Panda Express Chow Mein (Copycat)

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Panda Express Chow Mein that tastes exactly like you’re sitting down at the restaurant eating your combo plate except half the oil and it just takes a few minutes to make!

Panda Express Chow Mein that tastes exactly like you're sitting down at the restaurant eating your combo plate except half the oil and it just takes a few minutes to make!Panda Express Chow Mein has been a popular recipe on the blog since the beginning and with good reason. Cabbage, celery and onion sautéed and tossed with Yakisoba noodles in a soy and oyster sauce mixture make for a perfectly recreated food memory. You can take it a step further too and enjoy with my Panda Express Mushroom Chicken (my favorite). Panda Express Chow Mein that tastes exactly like you're sitting down at the restaurant eating your combo plate except half the oil and it just takes a few minutes to make!

zx I think it was a rite of passage as a teenager of the 90s to enjoy a styrofoam container full of this Panda Express Chow Mein, Orange Chicken and Beef and Broccoli. The oily residue on your lips and all over your napkin meant you had just gone for it and gotten the chow mein instead of the healthier white rice or veggies (seriously, who would get the white rice there?)

My go to used to be Potato Chicken, but that got taken off the menu and for the life of me I cannot find a good copycat recipe and I haven’t had it recently enough to try to recreate it from memory. If you want a fan for life, you could point me in the direction of a good copycat recipe of their Potato Chicken! I would seriously love you for it!Panda Express Chow Mein that tastes exactly like you're sitting down at the restaurant eating your combo plate except half the oil and it just takes a few minutes to make!

The best part of this Panda Express Chow Mein is it isn’t even hard to make. There are only a few ingredients and really just a couple of steps. The one thing you want to do is be sure to use Yakisoba noodles. They are the same in texture and flavor and when looking for an exact copycat, that is pure gold!

Sautee veggies, add noodles and add in the soy sauce and oyster sauce. I mean even bottled sauce stir fries take as much work and this is a dish you’ll enjoy much more than that!

About the only place this recipe could go wrong would be with the vegetables. Make sure you slice the onions, cabbage and celery thinly. Put the oil in the pan, set to high. If you have a wok, this would be a perfect time to break it out because woks are made for high heat, fast cooking. The angled sides of a wok help to increase the surface area for browning which speeds up the process significantly!A perfect Panda Express Chow Mein Copycat recipe! The only difference you will find is that it is about half as much oil, so you don't feel so heavy after your meal! Enjoy with my Panda Express Mushroom Chicken Copycat dish!
Let cook for a couple of minutes until it is caramelized a bit. Stir and let more of it caramelize. Add the noodles and toss together. Add the soy sauce and oyster sauce and toss together.

Keeping track of all the Panda Express copycat recipes here on the blog?

As more Panda Express dishes get added to their menu you’ll find the Panda Express Recipe Index that I’ve made of all the recipes on one page updated to reflect new menu items. Panda Express Chow Mein that tastes exactly like you're sitting down at the restaurant eating your combo plate except half the oil and it just takes a few minutes to make!

Tools used in the making of this Panda Express Chow Mein recipe:
Yakisoba Noodles: These noodles are the perfect (easy find) swap for Panda Express Chow Mein if you’re looking online or in the store. There are more authentic versions, like these Chow Mein noodles, but for the money and the ease, buy the packages and ditch the spice packets.
Oyster Sauce: This is a unique flavor and ingredient. If you avoid seafood and want another option I recommend Vegetarian Oyster Sauce (made from mushrooms) but I don’t recommend you swap this out for something else altogether. I know sometimes people recommend Hoisin Sauce as a replacement, it would not give you the authentic flavor here if you do that though.
Soy Sauce: Nothing much to say here except Kikkoman has the best flavor overall and I always recommend reduced sodium.
Wok: Great for high heat, quick cooking. This wok is a great addition to your kitchen if you love cooking Chinese food or stir fries in general.

Recipe

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Panda Express Chow Mein (Perfect Copycat)

4.97 from 32 votes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Course: Main
  • Cuisine: Chinese (sort of...)
  • Author: Dinner, then Dessert
A perfect Panda Express Chow Mein Copycat recipe! The only difference you will find is that it is about half as much oil, so you don't feel so heavy after your meal! Enjoy with my Panda Express Mushroom Chicken Copycat dish!

