Beef Lo Mein is a Chinese takeout favorite. It’s an easy homemade dinner with tender steak, flavorful sauce, egg noodles, and vegetables.
If you like this classic Chinese Dinner, you’ll love trying the similar Chicken Lo Mein, the incredible Panda Express Orange Chicken (Copycat), as well as the savory Easy Mongolian Beef.
Beef Lo Mein is a stir-fried noodle dish that is essential in Asian cooking. Thick noodles are combined with your favorite veggies in a savory sauce to make a quick and easy dish. It’s a great recipe for the next time you need a fast, crowd-pleasing dinner. Cook your veggies, noodles and meat in one big pan and have the whole meal ready in no time!
As with any Asian dish, this recipe calls for some authentic flavors from Oyster Sauce and Sesame Oil. These ingredients, while not super common in most American cuisine, is used in Chinese home cooking with as much gusto as ketchup is to the American pallet. There aren’t really any good substitutes for the real thing so make sure you’ve got the best you can!
It’s an easy recipe to stir-fry and quicker than ordering take-out. You can serve your noodles and beef as the main course or on the side other go-to Chinese recipes. Make an at home Chinese buffet with more easy Chinese food recipes like Kung Pao Chicken, Orange Chicken, and Beijing Beef.
How to Make Beef Lo Mein
The batch-process for cooking Beef Lo Mein is pretty straight forward and easy to do. The ingredients get cooked separately and then combined later to ensure the perfect texture. Once you get the steps down, you’ll be cooking this on the regular!
- Step One: Marinade the steak.
- Step Two: Cook the noodles. Set aside.
- Step Three: Cook the steak. Set aside.
- Step Four: Cook the sauce.
- Step Five: Cook the vegetables in the sauce.
- Step Six: Then add the noodles and beef, mix well, top with chopped green onion, and serve hot!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Chow Mein noodles are stir fried with the other ingredients. Lo Mein noodles are cooked separately.
If you’ve tried our recipe for Chow Mein, you may be wondering what the difference is in these dishes. Both Lo Mein and Chow Mein are made with egg noodles that are stir fried with vegetables in a sauce. However, their texture is the key difference.
Once you parboil the noodles, the preparation for the two dishes changes: For Lo Mein you set the noodles aside while you prepare the veggies and beef. However, with Chow Mein, the key is stir-frying the noodles along with the other ingredients. This cooks the noodles to a nice crispy texture. In Lo Mein you only cook the noodles with the rest of the ingredients long enough for them to soak up the flavors of the sauce, but the noodles remain soft.
Yes. Absolutely. Depending on who you ask, they are arguably the same kind of noodle. However, the traditional Chinese noodle always has egg added to it, rather than just wheat flour in many (not all) spaghetti noodles. Your family will love this dish either way!
You’ll want to cut the steak into thin strips, or instead cut them into square-inch cubes. This helps them cook thoroughly and they are easier to chew. To guarantee a good cut, use a sharp and quality knife, like the official DTD Chef’s Knife.
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Key Ingredients for Beef Lo Mein
Most of the ingredients in this recipe can be easily found in your pantry at home, with one exception: oyster sauce.
- Oyster Sauce: As the name suggests, this sauce is actually made from oysters! It is a critical ingredient in most Asian cooking and brings an authentic depth of umami flavor to any Asian dish. You can find it in the international section of most large grocery stores, or easily get your Oyster Sauce online. It is also available in your local Asian market. Be sure to check the ingredients to ensure you’re getting real quality oyster sauce, not artificially flavored sauce.
- Beef: This recipe calls for flank steak. But you can use other noodles like strip steak or skirt steak.
- Soy Sauce: Because there is a lot of sodium in regular soy sauce and the oyster sauce, we recommend using light soy sauce to help cut the saltiness. No salt is added to the dish either. If all you have is dark soy sauce, that will be fine.
- Noodles: We’re using Chinese egg noodles in this recipe.
- Vegetables: There’s carrot, celery, and bean sprouts in this recipe. You can use white onion, yellow onion, or red onion. This recipe is using white onion.
- Sesame Oil: The subtle depth of flavor Sesame Oil adds to Chinese dishes is legendary. It’s an absolute must-have for any serious home chef.
Variations on Beef Lo Mein
- Broccoli Lo Mein: If you would prefer a vegetarian Lo Mein dish, prepare your Lo Mein Noodles with broccoli florets instead of meat. Cook the broccoli with your other vegetables until just softened, but still nice and crisp. The broccoli will go great with the sauce and make an easy vegetarian alternative to beef or other meats.
- Sauce: For more flavors to add to the marinate try adding in hoisin sauce, red pepper flakes, black pepper, or even brown sugar to give the sauce a slightly sweet flavor.
- Vegetables: There are so many different vegetables you can toss in your wok along with the beef, noodles, and other vegetables. Chopped Bell pepper, snow peas, broccoli, or scallions would all make a great additions. Adding water chestnuts would be an excellent choice as well.
Substitutions on Beef Lo Mein
- Oyster Sauce: If there is an allergy to fish, or you just can’t find it in the store, you can substitute Oyster Sauce with sweet and savory Hoisin sauce, sweet Teriyaki sauce, or the little known Mushroom sauce all of which shouldn’t have fish ingredients. Check the label first to make sure.
- Noodles: Although stir fry dishes work best with the Chinese egg noodle, you can use any kind of noodles for this recipe in a pinch. Spaghetti noodles, rice noodles, and even garbanzo noodles will work just fine for home cooking.
- Beef: Instead of making Lo Mein Noodles with beef, try preparing your dish with shrimp, pork, or chicken.
- Sesame Oil: If your in a pinch and just can’t get sesame oil, you can substitute with grapeseed or olive oil. If you happen to have tahini sauce in your pantry, you can get some of the oil that settles on top of that and coat your noodles that way.
- Bean Sprouts: Bean sprouts add a crunchy texture to the Beef Lo Mein. You can substitute with equal parts fresh shredded cabbage.
More Classic Asian Takeout Dishes
How to Store Beef Lo Mein
- Serve: Once cooked, don’t leave your beef and noodles at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
- Store: Keep your beef and noodles in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Let the Beef Lo Mein cool to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container and putting it in the fridge.
- Freeze: To keep Beef Lo Mein longer, store it in the freezer for 2-3 months. Let the beef and noodles cool to room temperature, then store them in a freezer bag or other airtight container to keep in the freezer.
- 1 pound flank steak , sliced
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Lo Mein Noodles
- 10 ounces egg noodles
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
Stir Fry Base
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
Beef Lo Mein Sauce
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
Beef Lo Mein Vegetables
- 1 carrot , julienned
- 1/2 cup onion , sliced
- 2 stalks celery , chopped
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and ¼ cup soy sauce to steak and marinade for 15 minutes.
- While the steak marinades, cook the egg noodles one minute shy of the directions on the package.
- Drain and toss noodles with sesame oil in a bowl to coat. Set aside.
- Heat two tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat.
- Cook the marinated steak slices in batches for 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through.
- Remove steak from the pan and add in the ginger and garlic and cook them for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add in the water, two tablespoons soy sauce, cornstarch, one tablespoon vegetable oil, and oyster sauce into the skillet. Mix well.
- Add in the carrot, onion, and celery and cook for 1-2 minutes before adding back in the steak and egg noodles.
- Add in the bean sprouts, toss all the ingredients together well and serve.
Photos used in a previous version of this post:
Do you think that ramen noodles could be substituted for the Chinese egg noodles in this recipe?
Chinese noodles that are similar to ramen include yi mein, a type of egg noodle, and Hong Kong-style wonton noodles. Yi mein is thicker than ramen, but it can make for a delicious substitute. Wonton noodles are also similar to ramen, with a thinner texture and slightly chewier taste
Easy to make and so, so good!
So easy and so good. Don’t skip any steps, like oiling the noodles after cooking. Also make extra sauce, it’s delicious.
recipe was not clear at all. Had a hard time with it.
the noodles, vegetables and sauce werent divided in the recipe so you didn’t know what oil was for what.
i am so sorry you had a hard time Nancy! What would you suggest so that others don’t have a tough time?
I want to try this recipe, but I am allergic it fish. Is there a good substitute for oyster sauce?
Hi there, there are many replacement options for the sauce. They would be Soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, Worcestershire sauce with soy sauce, Teriyaki sauce and/or Mushroom sauce.
hope this helps !!
Leanna, there are vegetarian “oyster sauce” varieties out there. The one that I prefer is Lee Kum Kee. It is available in most Asian markets and I’m sure online as well.
The recipe was good. I would like to suggest to put the ingredients for the marinade separate from the sauce as their are 2 sets of measurements for low sodium soy sauce.
