This Prawn Chow Mein recipe is a fast, easy, delicious dish that you can make in under 30 minutes. It's full of flavor and even better than take-out!
Chinese food is one of the ultimate comfort foods. It's so nourishing and flavorful. While we love getting take-out from our favorite local restaurants, sometimes it's even faster and easier to make at home!
This Prawn Chow Mein recipe is one that I personally love to whip up for a fast lunch or quick dinner.
🌟 Why this recipe works
Chow mein noodles originated in northern China but were brought to the US around the mid-1800s. And they've been a popular Chinese food dish here and in the UK ever since!
You'll love this easy noodle stir fry recipe!
- Easy - the recipe is easy to follow and I've got a photo step-by-step stir fry guide down below to refer to while you are cooking.
- Fast - you can whip up this whole meal in under 30 minutes.
- Delicious - the stir fry sauce mixture is simple yet so flavorful. It makes the noodles, prawns and veggies all taste amazing!
🛒 Ingredient notes
To make the sauce, you'll need sugar, cornstarch, sesame oil, oyster sauce, and both a light soy sauce and dark soy sauce. If you can't find dark soy sauce, you can substitute hoisin sauce, teriyaki sauce, or simply use more light soy sauce or more oyster sauce.
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make the prawn chow mein recipe:
Prawns - Use high quality prawns. If you are in the UK, you may find king prawns to make a king prawn chow mein more easily than those in the US. If you can't find king prawns, use any prawns you can find. You can substitute jumbo shrimp, large shrimp, or medium shrimp for prawns in this recipe.
Noodles - Use thin fresh egg noodles or dry egg noodles for chow mein.
Vegetables - You can use your favorite stir-fry vegetables in this chow mein recipe. We love using julienned carrots, red bell peppers, and chopped broccoli.
Aromatics - Use fresh garlic and diced onions to cook with the noodles, then garnish with thinly sliced spring onions (also known as green onions or scallions).
Shaoxing wine - This is a Chinese cooking wine that has a distinct flavor. You can find it in the Asian section of your local grocery store or in most Asian supermarkets, as well as online. If you can't find Shaoxing wine, you can substitute dry sherry or mirin.
✅ Step-by-step instructions
A full ingredient list and detailed instructions are in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here's a photo step-by-step cooking guide to help you as you cook this delicious prawn noodle dish!
- Make the chow mein sauce and set aside.
- Season the prawns with kosher salt, ground black pepper, and Shaoxing wine.
3. Parboil the noodles according to packet instructions.
4. Heat a wok over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the oil.
5. Add the prawns and stir to cook. As soon as they are cooked and have changed color, remove them from the wok and place in a separate bowl or plate.
6. Add the garlic and onions.
7. Add the fresh vegetables (here we're using broccoli, carrots, red bell pepper).
8. Toss in the parboiled noodles and use tongs to toss all together.
9. Add the sauce.
10. Add back the prawns and toss all together to coat the stir-fried noodles and prawns with the sauce.
11. Sprinkle sliced green onion and serve immediately.
👩🏻🍳 Recipe FAQs
Chow mein and lo mein are very similar. The main difference is that chow mein noodles tend to be crisper and lo mein noodles tend to be softer and saucier. According to Maggie Zhu of Omivore's Cookbook, "Lo mein uses fresh noodles that are boiled for a few minutes, while chow mein uses dried noodles that are parboiled for five to six minutes."
While they are very similar and can be interchanged for one another in most recipes, prawns and shrimp are actually two different animals. Both have 10 legs. Prawns have branching gills and claws on three pairs of legs; shrimp have plate-like gills and claws on two pairs of their legs. Prawns tend to be larger than shrimp, but their size depends on the waters in which they come from and their species.
Allow the noodles to cool down, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Yes, you can freeze chow mein stored in airtight containers (or freezer bags) for up to 2 or 3 months. When you're ready to enjoy them again, allow them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight or in the microwave. For best results, reheat in a wok or skillet with some oil.
🍽 Serving ideas
This shrimp chow mein dish is a great full meal on its own, since it's packed with veggies.
Check out our recipe collection of Asian Side Dishes for more serving ideas.
🍷 🥂 Wine pairings
Prawn chow mein is the perfect pairing for rosé wine or crisp, white wines with high acidity. Try a Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, or sparkling wine.
🍳 Kitchen tools and equipment
Ready to make this recipe? Here are the kitchen tools and equipment you'll need:
- Wok - Use a wok or a skillet to make this chow mein noodles recipe.
- Bowl - You'll need a small bowl and whisk to mix the stir fry sauce.
- Wooden spoon - Use a wooden spoon to stir-fry the prawns, then the garlic and onion, then the vegetables.
- Tongs - Use kitchen tongs to toss the ingredients all together.
More Chinese food recipes
We've got a lot of great Asian recipes on the blog!
Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to leave a 5-Star 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 rating in the recipe card, and if you really loved it, please leave a comment further down on the page. Thank you!
Prawn Chow Mein
For the sauce
For the prawns and noodles
- 10 ounces egg noodles
- 1 pound prawns, shelled and deveined
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
- 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup finely diced yellow onion
- 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
- 1 cup snap peas
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 green onions, sliced
- In a large bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients to make the chow mein sauce. Set aside.
- Cook the noodles according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, season the prawns with salt and pepper, then toss with the Shaoxing wine. Set aside.
- Heat two tablespoons of oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the prawns until they turn pink and are cooked, then remove from the pan and transfer to a plate; set aside.
- Add one more tablespoon of oil to the pan, then sauté the garlic and onions for one minute, just until soft and fragrant.
- Add the carrots, snap peas, red bell pepper to the wok and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Drain the cooked noodles and add them to the wok along with the sauce. Toss all of the ingredients together to coat the noodles with the sauce. Return the prawns to the wok and toss all together. Sauté for a couple of minutes then serve.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.