Rekindling Memories with Homemade Chicken Lo Mein

Nostalgia hits different with homemade chicken Lo Mein, doesn’t it? In this ever-evolving takeout landscape, where genuine tastes play hide and seek, we all pine for that oh-so-familiar plate.

Special Nights & Heartfelt Bites

Chinese takeout evenings in my childhood were few but precious. On the rare nights when fatigue took over my parents, they’d dial up the iconic No. 1 Chinese Restaurant. What arrived was not just a meal, but moments of togetherness and joy.

While many assume our daily meals mirrored these takeout delights, they couldn’t be more wrong. Dishes like beef with broccoli, Singapore Mei Fun, and the cherished chicken lo mein were exceptions, not norms. Every time we indulged, my heart would always wander towards chicken lo mein. But lately, the flavors seemed distant, the noodles a bit lost—sometimes too bland, sometimes drowning in oil. A yearning to recreate that lost taste led me to my kitchen, with dark soy sauce as my trusted companion.

Choosing the Perfect Noodles

Lo Mein’s soul lies in its noodles. You’re presented with two choices: uncooked or ready-to-use lo mein noodles. Their distinct yellow hue? That’s the magic of eggs, sometimes tagged as “Hokkien Noodles.”

The raw ones need a brief encounter with boiling water before they’re ready for the wok. The ready-to-use ones only ask for a warm embrace in the form of a rinse. And if you ever chance upon a pack labeled “油面” (oil noodle), that’s your cue! Their slight oily glaze ensures they’re never clingy.

Often, Lo Mein is mistaken for its cousin Chow Mein. But remember, Chow Mein translates to “stir-fried noodles”, bringing its own charm to the table.

Vegetables: Painting with Nature’s Palette

My preferred veggies are a tribute to my cherished memories: crunchy carrots, velvety cabbage, spirited bean sprouts, and sharp scallions. They’re not just ingredients, but textures and flavors painting a beautiful canvas. Feel free to add your own colors with bell peppers, mushrooms, or even snow peas.


  • 8 oz. tender boneless chicken, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp each of cornstarch, water, and oil (and a bit more for the magic in the wok)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed with love
  • 4 cups cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 spirited carrots, julienned
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine (or perhaps a touch of dry sherry cooking wine)
  • 16 oz. golden lo mein egg noodles
  • For the soul: 1 tbsp soy sauce, 4 tsp dark soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, and a pinch each of salt and sugar
  • Fresh finishes: 2 cups mung bean sprouts, 2 lively scallions, sliced

The Magical Process:

  1. In a loving mix of cornstarch, water, and oil, embrace the chicken. As it takes on a golden hue in a hot wok, set it aside to rest.
  2. In the same wok, the crushed garlic awaits its turn. Following its fragrant cue, introduce the cabbage and carrots. As they mingle, let the wine flow in gracefully.
  3. The golden noodles and chicken return to the limelight, ensuring everything’s mixed with love. If the noodles shy away, a splash of water brings them back.
  4. As you lower the heat, sprinkle in the seasonings. With passion, mix in the bean sprouts and scallions. After a brief dance in the wok, your plate is ready to be graced with nostalgia and flavors.
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