Sunday, July 22, 2012

My Husband’s Chicken Chow Mein Recipe #SFSmarties

Between my husband and me, he is the one who has always been more comfortable in the kitchen, especially when it comes to making Chinese food. Many thanks to him for cooking a family favorite, Chicken Chow Mein, and showing us how to make it today!
Chicken Chow Mein Recipe by The Silly Pearl SFSmarties

We purchased our chicken chow mein ingredients from Smart and Final.
Photo Jul 22, 3 21 08 PM (1)

Specifically, we wanted to get Foster Farm’s Chicken Breasts, split, bone-in with ribs attached, in a family pack (on sale this week). Family packs of chicken are the BEST…such a great deal and they freeze well, which saves tons of time.
Photo Jul 22, 3 24 57 PM

My husband’s Chicken Chow Mein (by the way, chow mein is also known as Lo Mein on the East Coast) basically consists of a meat and vegetables, stir fried with noodles with either soy sauce or oyster sauce. We use minimal oil so it comes out way healthier and less greasy than your average Chinese restaurant take-out. So in addition to the chicken, we checked out what Smart and Final had to make the chow mein.
We found colorful vegetables, like bell peppers, sugar snap peas, mushrooms, and (a HUGE BAG!) of green onions.
Photo Jul 22, 3 25 53 PMPhoto Jul 22, 3 26 02 PM
Photo Jul 22, 3 26 47 PM

We love chicken chow mein for its convenience. Often, we have these ingredients at home already. But you could also skip all the chopping and buy one of these already-prepared packs of vegetables. Even a cole-slaw mix would work…I would love the crunch and freshness from the carrots and cabbage in my chow mein.
Photo Jul 22, 3 26 15 PM

As for flavorings, we usually use staples of the Asian kitchen such as soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil. Our Smart and Final has a small Asian section.
Photo Jul 22, 3 32 40 PM

We actually saw some soy sauce we’d never heard of before…gluten free, as well as organic. Remember that soy sauce is made of wheat, so if your family is gluten free, this is a great alternative! My husband opted for the organic kind.
Photo Jul 22, 3 33 12 PM

Unfortunately we couldn’t find sesame oil or oyster sauce. We surprisingly found other South East Asian sauces like fish sauce and peanut sauce, that we thought were less commonly used in the suburbs! But anyways, you can usually find sesame oil and oyster sauce these days at large grocery store chains. For our recipe today, we’ll opt out of the oyster sauce and you can can substitute olive oil for the sesame oil.
Photo Jul 22, 3 36 20 PM

As for the noodles, we were surprised to find these Japanese wheat udon noodles. If we’re shopping at an Asian supermarket, we’ll usually get a pack of fresh noodles. We were expecting to substitute spaghetti (which is totally yummy as well) but we thought we’d give these noodles a try.
Photo Jul 22, 3 32 52 PM

Here’s all the stuff we bought at Smart and Final to make chicken chow mein.

Here’s one chicken breast from the family pack. There were 5 total in the pack, all bone in and skin on. We individually wrapped them and put them in a big freezer bag, but kept one out for today. My husband started out by prepping the chicken. First, he removed the skin.

Then the bone. Basically just carefully cut along the bone with your knife. Practice makes perfect! You can save the bone for making chicken stock.

You’ll be left with the main part of the breast and the tenderloin. Cut the main part into 3 pieces. Remember that the tenderloin has a piece of tendon going through it, so carefully run your knife under it to slice it away. Again, practice practice!

Then he cut up all four pieces on the bias, against the grain, resulting in long, flat strips. This will help the chicken cook faster and more evenly. Note: These bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts are great for roasting too. You can always roast the chicken breast coated with olive oil, salt and pepper and cut it up after it’s roasted to put into the chow mein, to give it a different flavor.

Next, he marinated the chicken in soy sauce, sesame oil (you can use olive oil), corn starch, sugar and pepper. He let that sit while he prepared the noodles and vegetables.

Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil and add the noodles, cooking according the package directions.

These need 4 minutes to cook.

Julienne the vegetables so they are about the same size.

For the snap peas, remove the tail and the “tendon” along the side. Snap them in half if they are too large. My girls were eager to help…brought back memories of doing this for my mom.

The noodles finished cooking, so he drained them in a colander, rinsed with cold water, and allowed to drain again.

Time to stir-fry. First, he heated cooking oil in a pan and added the chicken.

And he stir-fried the chicken.

Here it is at about 3 minutes.

When it’s done (about 1-2 minutes later), he set it aside in a bowl. The chicken will have created some sauce from the soy sauce and corn starch. In the same pan, stir fry the vegetables (all except for the mushrooms) for a few minutes, until they start to become tender. Add salt and pepper to taste at that point and cook for another minute.

Then add mushrooms. Stir fry the vegetables together until they are tender and the mushrooms have turned golden. Taste a vegetable and add more salt and pepper if desired.

Add the chicken back to the pan with the vegetables, then add the cooked noodles.  Now, add sesame oil (or olive oil) and soy sauce to the noodles. Stir to combine. Taste a noodle; if desired, add more soy sauce and maybe some pepper.

Pour onto a serving dish. Garnish with chopped raw green onions.
Chicken Chow Mein SFSmarties The Silly Pearl

All done. A tasty, quick meal great for any night of the week. The chicken was really tender and tasted fresh, and the vegetables were crunchy and tasted fresh as well. I was hoping there would be leftovers…there weren’t any.
SFSmarties Chicken Chow Mein

Our girls’ portions in their piggy bowls:
The Silly Pearl Chicken Chow Mein SFSmarties

Thanks to my husband for cooking (and for putting up with me saying “WAIT! Don’t pour that yet! I need a picture!” while he cooked tonight). Kiss the cook!
Photo Jul 22, 8 06 03 PM
Sorry, didn’t mean to add cheeze to the recipe.