Ingredients

  • 2 packages of dry Yakisoba Noodles (cooked without spice packets and drained)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion , sliced
  • 8 oz cabbage , sliced
  • 2 oz celery , cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoons oyster sauce

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Sliced the onions and cabbage thinly.
  2. Cut the celery on a bias thinly as well.
  3. Put the oil in the pan, set to high and when the oil is hot add the veggies.
  4. Let cook for a couple of minutes until it is caramelized a bit.
  5. Stir and let more of it caramelize.
  6. Add the noodles and toss together.
  7. Add the soy sauce and oyster sauce and toss together.

Recipe Notes

Adapted slightly from Rasa Malaysia, who is an absolute genius in the kitchen.

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Linked up at: Weekend Potluck & Creative Muster,

Nutrition Information

Yield: 6 servings, Amount per serving: 80 calories, Calories: 80g, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 7g, Sodium: 348mg, Potassium: 111mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 80g, Vitamin C: 14.8g, Calcium: 21g, Iron: 0.3g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keyword: Panda Express Chow Mein Copycat
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Dinner then Dessert TIPS If you are making this Panda Express Chow Mein and you want to recreate more of your favorites but want to take a bit of an easier route, you can look in the grocery store near the soy sauce for pre-packaged Panda Express sauces. I haven’t tried them but I mean they come straight from Panda Express so I would imagine they would be an easy way to have an authentic Panda Chicken dish with these delicious noodles.  Just an idea. I would still make my Mushroom Chicken instead though! 😉

In case you’ve read down this far, here is an original shot of this dish from when it was first pictured on the blog… ah memories! A perfect Panda Express Chow Mein Copycat recipe! The only difference you will find is that it is about half as much oil, so you don't feel so heavy after your meal! Enjoy with my Panda Express Mushroom Chicken Copycat dish!

Panda Express Chow Mein that tastes exactly like you're sitting down at the restaurant eating your combo plate except half the oil and it just takes a few minutes to make!
Panda Express Chow Mein that tastes exactly like you're sitting down at the restaurant eating your combo plate except half the oil and it just takes a few minutes to make!
Panda Express Chow Mein that tastes exactly like you're sitting down at the restaurant eating your combo plate except half the oil and it just takes a few minutes to make!
Panda Express Chow Mein that tastes exactly like you're sitting down at the restaurant eating your combo plate except half the oil and it just takes a few minutes to make!

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Comments

  1. This recipe is a perfect replica. Came it as desired with exception I could have fried the mein maybe 1 minute longer before removing from heat. My family greatly thanks you.

  2. I want to prepared the Panda Express Chow Mein. He recipe calls for Yakisoba noodles. Can you tell me what brand and where you purchased them? It seems the most difficult part of this recipe, lol.

    Thank you in advance. I love using your recipes. Life made easy.

    1. I bought the Yakisoba Noodle brand and just ordered them from Amazon but I know that Walmart and even Target carry them now as well.
      I hope you enjoy it!

  3. Oh my gosh! Got a little crazy and made this with red cabbage, pancit kanton noodles and just a pinch of bonus msg on the veggies because I’m naughty.

    But what can I say? This is incredible! Upon first taste I was literally at the verge of tears! I thought replicating that awesome takeout taste at home would forever be out of my grasp. But lowe and behold, here it is!

    Will totally make this again (but next time with green cabbage!). And it was totally worth making a little smoke to cook this at maximum. The seared smoky flavor it adds is out of this world.

    Thank you so much,
    Matt

  4. This was quick and easy. It turned out great. The kids wanted to add bell pepper and zucchini and it still turn out great. I precooked some thighs and added them at the end. I cooked the thighs in sesame oil and picked out the chicken and used the leftover hot oil to start the vegetables in

  5. This was sooo very spot on! I had everything except the oyster sauce and only had regular ramen noodles. I used the last tbsp of my aldi’s teriyaki sauce in place of oyster sauce, and mixed in a smidgen or so of the shrimp ramen flavor packet from the ramen. It came out so very good we ate all of it (2 of us) along with my personal recipe for fried rice! Carbohydrate coma land, but never will go back, so very near exact flavors of panda express!!! Thank you!!!

