Traditional Chow Hein: The Westernized Chinese Version

This version tends to have more ingredients than the traditional Chinese version.


  • 225 g (8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into shreds lengthways
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • teaspoons salt
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon cornflour
  • 30 g (1 oz) Chinese dried black mushrooms
  • 350 g (¾ lb) fresh thin Chinese egg noodles
  • 480 ml (16 fl oz) groundnut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 55 g (2 oz) chopped celery
  • 115 g (4 oz) fresh water chestnuts, peeled and sliced, or 4 canned water chestnuts, sliced
  • 115 g (4 oz) mangetouts, trimmed
  • 2 spring onions, cut into 5cm (2 in) segments on the diagonal
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 120 ml (4 fl oz) Chinese Chicken Stock or store-bought fresh stock
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour mixed with 1 tablespoon water


Mix the chicken with 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of rice wine, ¼ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper, ½ teaspoon of sesame oil and the cornflour and let the mixture marinate for at least 20 minutes at room temperature.

Soak the mushrooms in warm water for 20 minutes. Then drain them and squeeze out the excess liquid. Remove and discard the stems, and finely shred the caps into thin strips.

Blanch the noodles in a pot of salted boiling water. Drain well and separate the noodles on a tray to cool.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat until it is hot. Swirl in the groundnut oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, deep-fry the noodles until they are brown and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well on kitchen paper. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil.

Transfer the fried noodles to a large platter.

Reheat the wok with the oil and, when it is hot, add the garlic and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Dump in the chicken and stir-fry for another 2 minutes. Then toss in the celery, mushrooms, water chestnuts, mangetouts and spring onions and stir-fry for 1 minute. Pour in 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of rice wine, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper, the sugar, chicken stock and oyster sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for another minute. In a slow drizzle, add the cornflour mixture, stirring all the while. When the sauce has slightly thickened, stir in 2 teaspoons of sesame oil. Pour this mixture over the noodles and serve at once.