Panda Express Chow Mein (Copycat)

6 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

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.

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Panda Express Chow Mein (Perfect Copycat)

Perfect Panda Express Chow Mein Copycat with about half the oil! It tastes exactly like you're eating a combo plate with your favorite side.
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Chinese (sort of...)
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 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.



Calories: 80kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Sodium: 348mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 14.8mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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!

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 cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, 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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  1. Question… can you use Ramen noodles and get the same results or does it need to be Yakisoba to get the Panda Express results?

    1. If you’re looking for more of the Panda Express style, I’d use Yakisoba. If you’re not worried about that, ramen will work in a pinch too. Enjoy!

  2. I used red cabbage (better for you) it took a little longer to cook than the green, but it was delicious!!

    I also used Braggs Aminos -way less sodium.

  3. Sabrina how do you determine how much sodium is in this recipe? It says Sodium: 348mg, but on the Panda Express website it says their chow mein has Sodium 860mg.

    1. My site as an automatic calculator based on the ingredient list. I’m not a nutritional site so I would calculate it on your own using the ingredients to give you a more accurate number.

  4. Yey those noodles are nothing like panda express chow mein. They don’t look anything like the photo above. Flavor was ok, but didn’t compare to Panda and not much better than a cup of noodles.

  5. Bough chow mein noodles that were dry from Vons grocery store. There was no instructions on how to cook them, so I just boiled them for a few minutes. I added everything that needed to but to be honest, it lacked flavor. I ended up using the sweet chili sauce to save this dish. In my opinion, it did not taste like panda. But It is a nice try.

  6. I made this last night and it was quite good. I made it pretty close to as printed. I used packaged cole slaw mix angel hair cabbage. I did add some garlic and a bit of ginger. The onion was half regular onion and half green onions. For the noodles I bought some A-SHA tainan noodles. They were similar to the Ramen noodles but about 5 times the price. They were no where close to the noodles used at Panda Express. They were thinner and had little body to them. I think spaghetti would have been a closer match. So while the recipe was quite tasty it did not really remind me of Panda Express. The following is unrelated to this recipe but I wanted to share it anyway. I only recently found out how much I liked Panda Express Chow Mein. I had avoided it just because of the name. My only exposure to Chow Mein had been that awful canned LaChoy Chow Mein back in the ’50s. Someone talked me into trying it and I was hooked. I will try this again but look for a sturdier noodle. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Adam, Where do I get the exact same noodle that Panda uses? I see other people saying that the Yakisoba noodle does not compare to Panda noodles. I would really like to try this recipe and have it turn out like Panda Express. Thank you in advance!

  7. Hi Sabrina!
    Thank you very much for the recipe! I tried it out before; it tasted VERY close to the original, so thank you!
    I found a website regarding a recipe for potato chicken. I don’t know if this is what you’re looking for – or whether you may have already found it. FWIW… here it is. 🙂

  8. I find these noodles are way too thin and ate completely wrong texture to compare to the chow mein at Panda.

    I have never found a chow mein I like… Panda is the only one I LOVE …

    Thanks for trying

  9. Did it exactly as the recipe shows even used panda express oyster sauce and it did not taste at all like panda express chow mein. Maybe it was the noodles I didn’t use dry noodles I used the kind in the package that are already cooked. It had a weird salty sour taste to it.

  10. The BEST. Thank you. Try to stick to recipe in exact quantities, it works. But after the first try, you might like to double the veggies, maybe double the sauce and add some hoisin, add a bit of shredded carrot, diced green onion, etc. BUT! This is my go to recipe for Chow Mein now, and I do change up the ingredients from time to time… you can even just use spaghetti in a pinch! I bought the Yakisoba noodle on amazon and they are the bomb. Plus, left overs make awesome stir fry next day. Use your imagination but this recipe is what’s UP! Thank you for your web site Sabrina, lots of awesome recipes!

