Beef Lo Mein

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 in skillet

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.

Beef Lo Mein in skillet

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! 

More Noodle Recipes

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between Lo Mein and Chow Mein?

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.

Can I use spaghetti noodles instead? 

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!

How do I cut the steak for Beef Lo Mein?

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

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. 
Beef Lo Mein in skillet

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.

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Beef Lo Mein

Beef Lo Mein is a Chinese takeout favorite. It's an easy homemade dinner with tender steak, flavorful sauce, egg noodles, and vegetables.
Yield 6 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Chinese
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

Beef Marinade

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

Beef Lo Mein Vegetables

  • 1 carrot , julienned
  • 1/2 cup onion , sliced
  • 2 stalks celery , chopped
  • 1 cup bean sprouts

Instructions

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 290kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 755mg | Potassium: 399mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1758IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 3mg
Keyword: Beef Lo Mein
Beef Lo Mein in skillet pin 1

Photos used in a previous version of this post:

Beef Lo Mein collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. So easy and so good. Don’t skip any steps, like oiling the noodles after cooking. Also make extra sauce, it’s delicious.

  2. 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.

    1. 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 !!

    2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

    1. 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!

  5. 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~

    1. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

    1. Wow, I really needed another pot of coffee before posting this one. Thank you for letting me know of all of the issues.

  8. 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.

    1. You could actually use either but I ended up using celery. I’ve adjusted the recipe card to read correctly now. Thanks!

  9. 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?

    Thank you!

  10. Hi,
    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…
    Kindly clarify…
    Thanks again,
    Uri Barlev in Tel Aviv, Israel

  11. 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!!!

  12. 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.

  13. #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