Cantonese soy sauce chow mein has always and will probably always be my favorite dry noodle dish. This is a traditional Cantonese breakfast dish enjoyed with congee along other breakfast foods. Although it is a breakfast item, I find myself craving these noodles at any time of the day.
Important ingredients for Cantonese Soy Sauce Chow Mein
Dark soy sauce and regular soy sauce
Dark soy sauce is an incredibly important part of this recipe. Not so much for the flavor aspect, but for the noodles to turn into that beautiful dark color. Dark soy sauce can be found in most grocery stores, but to be safe I would recommend going to an Asian grocery store.
Regular soy sauce is the type that is used for flavor in this recipe. This does add color as well but will not create that dark brown looking color that you see in the pictures. This is the brand and type I use:
Chinese chives in cantonese soy sauce chow mein
Chinese chives aka garlic chives are different from regular chives in flavor and texture. Regular chives are typically used as a garnish, however, Chinese chives are cooked during the dish and soften texture wise. They add amazing flavor and is a staple ingredient in this recipe.
Egg/chow mein noodles
The type of chow mein/egg noodles you use are important. You will want to buy pre-steamed egg noodles, sometimes called chow mein noodles. They have instructions on the packaging on how to cook them. Usually you only need to soak them in boiling water for 1 minute. This is a picture of the packaging my noodles came with.
From my experience, there are no perfect substitutes for oyster sauce. Oyster sauce and soy sauce are the two largest flavor contributors to this recipe which is why I think oyster sauce should not be substituted. However, if there are health concerns you may try to leave it out.
Surprisingly, I am not a huge fam of bean sprouts, but for some reason I must have them when making this dish. Maybe because I grew up with them but I think it adds freshness and texture in the heart of all the savory noodles.
Cantonese Soy Sauce Chow Mein (豉油皇炒麵)
- 330 g egg noodles (chow mein noodles)
- 1 small yellow onion (thinly sliced)
- 2 handfuls beansprouts
- 2 handfuls garlic chives (6-inch segments)
- 4 tbsp corn oil
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp chili oil
- 1 tbsp regular soy sauce
- 1½ tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- ½ tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp water
- Cover your egg noodles in boiling water and allot them to soak for 1 minute. Drain and let it cook while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Slice your onion and cut the chives into 6 inch segments. I prepare the beansprouts by peeling off the ends but that is completely optional. Some grocery stores sell pre peeled beansprouts.
- Mix together all the sauce ingredients into a bowl.
- Heat up a wok over high heat with 1 tbsp of oil to cook your onions and beansprouts for 1 minute or until begins to soften then remove.
- Add 1½ tbsp of oil into the high heat wok along with your egg noodles. Spread it out then cook for 1 minute on each side, adding another 1.5 tbsp of oil after you flip.
- Add your onions, beansprouts, chives and the sauce. Continue to mix thoroughly until there are no more bald spots in the noodles.
- Once the sauce is fully combined, top the noodles with sesame oil.
- Garnish with sesame seeds, and chili oil.
If you enjoyed this recipe, check out some more noodle dishes here: