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A plate of Cantonese beef chow mein with beef and veg on top of crispy noodles
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4.55 from 11 votes

Crispy Cantonese Beef Chow Mein

A crispy Cantonese beef chow mein recipe, loaded with a saucy beef, peppers, and onions on top. A popular and delicious takeout dish that's easy to re-create right in the comfort of your home!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Asian, Main, Noodles
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 3 Servings
Calories: 530kcal
Author: Joyce | Pups with Chopsticks


  • ½ lb beef flank steak (or any kind of beef steak)
  • ½ lb fresh Cantonese style steamed chow mein noodles (approximately ½ package of a 16oz/454g package, which is about 3-4 cups)
  • 4-5 tablespoons oil
  • 2 slices ginger


  • ½  green pepper (approximately 1 cup)
  • ½ yellow onion (approximately 1 cup)

Beef Marinade


  • 1 ½ tablespoons corn starch
  • ¼ cup water (to mix with corn starch)
  • 3-4 tablespoons oyster sauce (start with 3 tablespoons, and add more if you prefer it saltier)
  • 1 ½ - 2 teaspoons maple syrup (or honey)
  • ¾ cups water (to thin out the sauce)

Condiments (Optional)


Preparing the Vegetables and Noodles

  • Slice the green peppers and onions into strips and set aside
  • Add the chow mein noodles into a colander and use your hands and to loosen it up gently. Pour hot water over it to slightly soften it. I find it easiest to use hot tap water and run the noodles under it for 2-3 minutes. Alternatively, you can also soak the noodles in a bowl for 1 minute with boiling water. Set the noodles aside once the noodles are soft.

Marinating the Beef

  • Cut the beef against the grain into thin slices and put it in a bowl
  • Add the 'Beef Marinade' ingredients into the bowl with the beef and mix well and set aside to marinate for 15 minutes in room temperature

Making the Sauce

  • In a bowl, combine ¼ cup of cold water and corn starch and mix until  the corn starch has dissolved well with no clumps
  • Add in the oyster sauce and mix until the sauce is smooth
  • Add in the maple syrup and the rest of the ¾ cup of water and mix well and set aside

Crisping the Noodles

  • 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)
  • Add 4 tablespoons of oil to the pan and wait for the oil to smoke or shimmer. (The oil needs to get really hot to 'deep fry' the noodles)
  • 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 :) )
  • Once the noodles are crispy and done, remove it from the pan and spread it out on a serving plate

Putting it Together

  • Set the stove to medium, to medium-high heat again and add a tablespoon of oil
  • When the oil is hot, add in the slices of ginger and roast it until it is golden brown
  • 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 :)
  • 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)
  • Give the sauce a quick stir in the bowl - corn starch likes to settle at the bottom so we want to make sure the sauce is evenly mixed before we use it.
  • Push aside the veggies and beef on the pan and pour in the sauce
  • Once the sauce gets enough heat, it will start to thicken, keep stirring with your spatula until it thickens and starts to bubble. You will know the sauce is done when it becomes a darker colour, translucent and thick.
  • Toss the meat and veggies over the sauce and coat everything with the sauce and cook it for about 1 minute
  • Pour everything over the plate of noodles
  • Enjoy with some chilli oil! :)


  • When you are buying Cantonese chow mein in the grocery store, look for the ones that are pre-steamed. They usually come in a plastic bag in the refrigeration section where all the fresh noodles are. Buying the pre-steamed one lets us skip the step of steaming the noodles before deep-frying it.


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