Char Siu Chow Mein

Char Siu Chow Mein (BBQ Style Roast Pork Noodles)

This Char Siu Chow Mein recipe is a fantastic way of using delicious roast pork with fresh egg noodles in a savoury, umami sauce. It’s a super versatile dish and can be adapted easily to use whatever herbs and green vegetables that you’ve got available. A quick, filling and intensely moreish dish which comes together in less than 20 minutes – what’s not to like?

Char Siu chow mein noodles

Fast & Easy Chinese BBQ Pork Chow Mein

I’m a big fan of Chinese food and luckily, there are some amazing Chinese restaurants in Paris. However sometimes I really want to make my favourite British Chinese classics at home. Luckily with the right ingredients, it’s super easy to make in my own kitchen and Char Siu is no different.

Char Siu (叉烧 in Mandarin) is a Cantonese style of roast pork (usually pork shoulder) that’s marinated in a sweet & salty BBQ sauce and roasted. The result is a super moreish juicy bit of pork that goes well with so many things. Char Siu by itself is fantastic with steamed rice and green vegetables although I love the leftovers after making a big batch!

I typically make it one a month specifically for egg fried rice and chow mein. I use my recipe for incredibly easy sous vide Char Siu pork for my chow mein. It freezers particularly well and makes for a tasty mid-week meal! So read on if you want to know how to make an incredible, low effort noodle stir-fry dish.

What You’ll Need

To make Char Siu Chow Mein you’ll need to prepare your ingredients before you turn your wok (or pan) on! The basis of any Chow Mein prep involves:

  • Noodles
  • Sauce
  • Aromatics
  • Protein (in this case, Char Siu)

Once you’ve got your ingredients prepped and ready to go you’ll be eating within 5 minutes!

Char Siu chow mein recipe

Char Siu (Roast BBQ Pork)

For this recipe I’ve used my own home-made Char Siu pork that it’s been cooked and left to cool in the fridge. You can certainly use store bought Char Siu from your local Asian market if you can’t make it yourself.

I use pork collar which is a cut just up from pork shoulder which works just as well for Char Siu. Ideally you want slices around 1 inch / 2.5 cm thick to ensure that your slices in fried rice or chow mein aren’t too thin.

For the marinade I simply use Lee Kum Kee’s Char Siu sauce which I actually adore. It’s a lot more simple and gives the pork that signature take-out taste! I season the pork with salt and mix the marinade with a pinch of red food colouring (this is totally optional!). This give the pork its signature red colour and, let’s be honest, we eat with our eyes! The pork can then be marinated overnight for maximum flavour.

Char Siu roast pork

I cook my Char Siu Sous Vide for 8 hours before finishing off with a blow torch to give it a wonderful charred flavour. You can of course cook it in the oven at 180c/355f for 50 minutes.

Egg Noodles

For this Chow Mein recipe I use fresh egg noodles that you can easily get in any Asian grocery store. You can always use dried egg noodles or even dried Yaki Soba noodles which work really well for stir fries.

egg noodles for stir fry


For the vegetable element I like to keep it relatively simple. I use sliced white onion to add some crunch along with beansprouts and spring onion/scallions. Garlic is absolutely mandatory for Chow Mein as it gives it that signature flavour.

vegetables for chow mein

You can also add any other vegetables that you like (there really isn’t an authentic recipe!) – you can try:

  • Chilli (I added a few slices of red chillis for a bit of background heat)
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Bok Choi
  • Broccoli

Chow Mein Sauce

The sauce is relatively simple and the key is to use dark soy to give the noodles the signature Chow Mein colour. Chow and Lo Mein are traditionally a dry noodle dish so don’t expect anything too saucy here. That said I do like to keep the noodles on the wetter side so I’ve used a bit of chicken stock to keep it loose. The main base for sauce uses:

chow mein ingredients Char Siu
  • Oyster Sauce: Oyster sauce isn’t traditional for Chow Mein but it certainly gives it a take-away flavour and natural umami.

  • Dark & Light Soy Sauce: Dark soy gives the stir-fry the traditional dark colour whilst the light soy seasons the dish.

  • Chicken Stock: A tiny amount of chicken stock is used to add more flavour and keep the noodles nice and loose.

  • Shaoxing Wine This traditional Chinese cooking wine adds sweetness and a more complex background flavour. Sherry can be used as a substitute.


Makes enough for 2 people.

  • 150g Char Siu pork, cooked and thinly sliced
  • 250g egg noodles, fresh
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced
  • 2 handfuls of beansprouts
  • 2 scallions/spring onions, greens only, sliced plus extra for garnish
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 50ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp dark soy
  • 1 tbsp light soy
  • 1 tbsp shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp MSG (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • Red chilli, as required

How To Make Char Siu Chow Mein

  1. Precook your noodles according to packet instructions, drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking.

  2. Preheat your wok and once smoking, add 1 tbsp cold oil to season. Remove oil and return to heat. Add 1 tbsp of oil to the seasoned wok.

  3. Once smoking, add sliced onion and stir fry for 1 minute. Then add bean sprouts and spring onion and continue to stir fry for 1 more minute.

  4. Add your sliced Char Siu, garlic and chilli if using and stir fry until garlic is fragrant.

  5. Add your noodles followed by the liquid ingredients. Toss to combine all ingredients.

  6. Season with MSG, white pepper and sugar and serve immediately.

What Else Can you Make With Leftover Char Siu?

Leftover Char Siu is so versatile, you can use it in so many dishes. My favourite is to serve it with noodles or in egg fried rice.

You can also reheat it and serve it in bao wrappers along with coriander, scallions and some of the tangy BBQ sauce!

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