Chicken Chow Fun
This Chicken Chow Fun is quick and easy to make in under 30 minutes, and full of savory-sweet and spicy notes. Tender chicken pieces, chewy wide rice noodles, and crisp veggies get tossed with a delicious savory sauce with a hint of sweetness!
Friends, is there anything better than an easy noodles stir-fry on busy weeknights…or ANY night?!
Please say hello to my new stir-fried noodles addiction – this Chicken Chow Fun! 😍
We have fat chewy rice noodles, tender chicken pieces, crisp veggies, fragrant aromatics, and everything gets tossed in the most delicious savory umami-packed sauce with just a hint of sweetness!
These stir-fried noodles are typically made with beef in Hong Kong. However, I LOVE the tender texture of the thinly sliced marinated stir-fried chicken breast in my homemade version of this classic Cantonese noodles dish!
While this dish is quick and easy to make, it isn’t your typical dump-into-wok-and-toss stir-fry. To yield restaurant-style results, you have to char and partially cook ingredients in batches first before stir-frying and combining everything together. Don’t worry – this doesn’t make the cooking process much longer, and you’ll still have these tasty noodles on the table within 30 minutes.
But going the extra mile ensures that you’ll get a delicious, non-soggy chow fun in spite of not having a big burner with a super high heat output like restaurants at home! 🙌
Why This Recipe Works
- It’s quick and easy to make on any given weeknight, and on the table in under 30 minutes!
- Partially cooking the chicken first, and charring the veggies and noodles before combining everything together prevents you from yielding a soggy noodles stir-fry.
- Thinly slicing the chicken breast results in an incredibly tender texture once cooked.
- It’s customizable with your choice of protein if chicken is not your thing, and can be made vegetarian/vegan or gluten-free if needed.
- Marinated Chicken: I used chicken breasts and sliced them very thinly. You can use chicken thighs if you prefer and cut them into bite-sized pieces. I’ve tossed the chicken in a marinade made with corn starch, Shao Xing rice wine, low sodium light soy sauce, sesame oil, ground white pepper, and kosher salt. If using iodized table salt, use a little less than half the amount specified since it is more salty than kosher salt.
- Fresh Flat Wide Rice Noodles: These are known as ‘hor fun’ or ‘ho fun’ in Cantonese, or ‘shahe fen’ (沙河粉) in Mandarin. You can find them in Asian supermarkets, or at stores that sell fresh noodles and dumpling wrappers. (If you can’t find fresh wide rice noodles, you can use dried ones. See notes in the recipe card below on how to prepare them before proceeding with the stir-fry.) I’ve tossed the noodles with some sweet dark soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and a pinch of sugar. For the sweet dark soy sauce, you can use a Thai one like the one I’ve used in my Pad Kee Mao Gai (Thai Drunken Noodles with Chicken), or kecap manis. The sugar in the sweet dark soy sauce helps the noodles to char. Use a Chinese dark soy sauce for color – it is less salty and slightly thicker than light soy sauce, and it not as sweet as the sweet dark soy sauce.
- Stir-fry Sauce: A savory-sweet sauce to dress the noodles with. It’s made with a combination of low sodium light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, and oyster sauce.
- Red Chilies: Although not typically used in chow fun, I used some Bird’s Eye red chilies to make this noodles stir-fry spicy! Feel free to omit them if you are not big on spicy foods. Or use less to suit your heat level preference.
- Mung Bean Sprouts: Try to get the ones with the root part trimmed off already as they’re what are typically used in restaurants in Hong Kong. If you can’t, no worries. You can trim the root part if you like, or simply leave them on. Look for bean sprouts in Asian supermarkets (outside of Asia) or in wet markets or supermarkets if you’re based in Asia.
- Yellow Chinese Chives: These are milder and sweeter than green Chinese chives (also known as garlic chives), which have a garlicky and oniony flavor. Look for them in an Asian supermarket if your based outside of Asia. In Asia, you can find these in wet markets and supermarkets. Substitute with either green Chinese chives or more spring onion (scallion/green onion) if you cannot locate them.
