Panda Express Chow Mein Copycat is ready in minutes and tastes just like the restaurant's you would think it's take-out! Recreate your favorite noodle dish cheaper and better at home!
Back when I was working a regular job, Panda Express was my lifeline. Although I love to cook, the last thing I wanted after a long day's toil was worry about what's for dinner and a couple of combo plates picked up on my home from work regularly saved me from the angst of having to throw together a meal.
Now that I am that blogging full-time, I no longer have the luxury of excusing myself from my cooking duties with "I am too tired from work". Besides, G and I both agreed to streamline our household food expenses and that means less eating out and more home cooked meals for us.
So what does one do when she's craving for her favorite Panda Express chow mein but she's too cheap to cough up the dough? She learns how to make it herself. 🙂
Good thing Panda Express Chow Mein Copycat is so quick and easy to recreate at home. So quick and easy in fact, it's ready to enjoy in less time it would take to wait in line at the restaurant!
What sets Panda Express chow mein apart from other restaurants' is its delicious noodles. I've scoured every Asian supermarket I know trying to find the exact noodles
but without success and finally found it at Seafood City! This brand of stir-fry noodles is so spot on in taste, looks, and texture to the Panda Express original, you'd be hard-pressed convincing people it's not take-out!
If you can't find this type of noodle I used, Japanese Yakisoba or our very own Pancit canton noodles make reasonable substitutes.
Tips on how to make Panda Express Chow mein copycat:
- Stir-frying is a quick process so have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start.
- To prevent the noodles from getting soggy, cook them about 1 minute or so less than the suggested cook time on the package and rinse in cold water right away. They will finish off when stir-fried with the rest of the ingredients.
- Cut the vegetables in uniform and bite sizes to ensure even and fast cooking.
- The sauce will taste pretty strong and salty but don't worry, it will balance out once mixed in with the rest of ingredients.
- To toss the ingredients freely and without spills, use a wok or a wide skillet with high sloping sides.
- Use tongs to stir-fry to help keep the noodles intact and lessen breakage.
- Cook on high heat to sear the food quickly and to lock in the vegetables' natural juices.
Give this chow mein copycat a try, it's cheaper to make at home and tastes so much better! In the mood for more Asian food? Forget takeout and make your very own "combo plate" with Panda Express firecracker chicken, Panda Express sweet fire chicken, and shrimp fried rice. Enjoy!
Panda Express Chow Mein Copycat
- 14 ounces stir-fry noodles
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 onion, peeled and sliced thinly
- ½ head cabbage, sliced thinly
- 4 stalks celery, sliced thinly on a bias
- In a large bowl, soak noodles in hot water for about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well.
- In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, oyster sauce, cooking wine, brown sugar, sesame oil, and pepper. Stir until blended and sugar is dissolved.
- In wok or wide pan over high heat, heat canola oil.
- Add onions, cabbage, and celery. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the vegetables begin to caramelize.
- Add noodles and sauce mixture. Using tongs, gently stir together until combined and evenly coated with sauce.
- Continue to cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through and sauce is mostly absorbed. Serve hot.