Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein Recipe

Panda Express Chow Mein Recipe

Craving Chinese food at home? This copycat Panda Express Chow Mein recipe is the answer! It tastes so much like the real thing that you might not be able to tell the difference. Inspired by our family’s Christmas Eve party, we organized a Chinese Take-Out night and made this chow mein to feed a crowd. The key ingredients are chow mein noodles, onion, celery, and cabbage. You’ll also need a sauce made from soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger. We’ll also suggest adjustments for different noodles and how adding oyster sauce or Chinese cooking wine can enhance the flavor.

Key Takeaways

  • This recipe is rated 4.92 out of 5 by over 100 reviewers.
  • Uses simple ingredients like soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger to recreate the signature Panda Express chow mein flavor.
  • Versatile noodle options: Yakisoba, lo mein, or ramen can be used.
  • Chow mein can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week and reheated in various ways.
  • A great way to enjoy Panda Express chow mein without visiting the restaurant.
recipe for chow mein from panda express

Savory Chow Mein Noodles Tossed in a Delicious Soy Sauce Blend

This copycat Panda Express Chow Mein recipe gives you the taste you love. It’s made with savory noodles and a delicious soy sauce blend. You can make it at home using simple ingredients, and it tastes just as good as what you get at Panda Express. Enjoy this popular dish without leaving home.

Panda Express Chow Mein

Panda Express Chow Mein Copycat Recipe

Want to try the signature flavor of Panda Express chow mein? Our copycat recipe will show you how using ingredients you likely already have. It’s easy to recreate and tastes very close to the original.

panda express recipe chow mein

Just Like Panda Express’ Famous Side Dish

The secret to our copycat is getting the soy sauce right. We’ve matched the savory, sweet, and umami tastes perfectly. This dish is a dead ringer for Panda Express’ chow mein.

Panda Express Chow Mein Side

Simple Ingredients from Your Own Pantry

You probably have everything you need for this meal in your kitchen. From noodles to veggies and sauce, it all comes together quickly for a tasty dinner without a trip to the store.

Panda Express Chow Mein Ingredients

Chow Mein Noodles

In this copycat Panda Express Chow Mein recipe, the secret is in the chow mein noodles. Use yakisoba noodles, lo mein noodles, or ramen noodles. If using ramen, cook them a minute less for the perfect texture. The type of noodle significantly affects the dish’s outcome, so choosing the right one is key for that original Panda Express chow mein taste and texture.

Yakisoba, Lo Mein, or Ramen Noodles

Many noodle types can work for the Panda Express chow mein. Yakisoba noodles, lo mein noodles, or ramen noodles are all great options. If using ramen, undercook them slightly before stir-frying. This ensures they turn out just right when mixed with the other ingredients.

Undercook Ramen for Best Texture

Using ramen noodles means you should undercook them by 1-2 minutes less than the package instructions. This way, the noodles maintain their chewiness when stir-fried with the veggies and sauce.

Panda Express Chow Mein in Wok

Chow Mein Sauce: The Secret Blend

The key secret in this copycat Panda Express Chow Mein is the soy sauce-based sauce. It uses simple ingredients: soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger. You might also include oyster sauce or Chinese cooking wine for a richer flavor. Mix the right amounts of sweet, savory, and umami to get the famous Panda Express chow mein taste.

Soy Sauce, Brown Sugar, Garlic, and Ginger

This copycat recipe’s chow mein sauce mainly combines soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger. It’s a simple yet powerful sauce that brings everything together, making your homemade dish closely match Panda Express’s chow mein.

chow mein panda express recipe

Optional: Oyster Sauce or Chinese Cooking Wine

To enhance the dish, consider adding a bit of oyster sauce or Chinese cooking wine. These additions will give the dish more umami and depth, making the Panda Express-style chow mein taste even more authentic.

Panda Express Chow Mein Homemade

Stir-Fried Vegetables: A Colorful Medley

This copycat Panda Express Chow Mein recipe includes delicious chow mein noodles and a savory sauce. It also features a mix of stir-fried vegetables, adding color and flavor. The primary vegetables are onion, celery, and cabbage. You can also add other veggies you love, like carrots, pea pods, or broccoli. Cooking these veggies on high heat gives them a bit of char and a smoky taste, similar to Panda Express.

Onion, Celery, and Cabbage

The combination of onion, celery, and cabbage in this recipe brings out great flavors and textures. The onion adds sweetness, the celery provides a crisp crunch, and the cabbage offers a chewy texture. These vegetables are essential for making the chow mein taste just like Panda Express.

Add Your Favorite Veggies

Though the recipe starts with onion, celery, and cabbage, feel free to mix in your favorite vegetables. Consider adding carrots, snow peas, bell peppers, mushrooms, or broccoli. Customize your stir-fry to make your Panda Express chow mein unique.

