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). 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!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!
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?
- Panda Express Orange Chicken
- Panda Express Mushroom Chicken
- Panda Express Firecracker Chicken Breast
- Panda Express Chow Mein (you’re here!)
- Panda Express Fried Rice
- Panda Express Black Pepper Chicken
- Panda Express Kung Pao Chicken
- Panda Express Beijing Beef
- Panda Express Mandarin Teriyaki Chicken
- Panda Express Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Panda Express String Bean Chicken Breast
- Panda Express Honey Walnut Shrimp
- Panda Express Cream Cheese Rangoon
- Panda Express Beef and Broccoli
- Panda Express Sweetfire Chicken Breast
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.
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.
- 2 packages 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
- Slice the onions and cabbage thinly.
- Cut the celery on a bias thinly as well.
- Put the oil in the pan, set to high and when the oil is hot add the veggies.
- 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.
- Enjoy with Panda Express Mushroom Chicken.
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!
I’m giving it 3 stars because it wasn’t ‘bad’, and there are ways you could use it that it could work perfect or if you are good in the kitchen, use it as your base and improve it. It was just really really bland. So bland that I tried doubling the sauce, then added pepper. But because it was so bland, it just tasted like eating pepper. :/ my kids wouldn’t eat it because of all the cabbage and veggies in it, so I made them a separate batch with just sauce. They declared it ‘ok’, but one son said he didn’t like the aftertaste. They love the Ah-sha noodles from Costco. I thought this could be a great healthy homemade version, but no. I served it with teriyaki chicken, and another son said the noodles were better when you ate them with the chicken. So if you have a strong flavored protein that you want to chop up and add to the noodles, that’s about the only time I think this recipe is worth making. Or if you want to add to it (maybe garlic or red pep flakes, or??), you could use this as a base. It was easy and pretty fast (chopping takes most the time).
I followed the recipe exactly, and used 2 bundles (about 3/4 inch thick bundles of noodles) of Chinese lo mein noodles from QFC (Wei-chuan brand)
Aw shucks. I’m sorry it disappointed you.
Love This Recipe!!!Can’t wait to make this again. My son and boyfriend really thought they were eating from Panda. The Oyster sauce is so delicious, I recommend that on rice and noodles. Such a huge difference. Thank you again.:-)
I have made this a number of times and it has turned out great everytime. Thank you for sharing.
Panda Express doesn’t use oyster sauce. Too many people have allergies.
Thanks Dale for bringing this to my attention. I decided to take the time to google a number of their recipes and simply googled, “does Panda Express use oyster sauce” as well. Oyster sauce was mentioned a number of times? Sorry for the confusion.
I made this but I used rice noodles as my daughter has celiac. Turned out great.
I posted earlier today but am not seeing my comment as of yet. Maybe it hasn’t been approved. Anyway, I wrote something to the effect of: I don’t own a kitchen scale so trying to figure out how much celery and cabbage to use was a little bit of a guessing game. I prepped 3 cups of cabbage and 3 celery ribs, thinly sliced. I stated I would come back tonight after making it to see if the portions were ok. Well, I’m back and I’ve made it. I believe the portions were good. I didn’t find it to be similar to Panda Express. I wouldn’t call it a copycat meal. It was ok, but not the best. Not sure if I’ll be making it again.
I’ll be making this tonight. Prepping my veggies right now. I don’t have a kitchen scale so these measurements are difficult for me to interpret. I’m going to attempt this with 3 cups of cabbage and 3 stalks of celery and hope for the best. Will come back to comment after I make it if the measurements were off. Thank you!
This is great have made it four times now due too requests. You must use Oyster Sauce!!!!! It does not taste the same if you substitute anything for it.
Amazing yummy and delicious I used some brown sugar in it though because I feel like panda chow mein tasted like it had brown sugar in it yumm
How much brown sugar and how did you add it?
My family really liked this. I feel like this tasted pretty similar to Panda Express. I added a bit more soy sauce than the recipe called for. If people think this doesn’t taste like panda then it’s probably because it isn’t loaded with msg. We will be keeping this one for the future.
How many tablespoons (or cups) is 2 ounces celery?
I added a bit of the top ramen pork seasoning packet onto the noodles for more flavor.
To the sauce I added a lottle brown sugar & tiny bit of sesame oil.
We liked this recipe.
Very yummy and very quick and easy. Tastes a lot like Panda.
Tastes nothing like Panda Express anyone who says that has to have never tasted Panda Express before. It not only doesn’t taste like panda it tastes bad. I would give zero stars if I could.
This has become a favorite at my house! My two teen boys beg for it week after week. I make it as is and it is so yummy! My pickiest eater gobbles it up. I pair it with teriyaki chicken thighs. So good! Thank you!
I’ve tried a couple of other Panda Express Chow Mein copycat recipes but this is by far the best! Just like PE but tastes fresher and healthier, which of course it is. The Yakisoba noodles in the produce section of my grocery were already cooked which made this recipe even easier – I just opened the packages and put them in my wok with the veggies, broke them up with a wooden spoon and cooked them until they were hot. My husband isn’t a huge fan of chow mien but he loved this so I will definitely be making it again. Thanks for a great recipe!
This really is a copy cat! Made exactly as written, used a mandolin to get really thin celery and onion slices and used a bag of angel hair shredded cabbage for convenience. My kids are loving it!
