A quick easy and tasty meal, try out this fakeaway beef chow mein!
Beef Chow Mein on plate with chopsticks

A really easy, quick and tasty meal, this beef chow mein is a fab homemade fakeaway that you will be making time and time again.

In my recipe I have used beef, but you can switch this to any protein of your liking including vegetarian and vegan meat alternatives to suit. The beef is an excellent pairing tool for the noodles which many find difficult to tolerate.

The key with getting lovely tender beef chow mein is buying thicker beef steaks and slicing it really thin yourself (rather than buying premade stir fry strips) and then leaving the beef to marinade. I like to use beef rump steak which I remove the fat from and then slice as thinly as I possibly can approx. 2-3mm thick. You need a very sharp knife to do this.

Beef Chow Mein on plate with chopsticks

Beef Chow Mein

A quick easy and tasty meal, try out this fakeaway beef chow mein!
4.75 from 12 votes
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Course: Main Meals
Cuisine: British, Chinese
Diet: Diabetic
Keyword: beef, Chinese, noodles
Free or Subscription Recipe: Free Recipe
Free from: coconut, dairy, nuts
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 621kcal
Author: Jo Paterson


For the beef marinade

  • 600 grams beef steak (rump or fillet work well)
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda (to help tenderise the meat)
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil

For the chow mein

  • 2 nests egg noodles (or noodles of your choice)
  • tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ medium onion sliced into wedges
  • 2 whole spring onions chopped (reserving some for garnish)
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 150 ml cold water
  • 200 grams beansprouts
  • 100 grams pak choi root removed & sliced in half lengthways
  • ¼ tsp xanthan gum (optional) as needed
  • 1 whole red chilli finely chopped (optional for garnish)


To prep the beef

  • Buy beef in steaks (avoid using pre-sliced beef stir fry strips), and slice as thinly as possible 2-3 mm in thickness, removing all fat. Place the sliced pieces of beef into a bowl or dish
  • Sprinkle over the bicarb of soda, soy sauces and oil, then using your hands mix into the beef so that it is covered in the marinade
  • Cover and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This can be done the night before or in the morning ready for cooking later
  • Remove from the fridge 15 minutes before cooking

To make the chow mein

  • Cook the 2 nests of noodles as per the packet instructions (typically around 4 mins in boiling water) then drain and rinse well in cold water to remove excess starch and set the drained cooled noodles aside
  • Pour the oil into a wok or large deep sided pan and turn the heat to high
  • Once the wok is very hot, add the beef (be careful the oil will spit!), spread it out across the pan, then leave to sear for 30 seconds – 1 min (do not be tempted to move the beef around the pan, it needs to sit and seal), then flip the beef pieces over to sear on the other side. It should be just caramelized (browned at the edges)
  • Add the onion and spring onions and stir for a minute
  • Add the crushed garlic and stir
  • Add the noodles and leave to sear for 30 seconds, then stir around the wok to loosen them slightly, then let them sit again for 30 seconds and stir, then add the pak choi
  • Pour in half of the water, the soy sauces, stir and bring to a boil. Add the rest of the water if you would like more sauce
  • Add the beansprouts, stir well and cook for a minute
  • The beef chow mein can be served at this point, or if you feel the sauce is too runny you can add the xanthan gum and stir well to thicken the sauce
  • Add a garnish of sliced spring onion, sesame seeds and/or sliced red chillies if you would like a kick!


I’ve used dry egg noodles in this recipe, however I keep the amount small to reduce the carbs in the dish with plenty of protein to help pair.
You can switch the type of noodles used to one you tolerate well, including using high protein noodles if you wish.  Please note, many find noodles difficult to tolerate, hence the amount in this recipe is reduced.
If you use a carb free noodle alternative such as courgette noodles, it’s important to still incorporate a small serving of starchy carbs into this dish to avoid higher levels of ketosis
I’ve use onions, pak choi and beansprouts in this recipe as I feel these make the best ‘fakeaway’ version of chow mein for us which we all enjoy. More vegetables can be added to your liking such as peppers, mushrooms, courgette, green beans, mangetout, spinach and broccoli. If adding vegetables that take longer to cook such as broccoli or green beans, it is beneficial to par-boil or steam these before adding to the dish.
Avoid adding starchy vegetables such as root vegetables like carrots, potatoes or sweetcorn as this will make the chow mein much more difficult to tolerate.


Calories: 621kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 41g | of which saturates: 19g | Fibre: 3g | of which sugars: 4g