Cantonese beef chow mein is crispy, saucy and loaded with beef, peppers and onions on top. A very common takeout dish that’s delicious and easy to re-create right in the comfort of your home! πŸ™‚

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Chow mein, there’a a gazillion different kinds out there and different ways to enjoy it so what makes Cantonese beef chow mein different? Not much really, except that it’s crispy! I personally think that’s the best part of it. πŸ™‚


Crispy Cantonese Beef Chow Mein


Another main difference between normal chow mein and Cantonese chow mein is it is a bit more on the dry and crispy side and the noodles are usually not tossed in with the sauces. The process is simple and usually done in 2 steps: crisping up the noodles then topping it with the sauce\meats\veg. This gives you a choice to have a crispier noodle with a bit of sauce by eating off the edges, or going full hog saucy by digging in the middle πŸ˜›




For this beef chow mein recipe, most of these things can be found at your local grocery store.

Oyster sauce and chow mein noodles can be found at an Asian grocery store.


Crispy Cantonese Beef Chow Mein


I like to use maple syrup or honey as sweeteners in the kitchen, however you can substitute this with sugar if that is all you have in the kitchen. Use half the amount.


For this beef chow mein recipe, you can substitute it with any kinds of meat. You can also make this vegetarian by omitting the meat (and the marination) steps.


I like to use flank steak for this but this recipe also works well with any type of steaks, as long as it’s cut into smaller pieces


Crispy Cantonese Beef Chow Mein


When you are cutting the beef, you want to cut it against the grain to keep it tender (without the use of a tenderizer). When you lay your meat down, you will notice the meat grains will go a certain direction, you want to cut against it to create shorter fibers per slice. This works with beef, chicken and pork.





Crisping Up the Noodles

To crisp up the chow mein, you will essentially have to do a mini deep fry. Before we do this, you should quickly run the noodles under hot water for a few seconds to loosen up the noodles and make it a bit more pliable. It will also make the crisping of the chow mein easier and it will generally give the noodles a less chewy texture. We want to aim for crispy and soft πŸ™‚


You don’t need anything special for this step except oil and your softened noodles. Depending on how thick your pan/wok is you may need to adjust your heat accordingly. For thinner pans like a wok I usually set my pan to medium but for thicker wall pans like a frying pan, I like to adjust the heat to medium high.


Crispy Cantonese Beef Chow Mein


You don’t need to evenly crisp it up as well, I like to haphazardly flip it with a wide spatula when it starts to to turn brown on the bottom – usually every 1 minute or so for about 5-8 minutes or until the noodles are crispy.


Don’t worry if your noodles are super crispy and dried looking, when you add the sauce on top it will soften up the noodles πŸ™‚ and you want the edges to be crispy as well.



Simplifying the Beef Chow Mein Sauce

Normally, the proper way to make the sauce is to mix the sauce in a bowl and keep the corn starch slurry (the sauce thickener) separate to put in at the end. To simplify this (and to save us some dishes) I combined the sauce and the corn starch slurry but to make this work without lumps you have to mix the ingredients in a particular order.


Order of Operation:

  1. In a bowl add 1/4 cup of water
  2. Mix in the corn starch and stir until it has dissolved into the water
  3. Add in the oyster sauce and mix well until the sauce is smooth
  4. Once the sauce is smooth add in the maple syrup and the rest of the water and mix
  5. Set aside for the very end


Crispy Cantonese Beef Chow Mein



The Best Chilli Sauce You Will Ever Taste That Goes With Everything!

Serving this with a bit of chilli oil makes this dish super duper flavourful and gives it a little something something. It’s something I swear by and always do whenever I have any kind of beef chow mein.


A staple chilli oil I have at home that I pretty much use on everything is the “Spicy Chili Crisp Chili Oil” made by Lao Gan Ma aka The Godmother.


I have found that they will occasionally have this in English or Chinese labels. I find the best way to find it by looking for her famous face that’s plastered right on the label. πŸ™‚ It’s an intricate and complex flavour that doesn’t pack a lot of heat (mild spicy) with hints of caramelized onion flavours. This stuff is like crack.


There is an awesome post ‘Meeting Lao Gan Ma, β€œThe Godmother”: China’s Best Chili Oils and Sauces‘ by Taylor Holliday on this famous chilli sauce that goes into detail on the story behind this hot sauce and how to look for knock offs. πŸ™‚ It’s a good read!


Crispy Cantonese Beef Chow Mein

Crispy Cantonese Beef Chow Mein #chinesefood #takeout

Happy dance for Chinese takeout in comfort of your PJs! πŸ˜€


Crispy Cantonese Beef Chow Mein

  • Author: Joyce | Pups with Chopsticks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 Servings
  • Category: Main, Noodles, Asian
  • Cuisine: Chinese


Cantonese beef chow mein is crispy, saucy and loaded with beef, peppers and onions on top. A very common takeout dish that’s delicious and easy to re-create right in the comfort of your home!