So, who knew that bean sprouts are hard to find when you live in the middle of rural western Maryland!? Do you have a suggestion for what I could use instead? Bok choy or Napa cabbage maybe? I’d love that fresh crunch, but am a bit unsure what to use…
I havent tested it with anything else but those sound like they could work!
Stacy, try thin slice cabbage. Also, try to get your local Walmart to get them in or go to a Chinese restaurant and ask if you might purchase some from them!
OMG! This meal was FABULOUS! A little background: My son, age 24, has never had Chinese food. He has a severe (anaphylactic) allergy to sesame seed. We’d pretty much decided he’d never be able to taste it…until now! I started with your Sesame Chicken recipe, and I substituted the sesame oil for perilla oil. You had to see the look on his face when he tasted it! (We’ve had to rename it Tempura Chicken, just so he doesn’t get skeeved out.) I was thrilled to finally be able to feed him something that tasted exactly the same as takeout! Not wanting to be a one-trick-pony, I then moved on to the beef lo mein, which I just made 30 minutes ago. SUCCESS #2! Absolutely delicious! We’re now discussing all the other things he hasn’t had the chance to eat, so thank you! I’m only an intermediate cook and I found your directions succinct and easy to follow. You have made my YEAR with your recipes! Thank you again~
That’s amazing to hear! Thank you!!!
Wow, I couldn’t be happier to see how these recipes have been a positive influence for your family’s life. I am so enamored with the love you’re putting into cooking for your family, it makes my heart want to burst. Thank you!
Really simple and delicious beef lo mein. This is my first attempt with beef and with lo mein noodles but the results are fantastic because the directions are so easy to follow. I’m getting better at cooking with a wok and this recipe is now in my rotation. Now I’m looking at all your other recipes and the website for more ideas. Thanks!
Great job, Dan! I look forward to seeing you around the site.
In the ingredients you have celery and in the instructions there is no mention of celery. It says to add cabbage. In the marinade you say to add 2 T soy sauce with sesame oil. In the instructions 37 you say to add water soy sauce, cornstarch, vegetable oil and oyster sauce into the skillet. I already used the soy sauce. I am not an amateur home cook, but your directions are not good!
Wow, I really needed another pot of coffee before posting this one. Thank you for letting me know of all of the issues.
You have some errors in your recipe for Beef Lo Mein. Cabbage is not listed in your recipe ingredients and a little confusing to follow. It was good though.
Thank you for informing me. I’ve adjusted the recipe card to read correctly now.
Cabbage or celery?
Cabbage not in ingredients list?
You could actually use either but I ended up using celery. I’ve adjusted the recipe card to read correctly now. Thanks!
On the list of ingredients, y’all left off the amount/type of cabbage.
I ended up using celery so I’ve edited it to read correctly now.
Sounds delish, Sabrina, But in your directions, you mention cabbage, yet in your list of ingredients, there is no cabbage. Could you please clarify this?
I decided to use celery instead of cabbage. Thanks for letting me know that needed to be corrected.
Thanks for the recipe which looks great…
In instruction 8 you wrote: “Add in the carrot, onion and CABBAGE and cook for 1-2 minutes…”
The cabbage wasn’t mentioned amongst the ingredients — while the celery stokes ingredient wasn’t mentioned in the Instructions…
I believe it was just a typo error…
Uri Barlev in Tel Aviv, Israel
It definitely was an error. So sorry about that. I’ve edited it now so hopefully you decide to try it.
You have the very best website I have ever come across. Best of all, you have THE VERY BEST RECIPES! Super easy to follow as well as being really good!!!
Thank you so much, Deena.
The ingredients do not include cabbage but the directions do so if included, what kind of cabbage?
I decided to use celery instead of the cabbage. Sorry about the confusion.
Thanks for posting and sharing with us. We love your Chinese dishes, and we plan to make this soon. Hope your holidays were good. Myself, Family, and everyone appreciates Sabrina and all that she does with Dinner-Then-Dessert.
Thank you so much!
#8 states add in cabbage, but it is not listed in the ingredients, how much cabbage and what type of cabbage
recipe looks delicious, will be trying it
I ended up using celery for this recipe. I hope you enjoy it!
This looks delicious, but the cabbage isn’t addressed in the recipe.
Please correct! Thank you.
It’s been corrected, thank you!