Vegetarian Chow Mein – better than Take-Out

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This Vegetarian Chow Mein is so much better and healthier than Take – Out! Try it once and toss that Take-Away Menu!

Authentic Vegetarian Chow Mein Recipe

This Vegetarian Chow Mein Recipe is so much better than Take-Out!

We all have those cravings for fried noodles – the sweet and salty sauce, the crunchy veg, the carbs…Me, usually after a party night.

That’s when we often opt for the take-out and end up with greasy noodles sprinkled with over-cooked proteins. Not anymore!

This recipe for Vegetarian Chow Mein is so quick and easy to make – you’ll have your noodle fix and NOT feel like you want to take a long nap.

vegetarian chow mein on a white plate

Now, I am not a vegetarian but I would still choose to make this Vegetarian Chow Mein over the meat version.

Here’s why: It’s super cheap to make, very filling, quite adaptable to what I have in my fridge and on top of that a real Umami Bomb!

What’s not to love!?

Vegetarian Chow Mein with the best chow mein sauce served on a white plate

How to make the best Vegetarian Chow Mein:

The list of ingredients is pretty straightforward and adaptable. Don’t have Shiitake mushrooms?

Take any other mushroom or just leave them out. The vegetables used for Chow Mein in China are commonly shredded cabbage, carrot, bean sprouts, and spring onions so that’s what I chose for this vegetarian chow mein recipe.

But you can add your own touch.

When it comes to Asian cooking it always comes down to the prep and the method of cooking.

So read through the chow mein recipe before you get started. Chop your veg, mix your sauce and have it all ready to go. Mis en place, guys!

How to make Chow Mein sauce:

For an authentic restaurant-style chow mein, it is important to get the perfect balance between sweet and salty!

These are the sauce ingredients for a takeaway-style chow mein:

  • soy sauce
  • rice wine vinegar
  • chili sauce (you can use sambal oelek instead)
  • sugar or coconut sugar
  • salt

As a finishing touch, I like to toss my vegetarian Chow Mein with some sesame oil. Fried Noodle PERFECTION!

close up of a plate with vegetarian chow mein

Once you’ve tried my Vegetarian Chow Mein and see how simple it really is, there will be no more Take Away when you get hit by the noodle craving.

It’s so simple and tasty – a real crowd pleaser.

What is the difference between chow mein and lo mein?

Ok, this is one most people mix up all the time! And these two dishes are really similar!

The main difference between them is that different methods are used for making the stir-fry noodles.

Both chow mein and lo mein use Chinese egg noodles. Authentic chow mein noodles are usually fried to crispness, while lo mein noodles are boiled.

I have eaten them in many places and they were always a bit different! The noodles are hardly ever fried, more often boiled or steamed.

So, in this vegetarian chow mein recipe, we use parboiled noodles. This method is simple, quick, and cuts down on oil making it healthier than other restaurant-style noodles. I like mine on the softer side but still with a slight chew!

Can I make this Chow Mein recipe vegan?

Yes, this recipe is already almost vegan, However, you will have to use different noodles. This recipe uses egg noodles, but you could make it with rice noodles or even glass noodles.

Just make sure eggs are not listed in the ingredients!


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Did you make and love this vegetarian chow mein recipe? Give it your review below! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!

Vegetarian Chow Mein

This Vegetarian Chow Mein is so much better and healthier than Take – Out! Try it once and toss that Take-Away Menu!

Course main
Cuisine Asian, fusion, vegetarian
Keyword best chow mein recipe, restaurant-style chow mein, vegetarian chow mein recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 576 kcal
Author Kiki Johnson


  • 250 g chow mein noodles
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 6 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 70 g cabbage optional
  • 4 spring onions
  • 150 g bean or soy sprouts
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp chili sauce optional
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp peanut or sunflower oil
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • sesame seeds for decoration


  1. Soak the shiitake mushrooms in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water. Discard the stems and thinly slice the mushroom caps.Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles 1 to 2 minutes less than stated in the package instructions, or just before al dente. Drain the noodles, rinse under cold water, and drain again thoroughly. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the sesame oil.
  2. Peel and chop the garlic. Chop the mushrooms and slice or grate the bell pepper, the zucchini, cabbage and carrots into julienne. Chop the spring onions and place them in a bowl with the sprouts.
  3. Put the vegetables into separate little bowls and place them close to your wok.
  4. In a little bowl, mix soy sauce, chili sauce, rice wine, and sugar. Mix in 1-2 tbsp water and a pinch of salt and stir.
  5. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until a bead of water sizzles and evaporates on contact. Add 1 - 2 tablespoon of the peanut or sunflower oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the garlic and let fry until fragrant and just slightly golden. Add the mushrooms and fry for about a minute.
  6. Add carrots and cabbage and fry for another 2 minutes before you add the zucchini and bell pepper. Let the vegetables fry for a bit longer, stirring with a wooden spoon or chopsticks.
  7. Add the noodles and the cooking sauce and season with the white pepper. Let the chow mein fry for about a minute. Sway the pan and keep everything moving with your chopsticks. As a final addition, add the spring onions and sprouts stirring constantly. As soon as the sprouts start to shrink a bit, mix in the tbsp of sesame oil, toss and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

As soon as you add your noodles keep your chow mein moving all the time. I use chop sticks to stir my chow mein!

BEST Vegetarian Chow Mein | this easy recipe makes the best restaurant-style Chinese fried noodles using my secret sauce! Better and healthier than take-out! Vegan recipe option with rice noodles included #chowmein, #easyrecipe

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  1. Ich bin ein großer Fan der asiatischen Küche und mich spricht Dein vegetarisches Chow Mein Rezept sehr an. Ich werde es in kürze mal nachkochen. Danke für das Rezept!
    Liebe Grüße Thomas

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