  • 1/2 lb flank steak or any kind of steak
  • 1/2 a green pepper
  • 1/2 a yellow onion
  • 1/2 package chow mein noodles
  • 4-5 tablespoons oil
  • 2 slices of ginger


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/4 cup water (to mix with corn starch)
  • 3-4 tablespoons oyster sauce (start with 3 tablespoons, and add more if you prefer it more salty)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
  • 3/4 cups of water (to thin out the sauce)

Beef Marinade

Condiments (Optional)



  1. Slice the green peppers and onions into strips and set aside
  2. Cut the beef against the grain into thin slices and put it in a bowl
  3. Add the ‘Beef Marinade’ ingredients into the bowl with the and mix well and set aside to marinate for 15 minutes in room temperature
  4. In a sieve or strainer run hot water through the chow mein for a few seconds

Making the Sauce

  1. In a bowl, combine 1/4 cup of cold water and corn starch and mix until Β the corn starch has dissolved well with no clumps
  2. Add in the oyster sauce and mix until the sauce is smooth
  3. Add in the maple syrup and the rest of the 3/4 cup of water and mix well
  4. Set aside

Crisping the Noodles

  1. In a wok or frying pan, set the heat to medium to medium-high heat (adjust this according to your stove and the thickness of your pan)
  2. Add 4 tablespoons of oil to the pan and wait for the oil to becoming really hot
  3. Add in the noodles and let it ‘pan fry’ untouched for 1 minute. Flipping once every minute for around 5-8 minutes. Our goal is to get the noodles dried and crispy. If you are noticing that the noodles are burning, lower the heat a bit. (A little burnt is okay πŸ™‚ )
  4. Once the noodles are crispy and done, remove it from the pan and spread it out on a serving plate

Putting it Together

  1. Set the stove to medium, to medium high heat again and add a tablespoon of oil
  2. When the oil is hot, add in the slices of ginger and roast it until it is brown
  3. Add in the beef and fry it for 2-3 minutes until the beef is cooked. It’s okay to have the beef medium rare for this dish πŸ™‚
  4. Add in the onions and green peppers and toss it with the beef for about 2-3 minutes (we don’t want to overcook the veggies)
  5. Give the sauce a quick stir (corn starch likes to settle at the bottom)
  6. Push aside the veggies and beef on the pan and pour in the sauce
  7. Once the sauce gets enough heat, it will start to thicken, keep stirring with your spatula until it thickens and starts to Β bubble. You will know the sauce is done when it becomes a darker colour, translucent and thick.
  8. Toss the meat and veggies over the sauce and coat everything with the sauce and cook it for about 1 minute
  9. Pour everything over the plate of noodles
  10. Enjoy with some chilli oil! πŸ™‚


  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 530 kcal
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Sodium: 1082 mg
  • Fat: 32 g
  • Carbohydrates: 45 g
  • Protein: 22 g

Keywords: beef chow mein, crispy chow mein

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well!) πŸ™‚



15 thoughts on “Crispy Cantonese Beef Chow Mein”

    1. This definitely works as a vegetarian dish! Just omit the meats! πŸ™‚ and add all the veggies! I sometimes do that when I don’t have meat on hand as well πŸ™‚

  1. I’m very intrigued by that chili oil! We love chili oil in our house but I don’t think I’ve had that one. And those crispy noodles are CALLING me!

    1. You should definitely pick that one up. Chilli oil is always bland to me but this one is SO FLAVOURFUL. Seriously. I no longer use sriracha I just douse my food in this haha πŸ™‚

  2. I love the idea of this being crispy, and that sauce looks amazing! Pretty much everything I love is in this dish! Can’t wait to try it out!

    1. The crispy and the sauce are definitely my fave parts. Hope you get to try it out and enjoy it! πŸ™‚

    1. It definitely does! It’s odd it’s like half potato chips half noodles to me, loaded with sauce and meats πŸ˜€

  3. This looks great, I would much rather make my own chow mein at home because I know the oils and fats are tripled in the restaurants.

    1. Yes!! πŸ™‚ Love to be in my PJs making this and then chowing down right from the frying pan – no judgement haha πŸ™‚

  4. ahhh i love this stuff!! the one i’m used to has a sauce that’s slightly lighter in color, and has seafood, but this is bringing back all the good memories (plus, i know exactly what i want next time i go home).

  5. I love this recipe, simple, fast and tasty food. Ideally when I don’t have much enough time. Would follow your way. by the way, that Brand name of non-chili hot sauce is good for me. Thanks Joyce

    1. That hot sauce is definitely addictive. I put it on everything now! I highly recommend trying it! πŸ™‚ It’s not spicy at all, more flavourful more than anything.

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