  6. Nope we don’t use oyster sauce at panda I work there lol we use a basic sauce which is the secret recipe that no one knows

  7. Made this tonight & the flavor is great! My noodles didn’t end up “crispy” but stuck to the bottom of the pan. Do you think I over cooked them?

    P.S. I also made the chicken & mushroom and ground orange chicken. Yum! Easy too.

  8. This was a very tasty recipe, made a full panda express copycat feast tonight with these noodles, orange chicken and cream cheese Rangoon (all recipes from this website). I live outside the US so couldn’t find the packaged yakisoba recommended and I used regular soba noodles (the kind sold in vacuum packs). My only variation was adding a little more soy sauce at the end. So good!

  9. Yummy!!;we don’t have a panda here or near us, it’s a good 3 hours away! 🙁 I’ma try this tho, my prego cravings are out of control lol
    What do u recommend if I can’t find the soba noodles here????
    .

  10. It turned out fantastic. The recipe is so quick, easy, and budget friendly that I can tell this will be a a weekly or bi-weekly thing (at the very least) in my kitchen. I used Yakisoba Noodles (57 cents at Walmart). The Cabbage and lettuce(around 3 bucks/ with plenty left over) I brought a pot of water to boil, broke up two packs and cooked for no more than 4-5minutes then drained. From then on followed your recipe exact. I got mushroom oyster sauce and soy sauce from local asian market but i wouldn’t be surprised if Walmart had those also. I don’t have a panda express and I don’t need one. Thanks Sabrina

  11. I made this for the first time tonight, and it was delicious. I was initially wondering if it would be enough seasoning, it is such a small amount of soy sauce and oyster sauce, plus there is no garlic or ginger. But the flavor was spot on. There is no need to change a thing. My husband (who doesn’t really care for Panda Express chow mein) and I both loved it. Thanks for a great recipe. 🙂

  12. I just made this tonight and it was wonderful! The noodles didn’t have the same crisp as Panda Express but the taste was spot on. I would welcome any suggestions on how to get the noodles a little crisper next time I make it because I will certainly be making this again. 

  13. After reading all comments I’m a little confused. I know the directions don’t say to boil the noodles, but I don’t understand how they are cooked. Do they just soften once you mix them with the veggies?

    1. Hi Emily, in the ingredients list it calls for:
      2 packages of dry Yakisoba Noodles (cooked without spice packets and drained)

      hope that helps 🙂

  14. Wow this was awesome couldn’t believe it was better than Panda Express in my opinion make it just like the recipe but I did add chicken.
    Our favorite Chinese restaurant closed  in our town so now I have to make my own….. can’t thank you enough for this recipe!

  15. Tried this tonight, tasted great. Had to use 2 containers of the Maruchan brand yakisobi noodles that you make in the microwave. I did have some problems getting the noodles to mix with vegatables but finally got it done. I think you nailed the taste. Something was a little different on the texture(a little softer than panda), but other than that loved it. Thanks for posting this recipe.

  16. I made this for dinner tonight and I cannot believe how absolutely delicious it is. I added some left over rotisserie chicken and served it as a main course. This isn’t five stars, it’s TEN stars. 

  17. I can tell you that oyster sauce is not a ingredient in panda express chow mien, nor is it a ingredient anywhere on Thier menu. All sugars are white, not brown, and white vinegar is used not rice vinegar or rice wine. But otherwise most of your copycats look “close” enough to be be delicious if not BETTER than Thier greasy dishes cooked in a FRYER. happy cooking

    1. So thats the issue, I’ve tried with and without oyster sauce. The version posted tastes EXACTLY like the dish minus the extra oil, so unless there is some sort of proprietary sauce they’re using, I’m not sure where else the depth of flavor is coming from. Would love more insight but I can understand if you’re not allowed to give it out. Also for the white vinegar, I find that their vinegar doesn’t have the same punch the vinegar I use had, so I’ve been recommending rice vinegar for the smoother flavor. Would love to know the strength or brand of white vinegar they’re using. And thanks for the kind words! I love Panda, so making the recipes at home was one of the reasons I was excited to start the blog.