Desi Chow Mein

This Desi Chow Mein Recipe, a twist on classic Chinese cuisine, is filled with rich flavors & just the exact amount of spice that Pakistani.

We have our own version of Chinese food in Pakistan, which is generally a little spicy. My dish is a twist on the street-style Hakka noodles that we’ve all come to enjoy.

In this dish, we stir-fried noodles with crisp veggies and chicken before tossing everything together in a spicy sauce. For me, this chow mein is the perfect pick-me-up and energy booster. Seriously, I could eat a whole pan of this in one sitting!

As with any Chinese cuisine, it’s preferable if you prepare everything ahead of time. Chop the veggies, slice the chicken, make the sauce, boil the noodles, and so on. Everything occurs so rapidly when you’re frying that you’ll end up with mushy veggies or overdone noodles.

This Desi Chow Mein goes great with any Chinese dish. Serve it with the sweet and saucy fusion Chinese Chicken Manchurian and some Garlic Butter Fried Rice to balance off the heat (not Chinese but very versatile) toasted sesame oil.

Let’s move on to this enticing Pakistani-style spicy chicken Chow Mein.

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You Will Require in Desi Chow Mein

  • Sauces: regular soy sauce, oyster sauce, sriracha sauce (or any hot chilli sauce), chilli garlic sauce (ideally the desi spicy ketchup from Knorr, Mitchell’s, Shezan, and so on), and white vinegar.
  • Spices: red chilli flakes, brown sugar (honey or white sugar can be substituted), freshly ground black pepper, white pepper, and salt.
  • This recipe calls for toasted sesame oil rather than plain sesame oil. The toasted sesame seed version has a nutty scent and flavour. You may leave it out if you want, but I strongly encourage it.
  • Either a chicken stock cube or chicken powder.
  • Red onion is optional, but it gives a beautiful pop of colour. Cabbage, bell peppers (of any colour), carrots, spring onions, and green chilies all contribute to the flavour of this dish.
  • Chicken may be substituted with any protein of your choosing.
  • If you can locate them, use Chinese noodles; otherwise, spaghetti or egg noodles will suffice.

How To Do It Desi Chow Mein Recipe

  • Set aside for 10-15 minutes after adding the ingredients to the chicken.
  • Make the sauce. Combine the Chow Mein sauce ingredients (see recipe card below).
  • Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Take care not to overcook them.
  • Stir fry the vegetables for 2-3 minutes over high heat.
  • Cook the chicken with the garlic smashed on top.
  • Place the noodles on top of the chicken, followed by the sauce and veggies. Finally, add the spring onions and remove from heat.

Expert Advice and Tricks

  • Have everything sliced and ready to go before you begin cooking. Chinese stir frying is fairly quick, and taking your time might ruin the flavours and textures.
  • Tossing boiling noodles in toasted sesame oil gives them a toasty flavour that smells and tastes fantastic.
  • Be careful not to overcook the veggies. Simply cook them for 2-3 minutes on high heat, or until they are no longer raw.
  • Broccoli, mushrooms, snow peas, bean sprouts, and bok choy are among more alternatives.
  • Save part of the water in which the noodles are cooking.

How to Make a Vegetarian Meal

Simply leave out the chicken and feel free to substitute or add your favorite veggies. Some suggestions can be found in the Tips and Tricks section above.

Desi Chow Mein Recipe

Difficulty:BeginnerPrep time: 10 minutesCook time: 25 minutesTotal time: 35 minutesServings:4 servingsCalories:463 kcal Best Season:Available


Stir-fried chicken and veggie noodles bursting with rich Indian flavors. This recipe is both hot and wonderful.




  1. 12 teaspoon white pepper, 13 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch), and 1 teaspoon soy sauce marinate the chicken. Set aside.
  2. Make the Chow Mein sauce and set it aside.
  3. Cook the noodles according to the package directions.
  4. If you overcook them, they will get mushy during stir-frying.
  5. Set aside 14 cups of boiling water for the noodles.
  6. When the noodles are done, drain them in a strainer and rinse with cold tap water. Drizzle 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil over the top and set aside.
  7. A tablespoon of oil should be heated in a pan. Combine the carrot, bell pepper, cabbage, and red onion in a mixing bowl.
  8. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Only stir fry for 3-4 minutes. Don’t overcook the vegetables. Finally, combine the green chili and set aside the vegetables.
  9. 2 tablespoons oil in the same pan After the smashed garlic has been sautéed, add the marinated chicken. Fry until done on medium-high heat, then add the sauce.
  10. Pour in the boiled noodles. Add to the pan right away and mix thoroughly. At this stage, taste for salt and add more if necessary. Mix in the spring onions.
  11. Place on a serving platter, top with sesame seeds and serve.
Nutrition Facts

Servings 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 463
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 21g33%
Saturated Fat 13g65%
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 32mg11%
Sodium 1387mg58%
Potassium 568mg17%
Total Carbohydrate 50g17%
Sugars 7g
Protein 20g40%

Vitamin A 5400%
Vitamin C 37%
Calcium 51%
Iron 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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