for a take-out recipe that doesn’t come drenched in a 1/2 cup of oil.

Chicken Lo Mein

For the last 5 years, that bowl of DIY take-out Chicken Lo Mein has been the second-most popular noodle dish in this house. 5 years.

The recipe comes courtesy of my friend Elly over at Elly Says Opa. Her blog is usually the place I visit when I’m short on ideas for our weekly menu. Also, it’s where I go when I want to look at dreamy photos of delicious Greek food that no one else in this house would eat with me.

Well, at least not before I introduced them to the magicalness of gyro and baklava at Greek Fest… but that’s a different story and a different recipe.

Today, it’s Chinese Food from my favorite Greek blogger.

Chicken Lo Mein

We make a few minor changes to the recipe. We don’t incite the natives to rebel by including mushrooms. And the open-bag-of-frozen-snap-peas-dump-in-pan keeps the littlest native from picking through her bowl of noodles looking for an offending chunk of celery or an icky chunk of carrot. (Because in typical 3 year old logic, carrots are awesome raw and carrots are awesome cooked to a mush in a can of soup. But she will cut you – and by “you” I mean “me” – over anything in between).

And sometimes we add orange juice and strips of orange zest. And sometimes that orange becomes grapefruit.

And when we can’t keep up with the red bell peppers from the garden, I throw in as many of those as I can squeeze into the pan.

And as long as there’s no celery or mushrooms or carrots, everyone is happy. And stays happy.

Chicken Lo Mein

A lighter, better-for-you-than-takeout chicken lo mein.


  • 8 oz lo mein noodles
  • 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tbsp olive (or other cooking) oil
  • 8 oz chicken breast, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, quartered and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 green onions, sliced (dark green parts reserved)
  • 8 oz frozen snow peas
  • Sesame oil


  1. Cook the lo mein noodles according to package directions.
  2. Drain, toss with a few dashes of sesame oil, and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the oyster sauce, soy, chicken stock, cornstarch, and red pepper until smooth; set aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet (I use a nonstick pan) over high heat.
  5. Stir fry the chicken for 3-4 minutes, until almost cooked through and add the ginger, onions, garlic, white and light green onion parts, and snow peas.
  6. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the onions are cooked to your preference, stirring frequently.
  7. Whisk the sauce and add it to the pan, letting it boil for 1 minute before adding the noodles.
  8. Toss to coat, top with dark green onion slices, and serve.


Yields: 4 servings

Slightly adapted from Elly Says Opa

Estimated time: 40 minutes


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ashley November 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm

This looks fantastic! I have to stop being such a wimp when it comes to really cranking the heat for stir-fry dishes. It makes SUCH a difference!


2 jill November 12, 2013 at 3:34 pm

hello. this looks really good. i see a lot of stir fry recipes calling for oyster sauce, but i despise all things seafood related. so, i have to ask… does the oyster sauce give the dish any hint of a fish taste? i’m guessing it doesn’t, but i’m still hesitant to try it. thanks!!!


3 Shawnda November 12, 2013 at 6:24 pm

It is very salty and briny but gives no fishy taste to the dish whatsoever.


4 jill November 12, 2013 at 6:49 pm

thanks, Shawnda! i’m def going to give this one a try!!


5 Jenny March 31, 2014 at 11:00 am

If you dont have oyster sauce or not crazy about it. Use t of brown sugar and a t of soy sauce


6 macchinno October 29, 2014 at 7:40 pm

nope. it’s not even called “oyster” sauce in chinese.


7 Courtney @ Neighborfood November 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm

I want to slurp this up and not even worry about splattering sauce all over my face. Looks SO good!


8 Joanne November 12, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Elly does have some awesome weeknight meal inspiration, doesn’t see? And I’m planning on using her Greek recipes to REALLY win over my future Greek family! But probably this lo mein needs to happen first. Love how amenable it is to variation!


9 Bree (Skinny Mommy) November 13, 2013 at 9:36 am

So trying this today!


10 Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl November 15, 2013 at 10:12 am

Going to give this a shot with our garden fresh sugar snap peas – cant wait, thanks!


11 elly November 18, 2013 at 11:04 am

So glad this has become a favorite in your house! We’ve been eating a lot of lo mein since I had to go dairy free. So there’s no good excuse why I haven’t updated my initial picture. ;)


12 Keelin December 4, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Yum this looks amazing! Can’t wait to make it. Thanks!


13 Stephanie @ The Good Stuff January 16, 2014 at 6:01 pm

I made this a few nights ago and it was easy and very tasty! I actually used chow mein noodles because my store didn’t have lo mein, but I think they’re the same thing, just different shape. Maybe? Anyway, they worked fine and tasted very lo mein like :) I also used different veggies and next time I need to cook the chicken for a shorter amount of time (it cooks quickly over high heat, duh), but we really enjoyed it! It definitely gave me a lo mein fix for far fewer calories (and less money!) than take out. I’ll definitely be making this again.

Thanks for the recipe!


14 Kristina January 30, 2014 at 10:09 pm

This was dinner tonight and we didn’t have any leftovers!


15 LaDonna February 10, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Hi, I’m going to make this tonight. The store didn’t have the lo mein noodles, so I’m going to make whole wheat pasta in stead. Hopefully it will turn out ok. If not I could put it over rice.


16 Maeghan October 27, 2014 at 5:54 pm

I made this last night and for the exact same reason as your narrative and we loved it but more importantly Caroline loved it! :) I was fortunate to be able to add some broccoli into the mix. This is definitely going into rotation.


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