Trini Chow Mein


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:


Appears in

Sweet Hands: Island Cooking from Trinidad and Tobago

Sweet Hands

By Ramin Ganeshram

Published 2018

  • About

This is another one of those favorite dishes that demonstrate the Chinese influence on the island. You will note, except for the bean sprouts, the absence of any “traditional” Chinese ingredients like you would find in authentic stir-fries. Although in the United States, crispy noodles are the hallmark of chow mein and non-Trinidadians will recognize this dish as “lo mein,” the Trinidadian terminology is closer to the original Chinese meaning: “a dish using soft noodles.”


  • 12 ounces lo mein noodles
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 red (bell) pepper, stemmed, seeded, julienned
  • 1 medium christophene, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup bean sprouts (optional)
  • ½ small Scotch bonnet pepper or other hot red chili pepper, finely chopped, or teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 large chicken breast, or ½ pound boneless beef, pork, or shrimp, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon thick soy sauce
  • cup vegetable or chicken stock or water


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the noodles. Lower heat to a simmer and boil noodles until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
  2. Heat the canola oil in a large deep frying pan or wok and add the onion, cabbage, carrot, and red bell pepper. Fry, stirring often, until the onion turns translucent.
  3. Add the christophene, bean sprouts, if using, and chili pepper and toss well. Add your meat of choice and fry until well browned on all sides.
  4. Mix in the soy sauce and stock or water and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes to ensure the meat is cooked through.
  5. Add the lo mein noodles to the pan and toss well so all ingredients are incorporated and any liquid is absorbed.