- Oil: Use a neutral flavored oil with a high smoke point (i.e. canola, peanut, vegetable oil, etc.) for cooking.
Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.
How to Make Chicken Chow Fun
- Stir-fry the onion, spring onion, and Chinese chives. Add a little oil to the wok and stir-fry over high heat, until slightly softened and charred. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Cook the chicken. Add a little bit of oil to the wok. Then add the marinated chicken and stir-fry until 80% cooked. (The chicken will finish cooking later when we bring everything together.) Transfer to a bowl, then wipe out the wok with paper towels and set it back on the stovetop.
- Char the rice noodles: Add a little more oil into the wok and heat over high heat. Add the rice noodles and cook for a few seconds. Then toss and allow to cook for another couple of seconds. Repeat once more if needed, until the noodles are slightly charred. Remove to a clean bowl.
Now it’s time to stir-fry everything together for the chicken chow fun!
4. Stir-fry the aromatics. Heat the remaining oil in the wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add and stir-fry the garlic, ginger, and red chilies until fragrant.
5. Add the charred rice noodles. Season with ground white pepper and kosher salt, and stir-fry briefly to combine.
6. Add the veggies, chicken, and sauce. Add the charred onion, spring onion, yellow chives, and the chicken and the resting juices in the bowl. Stir-fry for a few seconds to combine. Then pour in the sauce and toss to combine.
7. Add the bean sprouts. Toss for 20 seconds, until combined well and slightly softened. Switch off the heat.
8. Serve! Divide the noodles evenly onto plates. Serve immediately, and with Chinese chili oil on the side if desired.
Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Use a well-seasoned wok or a large nonstick wok.
- Prepare all your ingredients before you start cooking. This chow fun stir-fry goes by very quickly.
- To revive the bean sprouts, place them in a bowl of water in the fridge while you prepare the other ingredients. Then drain and rinse just before you start cooking. They will look and taste fresher by doing this.
- Don’t slice the yellow onion too thinly. They will get soft and soggy in the stir-fry if they are too thin and we want them to still have a little crunch.
- Cut the chicken as thinly as possible to get the best and tender texture from the chicken breast meat. If you stick the chicken breast in the freezer for 30 minutes, it’ll be easier to slice it very thinly.
- Use tongs to lift and toss the noodles to prevent them from going soggy. A spatula may encourage clumping and result in mushy noodles.
Chow fun is a Cantonese stir-fried flat wide rice noodles dish made with meat (beef usually in Hong Kong), Chinese chives, bean sprouts, spring onion, ginger, garlic, and soy sauces – light soy sauce for flavor, and dark soy sauce for a little bit of flavor but more so for color. Some versions will also add a little oyster sauce. The noodles used to make a chow fun noodles stir-fry are made out of rice flour and water. Some versions will also include cornstarch to make the noodles more chewy, or tapioca starch to help make the noodles more transparent.
You can find the flat wide rice noodles (known as ‘hor fun’, ‘ho fun’, ‘shahe fen’ – 沙河粉) to make a chow fun stir-fry in Asian supermarkets if you’re located in Western countries outside of Asia. If you’re based in Hong Kong, you can find the noodles at specialty noodles and dumpling wrappers shops all over the city. If you’re interested, you can try making your own fresh flat wide rice noodles at home.
I do not recommend freezing the cooked chow fun as the texture of the rice noodles will be altered, and the noodles will become soggy after thawing. However, you can buy and freeze the flat wide rice noodles. Place the uncooked rice noodles in a freezer-friendly container or sealable freezer bag and freeze for up to two months. To thaw, place in the fridge overnight or for a few hours before you plan to cook them. Once completely thawed, you can use them for cooking.
- Make it vegetarian/vegan. Omit the chicken and add more stir-fry friendly veggies such as sliced mushrooms, carrots, bell peppers, snow peas, bok choy, choy sum, etc. You can even add some crispy pan-fried tofu cubes to make the veggie chow fun more substantial.
