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Recipe  •  13 May 2024


Traditional Taiwanese Chow Mein

If you were to ask my dad which of all the dishes my mom makes is his favorite, he would say Taiwanese chow mein.

This recipe has been perfected and passed down from my grandma. It has the perfect combination of salty and slightly sweet and uses simple pantry condiments for the sauce. My mom made it all the time when we first immigrated to Canada because of how accessible all the ingredients were. Don't leave out the fried shallots-they make this dish truly special.

Similar to the other noodle recipes in this section, you can easily modify it based on what you have in the fridge.

Serves: 2



  • 2 tablespoons black vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper

Chow Mein:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • ½ cup dried shrimp
  • 140g pork belly, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups finely chopped white cabbage
  • ½ grated peeled carrot
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 package (6¼ ounces / 180g) fresh thick chow mein noodles
  • 2 tablespoons Fried Shallots (page 249)
  • 2 scallions both white and green parts, cut into 2-inch pieces


  1. Make the sauce: in a small bowl, stir together the black vinegar, light soy sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce, sugar, and white pepper.

  2. Make the chow mein: Heat the olive oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the shallots, mushrooms, and dried shrimp and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mushrooms start to sweat. Add the pork belly and saute until the pork is no longer pink, another 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Add the cabbage and carrots and mix together. Pour in the water, cover with the lid, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the cabbage starts to soften. Add the noodles, fried shallots, and the sauce and mix well. Cover and cook until the noodles are fully cooked, another 2 to 3 minutes.

  4. Add the scallions, increase the heat to high, and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Serve immediately.

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