How Do You Make Panda Express Chow Mein

Ever wanted to ask the girl behind the counter "how do you make Panda Express chow mein?" If you really want to learn how to make a clone of Panda Express chow mein, know that it can be done, with the right ingredients. Most Panda Express chow mein "copycat" recipes floating around the net have a couple of glaring problems: the noodles, and the seasoning oil. Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to enjoying some top-notch chow mein.

To make Panda Express style chow mein you will need:

  • two tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil, divided
  • four sliced scallions
  • three cups coarsely shredded napa cabbage
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • one cup chicken broth
  • tbsp. soy sauce
  • tbsp. untoasted sesame oil
  • tbsp. corn starch
  • two tbsp. water
  • red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 pound dry chow mein noodles
  1. Prepare chow mein noodles according to the package directions. Drain, toss with a tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil and set aside.
  2. Heat a tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet. Add scallions, cabbage, spouts and celery and stir-fry for about three minutes, or until vegetables start to wilt. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.
  3. Add cooked chow mein noodles to wok or skillet and stir fry for about two minutes, until hot. Return vegetables to the pan with noodles.
  4. Combine sugar, broth, soy sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl. Pour over mixture in the wok, and stir to coat.
  5. Combine corn starch and water in a small bowl. Add to pan, stirring until sauce thickens.
  6. Season with red pepper flakes to taste, and serve.

Many copycat recipes will suggest using vermicelli as the noodle. Vermicelli is a fine noodle that works well in many Asian dishes, but chow mein isn't one of them. Chow mein noodles are made of wheat flour, and have a darker color and distinct flavor. When shopping for chow mein noodles, look for a package of dry long noodles that resembles spaghetti (a common U.S. brand is Annie Chun's).