- Use a different protein. Swap the chicken breast for sliced pork fillet (pork tenderloin), beef flank steak, shrimp/prawns, or crispy pan-fried tofu. If using beef, I recommend adding ¼ TSP baking soda to the meat marinade. It will help make the beef more tender and give it a melt-in-your-mouth texture.
- Make it gluten-free. Use a gluten-free soy sauces, replace the Shao Xing rice wine with dry sherry, and use a gluten-free oyster sauce.
- Make it mild/spicier. Omit the red chilies to make a non-spicy chicken chow fun. Or add more red chilies if you prefer an even spicier noodles dish.
More Easy Noodles Stir-fries
- Spicy Pork Pad Thai
- Sichuan Sauce Noodles Stir-fry (with Jumbo Prawns)
- Creamy Spicy Korean Udon Noodles with Bulgogi Chicken
- Pad Mee Korat (Pad Thai’s spicier cousin!)
- Or browse the entire Noodles and Stir-fry recipes collections.
MADE THIS RECIPE? If you make this recipe, leave a comment below and let me know how you liked it! Take a photo and tag it with @thatspicychick on Instagram and hashtag it #thatspicychick and I’ll be sure to share your masterpiece!Print
Chicken Chow Fun
Tender chicken pieces, chewy wide rice noodles, and crisp veggies get tossed with a delicious savory-sweet sauce in this quick & easy Chicken Chow Fun.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 10
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 3 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stir-fry
- Cuisine: Chinese
For the Chicken Marinade:
- 250 grams / 8.81 ounces boneless and skinless Chicken Breasts (or thighs) – cleaned, pat-dried, thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 TSP Corn Starch
- 2 TSP Shao Xing Rice Wine
- 1.5 TSP Low Sodium Light Soy Sauce
- ½ TSP Sesame Oil
- ¼ TSP ground White Pepper
- ¼ TSP Kosher Salt (use a little less than half the amount if using iodized table salt)
For the Stir-fry Sauce:
- 2 TBLS Low Sodium Light Soy Sauce
- 1 TSP Dark Soy Sauce
- ½ TSP White Sugar
- 1 TSP Oyster Sauce
For the Chicken Chow Fun Stir-fry:
- 350 grams/12.35 ounces fresh Flat Wide Rice Noodles
- ½ TSP Sweet Dark Soy Sauce (the thick and viscous type such as a Thai one or kecap manis)
- 1 TBLS Dark Soy Sauce
- ¼ TSP White Sugar
- 3 TBLS + 2 TSP Canola or Peanut Oil (or any other neutral flavored oil with a high smoke point)
- ½ Yellow Onion – sliced
- 5 Garlic cloves – minced
- 1 TBLS minced Ginger
- 2–10 Red Chilies (I used Bird’s Eye, but any hot red chilies will work), to taste – chopped
- 1 Spring Onion – cut into 1.5-inch pieces
- 50 grams / 1.8 ounces Yellow Chinese Chives – cut into 1.5-inch pieces
- 75 grams / about 1.5 cups Mung Bean Sprouts
- ¼ TSP ground White Pepper
- ¼ TSP Kosher Salt, to taste
- To Serve: Chinese Chili Oil (optional)
- Prepare the fresh ingredients: Prepare the yellow onion, garlic, ginger, red chilies, spring onion, and yellow Chinese chives as indicated in the ‘Ingredients’ section. Place the mung bean sprouts in a bowl of water and place in the fridge for 15 minutes to revive them. Then drain into a fine mesh strainer and rinse.
- Marinate the chicken: Clean and pat-dry the chicken breasts, then slice as thinly as possible into bite-sized pieces. Add the chicken to a medium-sized bowl, followed by the corn starch, Shao Xing rice wine, low sodium light soy sauce, sesame oil, ground white pepper, and kosher salt. Mix with a spoon until combined well, then set aside.
- Make the sauce: Whisk together the low sodium light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, white sugar, and oyster sauce in a measuring cup or small bowl.
