This bbq pork chow mein is delicious, comforting, and easy to make! Anyone who loves Chinese style noodles is going to love this perfectly savory and slightly sweet chow mein that totally hits the spot with every bite! It's way better than takeout!
This bbq pork chow mein recipe is inspired by how my mum used to make hers. It was always a favorite with my family and it's sure to become a hit with yours as well! It's way better than getting takeout chow mein and is easier to make than you may think!
The main components to this recipe are:
- Chinese dried egg noodles OR fresh steamed chow mein noodles
- BBQ pork (cha siu)
- Bean sprouts
- Green onion
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- White pepper
How To Make the BBQ Pork Chow Mein
As with most Chinese dishes, prepare all the ingredients ahead of time because cooking happens very quickly. In this case, you want to rinse the bean sprouts, slice the onion, carrot, and green onion, and chop the bbq pork.
In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, salt, and white pepper; mix and set aside.
Fill a medium-sized pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water starts to boil, heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
Add the noodles to the pot of boiling water and reduce the heat to medium. Stir the noodles with chopsticks to loosen.
In the skillet or wok over medium-high heat, add about 2 tablespoons of neutral-flavored oil (I use extra light olive oil). Add the sliced onions and carrot and saute for about 1 minute.
Add the bbq pork and cook for another minute.
Stir the sauce ingredients and add to the wok. Add the beansprouts and mix everything to combine.
Once the noodles are loosened in the pot of boiling water, drain them in a colander. Shake off any excess water and immediate add the noodles to the wok along with the green onions.
Using two spatulas or a spatula and a spoon, lift and mix all the ingredients together. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 2 minutes to heat through.
Commonly Asked Questions
Thinly sliced chicken or raw shrimp are good substitutions for the bbq pork. If you use these, make sure they are cooked before adding the noodles, and keep in mind that raw shrimp cooks much faster than raw chicken.
Substitute the bbq pork with mushrooms (Chinese mushrooms/shiitake mushrooms are nice u0022meatyu0022 choices). You can also add other vegetables like sliced bell peppers, sliced cabbage (regular or napa).
No, they contain egg. You can try substituting the chow mein noodles/egg noodles with vermicelli pasta. It is not quite the same, but it would be passable.
No, Chinese egg noodles are not gluten-free. You could try substituting with rice noodles which won't give the same result, but, like vermicelli pasta, they would be passable.
Yes! Put it in a resealable freezer bag and squeeze out the air before sealing it closed. Freeze for up to 2 months. To reheat it, defrost it in the fridge and then microwave it or stir-fry it in a pan to heat through.
You can find bbq pork anywhere they sell Chinese barbecue/roasted meats. Sometimes you might be able to find them in the freezer section (already cooked) in Asian supermarkets.
What to Serve with the Chow Mein
The bbq pork chow mein is a meal all by itself. I, personally, love having it with some chili crisp or hot sauce...just like my mum did! However, if you're serving a meal and want some other dishes to go with it, these are great options:
- Asian Pork and Shrimp Meatballs
- Crispy Crunch Cornflakes Chicken
- Crispy Roast Pork Belly (Siu Yuk)
- Dry Rub Roast Pork Neck
Other recipes you might like
As I mentioned, this bbq pork chow mein recipe was inspired by how my mum used to make chow mein when I was a kid. If you're interested in other dishes inspired by my mum that might also be nostalgic to you, check out these recipes:
- Chinese Almond Cookies
- Steamed Egg and Minced Pork Patty
- Savory Chinese Winter Solstice Soup
- Crispy Chow Mein Noodles
- Chinese Taro Cake (Woo Tau Goh)
- Noodle Egg Foo Young
- Rice Cooker Chinese Sticky Rice
Besides being a very nostalgic dish for me, this bbq pork chow mein is also a favorite with my own family...and my friends love it, too! This homemade chow mein beats takeout chow mein any day and is totally worth the effort for you to make yourself! It's sure to be a winner with your family!
BBQ Pork Chow Mein
- ½ lb. dried Chinese egg noodles (See Notes 1 & 2 below)
- ½ lb. BBQ pork, cut into strips
- 2 tablespoons extra light olive oil (or any neutral flavored oil)
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into thin strips
- ½ onion, sliced thinly
- 100 grams fresh bean sprouts, rinsed
- 1-2 stalks green onions cut into 1 ½-inch lengths
- Make sure the carrots, onions, bean sprouts, green onions, and bbq pork are all cut/prepared and ready before you start cooking.
- Combine light soy sauce, honey, salt, sesame oil, and white pepper in a small bowl and stir. Set aside.
- Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. At the same time, heat a wok (or large skillet) over medium-high heat.
- Add the chow mein noodles to the pot of boiling water, reduce heat to medium, and stir with chopsticks to loosen, about 1 minute.
- To the wok, add the oil, then add sliced onions and carrots. Stir-fry for about 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add the BBQ pork to the pan and cook about 1 minute.
- Drain the noodles in a colander and quickly rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and to prevent the noodles from sticking together. Using kitchen shears, make 2-3 cuts through the noodles.
- Stir the reserved sauce and add to the wok, mixing with all the ingredients. Add the bean sprouts.
- Add the chow mein noodles and green onions to the wok.
- Using two spatulas or two cooking spoons, lift and toss all the ingredients in the wok to mix.
- Continue to mix until noodles are heated through and ingredients are well combined. No liquid should remain at the bottom of the wok.
- Make sure to buy egg noodles that are dried and wrapped up in bundles or "nests". They might be called Hong Kong egg noodles.
- If you can find them, steamed chow mein noodles are also perfect for this dish. They can be found at Asian supermarkets in the refrigerator section and might be called "steamed chow mein", "chow mein pan fried noodles", "Hong Kong style pan fried noodles", "Chinese style chow mein noodles", etc.
- Boil the noodles until they are just loosened. They will continue to cook more once added to the wok/pan with the other ingredients.
- Substitute the BBQ pork with chicken, beef, or shrimp.
- If you substitute the BBQ pork with a different protein or with vegetables, you may have to adjust the sauce to compensate for the flavor you would be missing from the pork. You could also marinate the chicken, beef, or shrimp before cooking it with the noodles.
- For a vegetarian version, substitute the bbq pork with Chinese/shiitake mushrooms and other vegetables like sliced bell peppers, celery, etc.
- For a vegan version, substitute the chow mein noodles with vermicelli pasta. It won't be exactly the same, but it will suffice.
- For a gluten-free version, use tamari or liquid aminos in place of the light soy sauce and substitute rice noodles for the chow mein noodles.
- The chow mein freezes well! Store in a resealable freezer bag and defrost before heating up in the microwave or giving a quick stir-fry in a wok.
** This recipe was originally published February 12th, 2018 and republished September 26th, 2023 with an updated recipe, new photos, and new writing.