Skip takeout and make a delicious version of chicken lo mein at home! Let the chicken simmer away in the crockpot, then just add veggies and pasta!
While not quite “takeout-style”, this chicken lo mein is delicious and SO easy!
I’ve been dying to share this recipe with you all for a while now… but with my time off through the holidays, it’s been sitting in my drafts folder… until today! We’re big Chinese takeout fans here in The Chunky Chef house, and lo mein is always a favorite. I’ve been on the hunt for a perfect copycat of that classic takeout flavor, and I’m still working on that one, but this version is amazing in it’s own way.
Beautifully savory and sweet with a little kick from the sambal oelek and sriracha, this chicken lo mein is every bit as tasty as it is easy to make.
WHAT KIND OF SAUCE IS USED IN LO MEIN?
Traditionally lo mein sauce is made of soy sauce and sesame oil with some other seasonings (like garlic, ginger, and oyster sauce). For my version I use a combination of light and dark soy sauces to deepen the umami flavor, and some chile paste and sriracha to spice things up a bit.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LO MEIN AND CHOW MEIN?
Lo mein is made using soft and slightly chewy noodles, which are tossed in a sauce, whereas chow mein is made using slightly thinner noodles that are stir fried until slightly crispy. Both are delicious, it comes down to which texture of noodle you’d prefer!
WHAT NOODLES ARE USED IN LO MEIN?
Chinese egg noodles are the traditional variety used, and what I used here. Ideally, fresh noodles are used, but I found those to be hard to find here, so I used a dried variety. In a pinch, spaghetti or other long cuts of pasta can be used, as can dried ramen noodles. Not authentic, but still tasty!
WHAT OTHER PROTEINS CAN YOU ADD TO LO MEIN?
- Pork – thinly slice pork tenderloin or pork chops and cook 1-2 minutes per side.
- Beef – thinly slice flank steak (against the grain, click here for a description of how), and cook 1 minute per side.
- Shrimp – cook shrimp until almost done (as they’ll keep cooking after you add them back to the dish).
WHY COOK LO MEIN IN THE CROCKPOT?
I know, I know… chicken lo mein is basically a stir fry, which comes together super quickly right? There are two main reasons I love using the slow cooker for this meal. The chicken cooks IN the sauce, which makes it SUPER flavorful, and it’s perfect for those who are coming home after working a hard day and even the thought of a stir fry is too much. All you have to do is boil the noodles (which can be done ahead of time), and add the veggies to the crockpot for 15 minutes.
PRO TIPS FOR MAKING CHICKEN LO MEIN IN THE CROCKPOT:
- Use chicken thighs if possible. Chicken thighs are notoriously juicier than chicken breasts and are much harder to overcook.
- Add any vegetables you like. I chose to go with broccoli, carrots, water chestnuts, bell pepper, and snow peas, but sliced cabbage, bean sprouts, zucchini and sliced onions are also great addition.
OTHER GREAT ASIAN-INSPIRED RECIPES:
- Takeout Style Beef and Broccoli
- Sesame Garlic Beef Stir Fry
- Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef
- Spicy Thai Noodles
- Spicy Peanut Tofu Stir Fry
- Copycat Cashew Chicken
- Homemade Crab Rangoons
SHOP THE RECIPE:
- Crockpot – I use this slow cooker all the time and it always performs beautifully!
- Lo Mein Noodles – this is the dried variety I used.
- Light Soy Sauce – the flavor of this soy sauce is SO much better than soy sauces from large grocery stores.
- Dark Soy Sauce – amazingly rich and powerful, this dark soy sauce brings recipes one step closer to being authentic.
- Sesame Oil – my favorite sesame oil!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 1/3 cup light soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- drizzle of sriracha sauce
- 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 cup snow peas
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 5 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
- 1 lb. dried lo mein noodles
- sesame seeds, for garnish
- sliced green onions, for garnish
- Add chicken thighs to bottom of slow cooker insert. Whisk together sauce ingredients and pour over chicken. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours, or HIGH for 3-4 hours.
- Remove chicken from slow cooker, shred, then add back to slow cooker with juice and sauce.
- Add broccoli, snow peas, carrots, bell pepper and water chestnuts, and stir. Cover and cook on HIGH for 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
- While vegetables are cooking, boil and drain pasta per package directions, then add to crockpot with chicken and vegetables. Stir well, then serve with garnishes, if desired.
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