Chicken Chow Mein
Smart and Final Foster Farms Chicken Chow Mein_sq
Prep time: 10 minutes || Cook time: 20 minutes || Serves 4
  • 1 Foster Farms Chicken Breast, split, bone-in
  • 1/2 an 8-ounce pack of sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 a small onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 green onions (3 cooked, 1 raw)
  • 1/4 a large green pepper
  • 1/4 a large red pepper
  • 1/4 pack of mushrooms (about 6)
  • (or the equivalent of other vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, snow peas, or zucchini)
  • 1 TBS oil (for cooking, such as canola or olive), plus an additional 1 tsp oil
  • 1-2 TBS soy sauce (to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: 1 TBS oyster sauce
  • About 1/3-1/2 lbs noodles (such as Hakubaku Organic Japanese Wheat Udon Noodles, chow mein/lo mein noodles (not the crunchy kind!), spaghetti or linguine)
-For the Chicken Marinade:
  • 1 tsp oil (sesame or olive)
  • 1 TBS soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2-1 tsp each grated ginger root and garlic
  • Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain in colander, and set aside.
  • Rinse chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Remove skin and bone from chicken breast. Remove tendon from tenderloin. Slice chicken on the bias, against the grain, into thin, flat strips. Put chicken into a bowl and add marinade ingredients. Mix and set aside. May be done a day in advance (keep in the fridge).
  • Wash and julienne vegetables (all of the above, except for one green onion). To prepare snap peas, remove tail and tendon along side and cut in half if large.
  • Heat 1 TSP oil in a pan and stir-fry chicken until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan, along with juices, and set aside.
  • In the same pan, stir fry vegetables (all except mushrooms). Add salt and pepper to taste. After the vegetables start to become tender, add mushrooms and stir fry. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add chicken back to pan along with juices. Add noodles. If your pan is too small, you can do this in batches (remove half the vegetables and add half the chicken and noodles). Add remaining 1/2 tsp oil, soy sauce and optional oyster sauce to noodles. Stir to combine with other ingredients. If the noodles still look dry, add a little more soy sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve in a platter and garnish with chopped raw green onions.

I hope you like this easy, affordable recipe! Between April 25 - May 25, 2014 a donation of just $40 will help the Beckstrand Cancer Association feed a family coping with cancer for an entire week! Click HERE to make your donation.

And for more Smart and Final recipes and to keep up with what’s on sale, visit:
  • Smart and Final website (be sure to sign up for their newsletter!)
  • Smart and Final on Facebook
  • Smart and Final on Twitter
Smart and Final Foster Farms Chicken Chow Mein
So tell me…have you made chow mein (or lo mein) before? What do you put in it?
I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This content has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™. and Smart and Final #SFSmarties #CBias #SocialFabric
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  1. This looks delicious!! What a good cook he is ;)

  2. Yum! This looks amazing. I am totally making this! Tell your husband he's a rock star in my book.

  3. I'm so excited to try your husband's recipe Steph! I haven't had good Chow Mein in goodness-knows-how long!

  4. That looks SOOO good!! High-5 to the hubby!
    Question: Why the BONE-IN chicken? We always get boneless chicken for everything - I guess for convenience, and not having to remove it. Or pay for the weight of it. But maybe there is a reason for the bone-in for the recipe, that I should know. Sooo...tell me. lol

    1. Bone-in tends to be cheaper, I think because you have to do the work yourself to remove the bone. Also, if you're roasting it or using it in soup, it's supposed to be more flavorful with the bone.

    2. A ha. I didn't know it's cheaper with the bone! (And here I was thinking of the weight of it.) Confession(s):
      1)I am surprised my husband gets the boneless if it costs more, but then maybe that is because...
      2) He also has to cut the chicken. ;)
      I wonder if our stores carry Foster Farms. I'll have him check!
      Thanks for the explanation. :)

  5. Just the perfect looking chowmein.. makes me hungry! Your husband rocks!!

  6. Aww!!! Steph what a sweet hubby. They put up with all of our pictures for blogging. I will pin this to my tasty treats board.


  7. This looks great! What a great hubby you have!

    -Erin @ DIY On the Cheap

  8. This recipe looks so yummy! Tell your husband thanks!

  9. This looks amazing, will have to make this. I always by bone in too, cheaper plus you can boil the bones for soup :-)

  10. I am not a cook but still trying. This was the most informative, easy step by step recipe that I have ever used. It cam out perfect! Everyone loved this dish!

  11. Cant wait to try this. Looks Yummy......

  12. Yum! Can't wait to try this...I'll go ahead and surprise my hubs with it...chances are slim that he will make it for me :)

  13. in my home ginger is not a welcomed spice. can you skip it and add more garlic? or would you leave the garlic te same?

    1. Hi nancy! Hope you come back and check for my reply...I couldn't email you back directly.
      Anyways, yes, you can skip the ginger. You can definitely add more garlic. You don't have to add the same amount as the ginger, unless your family really loves garlic.

  14. you know, i am going to file this! looks fantastic! ~ Rose

  15. Mmm, this looks great! Thanks for posting this recipe - it's one of those dishes I've eaten so many times but never tried making at home. Many thanks to your husband for this! And I love all of your pictures, but especially the smooch :) Thanks for sharing at the Culture Swapper!


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