Lazy Man’s Chicken Chow Mein

I was going to do another round of chicken stir fry, but I discovered that the piece of breast that I have left is quite tiny. It is not going to cut it in terms of making me full. So, I will have to improvise. I am going to cook an angmoh (white people) dish. I’m going to cook Chicken Chow Mein!

What? I am telling you, Chow Mein is a Westernized Chinese fried noodles dish. You can only get them in the UK or the US mostly. They are not cooked the same way as how Asians normally do it with our big ass wok and even bigger fire. You are more likely to find Chow Mein in Jamie Oliver’s kitchen that you will find in the streets in Asia.

Actually Chow Mein 炒面 is a Cantonese pronunciation of Fried Noodles. Chow = Fried, Mein = Noodles.

Since I don’t have the necessary tools to cook a proper Chinese fried noodles, I will just settle for cooking a Chow Mein..


I’m trying to stick to what the Brits and Yanks do when they cook this. After eating a few chow meins from the UK and the US, my observation is that, apart from noodles, the four mandatory ingredients they use are:

  • Bok choy @ Siew pak choy @ Chinese cabbage
  • Chili
  • Soy sauce
  • Cashew nuts

chicken chow mein

Seriously, every fried noodles dish that I have had in white people countries has cashew nuts in it. What’s with these nuts? Does fried noodles dish in China use cashew nuts as well?

I actually bought the soy sauce and packet of cashew nuts from the kedai runcit in my flat. There’s 3 kedai runcits in my flat actually. Kedai runcit is basically a Malaysian version of 7-11. Or Lawson.

Since it is chicken chow mein, I also have some other ingredients:

  • Chicken (obviously)
  • Tomato
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Olive oil, pepper

chicken chow mein

As I was taking the ingredients out from the fridge, I belatedly realized that I do not have noodles! What I do have is a little bit of the ribbon pasta left, and since pasta is Italian noodles, they would do.

So my dish is now called, Chicken Chow Pasta. Or Chicken Chow Italian Mein. Or Chicken Chow Ribbon. I think I’ll settle for Chicken Chow Italian Mein, sounds nicer.


  • Put pasta to boil, cook until al dente (~80% cooked).
  • Slice chicken breast to pieces, marinate with soy sauce and pepper.
  • Wash and cut bok choy, tomato, garlic and chili to pieces.
  • Heat pan with drizzle of olive oil. Fry chili and garlic first until fragrant.
  • Add chicken and tomato in. Fry till chicken turn slightly golden brown.
  • Add bok choy and cashew nuts in. Set to low heat and simmer for a few minutes.

chicken chow mein

  • Add cooked pasta in, squeeze lemon juice in, stir everything together. Add soy sauce and pepper for seasoning.
  • Serve and eat.

chicken chow mein

So, there you have it, Lazy Man’s Chicken Chow Italian Mein. With cashew nuts. Ta daaaa~

chicken chow mein

I think it tasted pretty good, but I doubt conservative old men, for example my dad, will enjoy it. He would balk at the unfamiliar sight of cashew nuts.



  1. I’ll make do without the bok choy. Everything’s there good except the bok choy. Too chinese looking that one. LoL! So racist lah me even towards vege 😛

    • Hahaha chow mein is a chinese dish lah, although is angmoh version chinese. That’s why bok choy is perfect for it 😛

  2. You have nailed the chow mein…especially with the use of nuts (like in salads) and bok choy (for some reason, westerners seem to like to use bok choy in their stir fry) 😀 I think they love the crunchy texture. Not sure about the red chillies, though!!

    • I think it’s probably because bok choy is a vegetable with a chinese name 😀 .
      Oh they do use chilies, at least every single chow mein I have ever had and have ever watched on Youtube use them.

  3. Wah your chow pasta looks good.. Chewahhh, western style punyer chow mein.. I also always stir fry my spaghetti ala Chinese style.. I use oyster sauce most of the time.. Fish cakes, assorted balls, cabbage maybe..So you name it chow Italian mein, high class 😀

    • One of these days I’m going to buy those assorted balls. The way you say assorted balls makes me want to eat them 😀

    • I didn’t even count LOL! 9 ingredients, but everything thrown into the pan, not that difficult. I didn’t even have bell pepper, or carrot, or celery, or basil and thyme and those things..

  4. You are right, there are always cashews! What a fun name ‘Chicken Chow Italian Mein’ and with all those vibrant vegetables it sounds perfect for dinner today. The bow tie pasta is a great improvisation. 🙂

  5. I think your dad can accept the cashew nuts because that day the lotus roots dish that I ate had cashew nuts in them and that area has many old men going to eat at that place.

    I think your dish is very delicious! With the cashew nuts and so much vege. Yummy!

    Wah, your flat is so canggih, got 3 kedai runcit, very convenient!

    • Nope, even those kung poh dishes with cashew nuts, he will leave the cashew nuts alone.
      LOL! The auntie in the kedai runcit that I went to even tried to flirt with me when she noticed this fresh meat. But then, since she is auntie, so.. LOL!

      • Does your father eat cashew nuts on their own? Maybe he just does not like to eat cashew nuts.

        Hahahaha, at the flirting!

        • Now that you mentioned, I never noticed if he ever ate those cashews as snack alone. It’s not cashew that he is against. He is basically against anything unfamiliar to him. Take fish for example, he only knows fish being fried, steamed, or in soup. Give him sashimi and he will refuse to touch it. He can only eat Chinese and Malaysian food.
          Whenever we eat out, it would have to be Chinese cuisine. My mom loves Western food, but we only go when dad is busy to join.

        • Hahaha, I’m not good at keeping up with a facade 😀 .
          And, probably not, she should be a more seasoned flirter than I am 😀 😀

  6. yeah this is indeed very creative, haha!! and to be frank, I actually find having the pasta fried the chinese style more delicious than its very authentic blanched-and-then-pour-over-sauce-on-top style.. maybe just me, I prefer that “wok hei”.. :p

    • I like all ways of cooking pasta. They’re originally Italian noodles, so it makes sense to enjoy them the Italian way. Not so nice to keep hold of Asian perspective of taste 😛

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