Panda Express Chow Mein Bowl

Chow Mein vs. Lo Mein: What’s the Difference?

Chow mein and lo mein appear similar but differ in key ways. Chow mein features stir-fried noodles, bringing a slight crispiness with light sauce, keeping them from getting soggy. Lo mein noodles, however, are tossed in a rich, thick sauce, making them soft and easy to slurp.

Chow MeinLo Mein
Stir-fried noodles with a crispy, oily textureTossed noodles in a rich, saucy dish
Lightly coated in sauceGenerously tossed in thick sauce
Typically uses dried or fresh egg noodlesUsually made with fresh egg noodles
Stir-fried with cooking oilRelies on rich sauce rather than stir-frying
Crispy and slightly chewy textureSmooth, soft, and chewy texture
chow mein vs lo mein

Noodle Options for Chow Mein

Recreating Panda Express Chow Mein at home starts with the right noodle. We’ve learned that yakisoba noodles are ideal for their chewy texture, nailing the slightly crispy, yet soft, quality of the original dish.

Yakisoba Noodles: The Preferred Choice

Yakisoba noodles are Japanese wheat noodles that are perfect for this recipe. They maintain their bite while soaking up the soy-based sauce. For the true Panda Express taste, choose fresh or frozen yakisoba noodles.

Lo Mein or Linguine Noodles: A Versatile Option

If yakisoba isn’t available, lo mein or even linguine noodles are good alternatives. Lo mein noodles mimic chow mein’s shape and texture, while linguine noodles offer a similar feel with a slight taste difference. Ramen noodles can also be a choice. Try cooking them a bit less than usual to keep them from getting too soft. Finding the right noodle type is crucial for making your ideal Panda Express copycat at home.

copycat panda express chow mein recipe

Storing and Reheating Leftover Chow Mein

This copycat recipe for Panda Express Chow Mein is perfect for leftovers. With a few simple tips, you can make sure your chow mein is just as tasty the next day.

Refrigerator Storage Tips

Cool your chow mein to room temperature before storing it in the fridge. Use an airtight container to keep it fresh for 4-5 days, preserving the noodles, veggies, and sauce.

Reheating in the Microwave, Stovetop, or Oven

For reheating, you have several options. The microwave offers quick heating, while the stovetop gives you better control. The oven works well for larger portions. Add a bit of vegetable oil to the noodles before reheating to prevent them from drying out. Warm them up until hot but not overdone to retain the special texture and flavor.

chow mein recipe panda express

Serving Suggestions: Pair with Other Asian-Inspired Dishes

This copycat Panda Express Chow Mein recipe pairs well with other Asian dishes. Consider serving it with Kung Pao Chicken or Chinese Barbeque Pork. You can also create a full Panda Express meal at home by adding Sweetfire Chicken Breast or String Bean Chicken to your menu.

The Best Panda Express Chow Mein Recipe You Ever Did See!

Panda Express Chow Mein

Panda Express Chow Mein

This copycat Panda Express Chow Mein recipe is a perfect recreation of the beloved restaurant dish. It features stir-fried noodles with cabbage, celery, and onions, tossed in a savory sauce. It’s quick to make and tastes just like the original!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein, Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein Recipe, Panda Express Chow Mein, Panda Express Chow Mein Recipe
Servings: 4 servings




  • 14 ounces fresh chow mein noodles or yakisoba noodles
  • Vegetables:
  • 1 white onion thinly sliced
  • 4 stalks celery thinly sliced on a bias
  • 2 cups cabbage thinly sliced


  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch optional
  • ¼ cup chicken broth optional


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil or peanut oil
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced


  • Prepare the noodles: Loosen the chow mein noodles by gently rinsing under warm water and drain well.
  • Make the sauce: In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, oyster sauce, cooking wine, brown sugar, sesame oil, and pepper. Stir until blended and sugar is dissolved. If using, add cornstarch and chicken broth for a thicker sauce.
  • Cook the vegetables: In a wok or wide pan over high heat, heat canola oil. Add onions, cabbage, and celery. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the vegetables begin to caramelize.
  • Add the noodles: Add the noodles to the pan and toss to combine. Pour the sauce over the noodles and vegetables, using tongs to mix everything together until the noodles are evenly coated with the sauce.
  • Finish cooking: Stir fry for an additional 2-3 minutes over high heat until the sauce is mostly absorbed and the noodles are heated through.
  • Serve: Serve hot and enjoy your homemade Panda Express Chow Mein!


  • Variations: Feel free to add other vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, or bean sprouts. You can also add proteins like chicken, beef, or shrimp.
  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave in 1-2 minute intervals until warmed through.
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