My 17 year old son is a Panda fanatic and said this tastes exactly like the the restaurant version. It was super easy to make and delicious! I’ve now made it several times. Now I just need a copy cat recipe for their teriyaki chicken.
They came out good but they dont taste anything like panda express… they taste like noodles with soy sauce on them
Wow!!! Just made this for lunch. It took minutes and was so delicious, even my picky husband loved it. This is going to become a staple in our home. Yum! Thank you for the recipe!
Your instructions weren’t clear that the noodles need to be cooked separately before adding them. Maybe would be good to add that to the recipe.
The first ingredient is “2 packages dry Yakisoba noodles (cooked without spice packets and drained)”.
So how are the noodles cooked? Some noodles must only be blanched while others need to be cooked for 2 to 3 minutes. It would be helpful to have some direction on how long to cook, especially if you use dry vs. fresh noodles. Thank you!
Follow the directions on how to cook the noodles on the package itself. Skip the steps that involve adding in the seasoning packets. Instead, add the noodles to your wok when these directions tell you to. I imagine she didn’t add those directions to her recipe because A.) Seems like that is the obvious answer. Especially since she clearly stated, “2 packages dry Yakisoba noodles (cooked without spice packets and drained” in the notes of ingredients listed above the recipe.” And B.) As you said, not all noodles are prepared the same way. So, instead of nit picking at the author of the recipe, use the same logic that lead you to state that not all noodles are cooked the same way. I’m sure if you had done so you would have came to the eventual conclusion that following the noodles instructions would be the logical answer to your ridiculous statement. ?
that what a great question, I also wondered.
Hi Susan, The first ingredient is “2 packages dry Yakisoba noodles (cooked without spice packets and drained)”. Hope that helps.
I agree. It’s very bland.
How many ounces of yakisoba noodles does this recipe call for? There are different package sizes.
This is better tasting than Panda! My kids who are very picky eaters devoured them. My son, who usually picks out the panda veggies, actually ate the veggies. They both said I need to make these again.
This was absolutely delicious and amazing. Tastes JUST like panda express’s chow mein. Im obsessed especially with how easy AND cheap it is!!! Thank you for sharing
My noodles seemed to be very soggy even tho i drained them ?
Mine too. It became mush
I use your recipe for this ALL the time. PERFECT. I highly recommend to everyone if you crave the Panda.
These were fantastic! Easy to whip up and taste delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Thank you for trying this recipe, I’m glad you enjoyed it!
Hi! I’m excited to try this recipe, and had a quick question. I’m a college student, and try to make meals in advance when I can. Are these good leftover, or should I make smaller batch? Thank you!
Hello Regan, this recipe has a total of six servings which I would say would make a great leftover or addition to another meal.
Specifying the type of cooking oil would be very relevant and helpful!
Hi David! It works with any oil.
I really wanted to like this recipe – it’s soooooo easy to make and I love that – but I just couldn’t find the flavor similarities to Panda Express. It’s a good and easy chow mean recipe but if you’re looking for a copy it’s not close.
Simple, quick, and delicious! I’ve used this recipe a few times now and it never disappoints!
Thank you for sharing!
Per your request for this recipe.
Ingredients for making potato panda express potato chicken
To marinate the chicken
Thank you Susan! A quick search found that Chef Andy from Panda had shared a version of it, so I am going to recipe test that one!
I just made this today and absolutely loved it! I had it with asian sesame seed broccoli and sweet asian salmon. The dish was so flavorful! This recipe is a keeper! Thank you for sharing.
Just made this for family dinner and it was a hit! I needed a one pan recipe and added a half pound chicken tenderloins sliced into small thin pieces and about half cup of shredded carrot. Doubling or even tripling the recipe is a cinch and really simple to cook. I’m stuffed and am very happy I found these recipes! Thank you so much!!
Yay!! Thanks for coming back to let me know how much you enjoyed it.
Made the Chow Mein and it was amazingly good. So quick and easy. Will definitely make this again really soon. Can’t wait to try your other dishes. Thank you so much!!!!
What brand of yakisoba noodles do you use? The Maruchan ones? I’d love it if you could post a picture of a link to the ones you use. Thanks!
There’s a link to the ones I use (which are Maruchan) and there’s a link in the Tools used section above the recipe. Enjoy!
checking in the oriental/rice isle i found a really GOOD noodle that is versatile by oriental select farms. the Chuka Soba Japanese style noodles are my fave.
I made this tonight. It’s great! Even the pickiest among us liked it! I added sautéed chicken, but otherwise made it as written. Thanks for the recipe!
Very tastey and so easy.
This may be a stupid question, but I cook the noodles first, right?
How did you come up with the nutrition facts for the Yakisoba noodles? I bought all the stuff to make these tonight but I’m on a diet and I’m so confused trying to log this! 1 container is 500 calories and 70g carbs, I know that includes the seasoning packet but even without it I can’t imagine how you got down to 3g carbs. Help!
It is auto generated by a plug in on my site so if you’re needing to follow specific dietary needs, I’d suggest computing it on your own to ensure it’s accuracy. I’ll have my developer look into it though.
I was wondering the same thing. I can’t imagine this is only 3g of carbs
Delish! Super fast and easy and TASTY!
I make the Mock Chow Mein all the time… Sometimes with rice and scrambled eggs replacing the noodles!!! So easy and delicious!!!! I no longer crave Panda Express all the time!!! Thank you!!!!
love chinese with sprouts
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