how to make stir fry noodles crispy | Family Cuisine

One of the best ways to make stir fry noodles crispy is by adding a little bit of cornstarch. This will help to prevent the noodles from getting soggy, and will also give them a nice crisp texture.

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How to make stir fry noodles crispy

One of my all time favourite dishes at my local Chinese!! Crispy noodles topped with a saucy chicken and vegetable stir fry, this is a CRUNCHY version of Chow Mein. You’ll love how the sauce soaks the noodles so some of it is soft, while some of it stays crispy.

Made healthier by pan frying rather than deep frying the noodles, this is an easy recipe that can be on the table in 20 minutes!

Reading: how to make stir fry noodles crispy

Close up photo of chopsticks picking up Chinese Crispy Noodles (Chow Mein)

Chinese Crispy Noodles

At my local Chinese, they call this Crispy Chow Mein Noodles. It’s a Hong Kong / Cantonese style dish, and there are a lot of variations but the core of it is a bed of deep fried crunchy noodles topped with a saucy stir fry.

The stir fry topping is much saucier than most Chinese stir fries and this is because you need plenty of sauce so it soaks through some of the noodles, softening them so they can be slurped up like normal noodles.

But the best part is all the crunchy noodle bits that remain! So as you eat your way through the plate, you get that awesome combo of juicy chicken, tender-crisp vegetables, loads of tasty Chinese brown sauce, soft slippery noodles AND crunchy noodles.

It’s crazy good!!!

Overhead photo of Chinese Crispy Noodles (Chow Mein) on a plate, ready to be served

Saucy Chicken and Vegetable Topping for Chinese Crispy Noodles (Chow Mein)

How to make Chinese Crispy Noodles

Typically, the crunchy noodles served at Chinese restaurants are deep fried.

Tasty, for sure, but my skinny jeans aren’t so much of a fan. 😤

So when I make Chinese Crispy Noodles at home, I pan fry them. It means that the very centre of the noodles don’t go 100% crispy like when you deep fry.

But the entire surface area of the noodle “pancake” does get crispy, so as long as you make them fairly thin, you certainly won’t feel like you’ve been cheated of crispiness!!!

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How to make Chinese Crispy Noodles Chow Mein

What you need for Crunchy Chow Mein

Here’s what you need for Crunchy Chow Mein. I’ve separated the photos into two components:

  1. Base ingredients – for the sauce and the crispy noodles; and

  2. Vegetable options for topping – there’s really no rules here. Just use around 4 to 5 cups of any vegetables you want.

Ingredients in Chinese Crispy Noodles with Chicken Vegetable Saucy Topping

Vegetables for saucy topping for Chinese Crispy Noodles

Type of Noodles

This recipe for Chinese Crispy Noodles won’t work using refrigerated fresh Hokkien noodles, egg noodles because they are stickier and wetter so they don’t crisp up as well.

Chow Mein noodles are distinctly drier and a bit crinkly – see image below – and this is what makes it possible to make them crispy in a pan!

Can’t find Chow Mein noodles?

No problem! Just use ramen noodles or instant noodles (see this Ramen Stir Fry recipe for photos). Spray the UNCOOKED noodles with oil and BAKE! (Yes really, it works 100% perfectly)

Chow Mein Noodles

The most important part – crunch retention!!

The idea with this recipe is that there’s plenty of sauce, so it soaks the noodles and makes them soft so they can be picked up with chopsticks like normal noodles.

BUT it’s VERY important to ensure that you retain a SOME crunch! What I like to do is to pour the saucy topping in the centre of the crunchy noodle cake so the edges stay crunchy.

Spooning sauce over Chinese Crispy Noodles (Chow Mein)

The one caveat I have about these Crispy Noodles is that you will make a bit of a mess of yourself eating it. Those darn crunchy noodle bits, they stick out all over the place.

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So when you try to shovel noodles into your mouth, it’s inevitable that some of those crunchy bits stick out and miss your mouth, so you end up with sauce all over your face.

That’s just part of the fun of eating this!! ~ Nagi x

Watch how to make it

More unmissable Asian noodles!

  • Classic Chow Mein – also see the Emergency Chow Mein Ramen recipe!

  • Pad See Ew (Thai Stir Fried Noodles)

  • Thai Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)

  • Char Kway Teow

  • Singapore Noodles

  • Chicken Stir Fry with Rice Noodles

  • Chinese Chicken Salad – with crispy noodles!

  • Express noodles: Quick Beef Ramen Noodles, Chicken Vegetable Ramen Noodles and 12 Minute Thai Chicken Peanut Noodles

  • Browse the Noodle recipes collection!

Originally published August 2014, updated September 2019. Long overdue for an overhaul – new photos, new video, new writing and slightly streamlined recipe. Most importantly, Life of Dozer section added!

Life of Dozer

You have no idea how much time I’ve invested into trying to get him to “bow” on command…..

Dozer bowing at Bayview dog beach

Read more: how to reheat stir fry without microwave | Family Cuisine

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