- Prepare the rice noodles: Combine the fresh rice noodles, sweet dark soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and white sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Use your fingers (or tongs) to gently toss until the noodles are evenly coated in the sauce mixture.
For the Chicken Chow Fun:
- Stir-fry the onion, spring onion, and Chinese chives: Heat 2 teaspoons of canola oil in a large wok over high heat. Once hot, add the yellow onion and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the spring onion and Chinese chives and stir-fry for another 15 seconds until slightly wilted. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside.
- Cook the chicken: Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in the wok over high heat. Once hot, add the marinated chicken and spread the pieces out in the wok. Stir-fry for a minute, until 80% cooked and no longer pink. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside. Wipe out the wok with paper towels and set it back on the stovetop.
- Char the rice noodles: Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in the wok over high heat. Once hot, add the rice noodles and cook for 15-20 seconds. Then toss and allow to cook for another 15-20 seconds. Repeat once more if needed, until the noodles are slightly charred. Transfer to a clean bowl and set aside.
- Stir-fry the aromatics: Heat the remaining tablespoon of canola oil in the wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the garlic, ginger, and red chilies. Stir-fry for 30-40 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the rice noodles: Add the charred rice noodles, ground white pepper, and kosher salt. Stir-fry briefly to combine.
- Add the veggies, chicken, and sauce: Add the yellow onion, spring onion, Chinese chives, the chicken and the resting juices in the bowl. Stir-fry for 20 seconds to combine. Then pour in the stir-fry sauce and toss for 10-15 seconds until everything is evenly coated in the sauce.
- Add the bean sprouts: Add the bean sprouts and toss for 20 seconds, until slightly softened. Then switch off the heat.
- To Serve: Divide the noodles evenly onto plates. Serve immediately, and with Chinese chili oil on the side if desired.
- Fresh flat wide rice noodles. These are known as ‘hor fun’ or ‘ho fun’ in Cantonese, or ‘shahe fen’ (沙河粉) in Mandarin. Look for them in Asian supermarkets (outside Asia), or at shops that sell noodles and dumpling wrappers if you’re based in Asian cities. If unavailable, you can try making this dish with 175 grams/6.2 ounces dried wide rice noodles. Prepare them as per package instructions, then drain and rinse with cold water. Toss the noodles with a bit of oil (to prevent them from sticking) in addition to the sauces as indicated in step 4 of the ‘Prep’ section. Note that the texture will be different and not as great as using fresh wide rice noodles. So try to seek out the fresh noodles if you can, or have a go at making your own fresh wide rice noodles.
- Red chilies: Use less or more to suit your heat level preference, or omit if you prefer a mild noodles stir-fry.
- Mung Bean Sprouts: Try to get these with the roots trimmed off as that’s what is typically used in restaurant versions in Hong Kong. If you can’t find them with the roots trimmed off, buy the regular type and trim the roots off at home, or leave them on if it’s too much hassle. The noodles will taste good without or with the root part.
- Yellow Chinese chives: These are milder and sweeter in flavor in comparison to their green counterparts. They can be found at Asian supermarkets and wet markets. If unavailable, you can substitute with green Chinese chives or more spring onion.
- Storing: This chicken chow fun is best eaten immediately after cooking, and I do not recommend refrigerating or freezing it as the texture will altered when microwaving to reheat them and when thawing.
- See ‘Variations’ section in the post above if you’d like to customize this chow fun, and for more tips.
- Recipe adapted from Susan Jung at SCMP Cooking.
- Serving Size: 1 plate
- Calories: 745
- Sugar: 19.5g
- Sodium: 997.8mg
- Fat: 40.3g
- Saturated Fat: 6.2g
- Unsaturated Fat: 33.6
- Trans Fat: 0.1g
- Carbohydrates: 71.2g
- Fiber: 5.6g
- Protein: 31.6g
- Cholesterol: 63.8mg
Keywords: chow fun noodles, chicken chow fun, chicken hor fun
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