  11. are you talking about the yakisoba noodles that come in those instant microwave packages? I wasn’t sure so just bought lo mein noodles…I hope they work the same

  12. I can’t find yakisoba noodles anywhere! Can you give me a good substitute that’s very common in the supermarkets?

  13. I was wondering would I be able to use just regular soba noodles or do I have to use Yakisoba noodles?

  14. Could you fix your site so that when you print out a recipe the picture of the dish prints also.

    Thank you

  15. My mom is allergic to all shell fish and I am allergic to mushrooms. Both are severe, life-threatening allergies. With this in mind, what can I substitute for the oyster sauce? I love these noodles. My daughter and I always get them at Panda Express. My daughter even gets a large order to take home with her. This would really make her happy, to be able to make this in the wok she got for Christmas!

    1. You can use additional soy sauce instead of oyster sauce for this recipe. I know that some people add in a few drops of Worcestershire sauce into the soy sauce to replace the taste but Worcestershire sauce has anchovies and even though it’s not a shellfish, it does contain a protein similar to it so just make sure that’s safe for her before using. Hope this helps!

    1. I’d say it’s about 4 cups of fresh noodles. You can always add more or less to your preference. Enjoy!

  16. Do I follow the directions to cook the yakisoba noodles before adding them to the Wok?
    The recipe doesn’t say.

  17. Hi.. I rarely post anything anywhere… this is my 2nd post in my life ever! That doesn’t mean that I haven’t found some great recipes…. BUT THIS one– kept it real, easy and OUT OF THE PARK!! Thank you for sharing. In my husband’s words…. ” I’ve been looking for these noodles ALL my life!” Lol. 🙂 Thank you for making us ALL look good.
    Kept to the recipe, other than adding julienne carrots, red peppers and mushrooms.
    Thank you so much again! God bless

  18. hi sabrina..i get really sick from any fish there a big difference if i leave it out of any of the dishes??..ty

    1. You don’t want to leave it out. This recipe uses oyster sauce which is different than fish sauce. You can swap out fish sauce in other recipes with Worcestershire sauce. If you want to sway oyster sauce, I would recommend a vegetarian version.

    1. They are either going to be near the ramen noodles or in the asian food sections, in the stores I’ve been to anyways.

  19. 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.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to come back and let me know how much you all enjoyed it! I appreciate the 5 stars.

    1. Thank you so much! I’m going to make this ASAP!! If it turns out well, I’m going to post it. You’re amazing!

    2. We LOVE this recipe! When we are craving chow mein noodles this is our go too. My teenage boys say they like it better then Panda now. They’ll even make it themselves. Thank you so much!

    1. For everyone that is having trouble finding the Yakisoba noodles, they are right next to the Ramen noodle packets that everyone lived on in college. They are even made by the same company I believe and look very similar to the packets of Ramen, they just say Yakisoba noodles on the front instead of Ramen. So they will be typically on the pasta aisle or dry/canned food aisles, in that area of the grocery store. You may be able to find fresh Yakisoba noodles in the fresh produce area. I know most grocers carry wonton wrappers and other fresh Asian pastry/pastas in that area. Hope that helps.

      P.S. for all of the people that are concerned about the taste of oyster sauce and comparing it to fish sauce or saying they’re allergic to things or having other issues, if you have eaten at panda express and you have had the chow mein and not substituted anything, you will love this recipe and you should not die from any ingredients as they are the same you had at the restaurant.?

  20. 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!

  21. 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,

  22. 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

  23. 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!!!

  24. 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

  25. 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.

  26. 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!

  27. 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????

  28. 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

  29. 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. 🙂

  30. 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. 

  31. 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 🙂

  32. 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!

    1. Getting cut off from your favorite source of Chinese food can be a tragedy! I’m happy I could give you another outlet to make your own!

  33. 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.

  34. 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. 

  35. Is oyster sauce made from oysters? Sounds dumb, I know, but I’m not a fan of seafood and wondering if there might be a substitute to use instead. Thanks!

  36. 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.