[VIDEO] Quick stir-fried beef and vegetable chow mein

This gently spiced chow mein is yet another extremely quick and tasty meal to prepare. If I am well organised, it can be prepared in under 10 minutes, from start to finish, including cooking the noodles. 

Chinese and Asian food has always been a big hit with Archie. The interesting flavours are never overpowering and noodles dishes in particular give him the opporunity to make a big mess and use his chopsticks! One of the interesting upshots of the “baby led weaning” approach which we adopted was how much Archie tried to emulate how we eat. I think he first insisted on picking up a chopstick when he was 9 or 10 months old as to him it seemed entirely logical that if we were using them, he should use them too. He is hardly proficient but it all adds to the fun and play element that we have always to considered an important part of eating together. This fun and play element (together with a high mess threshold in the early days) has definitely contributed, in my opinion, to the healthy relationship Archie has around food and eating…

Quick stir-fried beef chow mein

Preparation time 5 minutes, cooking time 10 minutes maximum.
This served three of us with some seconds too. Add an extra 60g of noodles for a fourth person.
If you are vegetarian, the dish works perfectly without the beef.

250g tender beef (I used rib-eye)
300g fine noodles
150g sliced chestnut mushrooms
150g asparagus, cut into 2cm long pieces
2 Pak Choi, coarsely chopped
2 crushed cloves of garlic
A 1.5cm cube of fresh ginger, finely chopped
Five-Spice powder
A small tsp of cornflour
Oyster sauce
Sesame and groundnut (or vegetable/sunflower) oil

  1. Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet
  2. Finely slice the beef and briefly marinade it with a few drops of soy sauce, a pinch of the five spice powder, a dash of sesame oil and the cornflour.
  3. Heat the wok up until it is smoking hot. Add 1 tbsp sesame and 1 tbsp groundnut oil. When the oil is very hot, add in the beef and seal it for about 30 seconds. Remove it from the pan and leave to rest in a bowl.
  4. Add the garlic and ginger to the wok, followed by the mushrooms, asparagus and pak choi.
  5. Stir fry these vegetables for 3 or 4 minutes, until they are soft.
  6. Add in 2 tbsp of oyster sauce, 1-2 tbsp of soy sauce and 1 tsp of the five spice powder.
  7. Add a small glass of water and leave it to simmer for about a minute.
  8. Add the beef back in to the wok, carry on cooking for another 30 seconds and then finally add in the noodles, stirring vigorously to cover the noodles in the sauce. You may also want to cut the noodles by chopping down with your spoon as you stir.
  9. Once all the sauce has been absorbed into the noodles, the chow mein is ready to be served immediately. We add some chilli sauce to ours once it is at the table to give it an extra kick!


  1. we are definitely going to try this. we have a fantastic chicken & noodle soup recipe that will go well before this.

    • Thanks a lot Richard. If you get a minute, perhaps you could post the noodle soup recipe here? I’d love to know how you make it… I am going to be featuring one in the new year… Thanks again…

  2. Love your style! great idea. you make a good team.

  3. I love the 'I'm ready now'.

  4. More of a general question – what does corn flour do better than wheat flour? Also, when would you use oyster sauce over fish sauce? Thanks!

    • Good question, I mean questions! Corn flour – for reasons unbeknown to me! – somehow tenderizes the meat when it is dipped in it. Normal what flour does not have the same effect. I use fish sauce a lot. In fact, no reason not to put it in this dish. I put it in most stir fries and most marinades I do! But I specifically use oyster sauce in this because it really does match so well with the beef… For me, oyster sauce is more of a sauce in its own right, whereas fish sauce is more of a seasoning… Hope that helps.Nick


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *