Our Version of Panda Express Chow Mein

Panda Express Chow Mein from FavFamilyRecipes.comI think technically this is a “Lo Mein” recipe but we will stick with “Chow Mein” because that is what Panda Express calls it. Either way.. this recipe is always a HIT at our house! It tastes just like the chow mein at Panda Express (which I love)! I was craving Panda Express at the time I created this recipe but didn’t want to go to the restaurant to get it. I was making our Orange Chicken recipe for dinner and I felt like something besides plain, white rice. Usually when I am willing to spend a little extra time on dinner I make our restaurant-style fried rice recipe to go with the main dish (which I also love…. it tastes just like the fried rice at Panda Express), but I was in the mood for something I hadn’t tried my hand at before… the Panda Express chow mein. It. was. perfect. Let me just tell you.. since that night we have made this at least a dozen times. Now we switch equally between the fried rice and the chow mein (if I’m not lazy and just do white or brown rice). Since originally posting this recipe, I have taken this dish to several parties and it is always a huge hit… everyone always comments how it tastes just like Panda’s recipe.

Anyway, you are going to love how cheap and easy this is to make. It makes about 4-5 good-sized servings and actually re-heats well if you happen to have leftovers. Pair this with a couple of our other Asian inspired recipes (click HERE) and you can have a full-on family style Chinese take-out night at home for a fraction of the price of going out!
**In this recipe you can add a shake or two of sesame oil to the vegetable oil to add a deeper flavor–but don’t overdo it! I am not including it in the recipe because the sesame oil flavoring can become overpowering real quick if you aren’t careful. Plus, I have made it both ways (with and without sesame oil) and they both taste great.

Our Version of Panda Express Chow Mein
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • ¼ c. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 (5.6 oz) packages refrigerated Yaki Soba noodles (found in the produce section of the grocery store.. usually the 3 packages are sold together in one 17oz. pack)
  • ⅔ c. chopped celery (chopped diagonally)
  • 1 medium-sized onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 c. chopped cabbage
  1. In a small bowl combine soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and black pepper. Set aside.
  2. Remove Yaki Soba from packages and discard included flavoring packets. Rinse noodles well, drain, and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a large wok or skillet. Add celery and onion and saute for about 1-2 minutes or until onions start to become soft and transparent. Add cabbage and saute an additional minute or so.
  4. Toss Yaki Soba noodles and soy sauce mixture with the vegetables over medium-high heat for an additional 2-3 minutes or until noodles are heated through.


  1. Oh man I am so excited to try this! I can’t get enough of this stuff every time I go to panda! Thanks for posting, I can definitely see this recipe becoming my go-to!

  2. I tried this today with an orange chicken recipe. The chow mein is better than Panda’s!! It was delicious! And so super easy! Now I just have to find a better orange chicken recipe and we are all set!

    • As easy, very yummy orange chicken recipe:
      Cut uncooked chicken breast into 1 – 1 1/2 inch squares, roll in beaten egg, then bread crumbs and fry in pan (I use olive oil). Brown on both sides and put into casserole dish. Once finished with all the chicken pieces, pour Panda’s orange sauce over chicken. Cover pan with tin foil and bake on 350 for 30 minutes. This is my son’s favorite recipe.

      Prep Time
      40 minutes
      Cook Time
      10 minutes
      Total Time
      50 minutes
      4 servings
      Not even Panda Express can beat this homemade orange chicken!


      1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
      1 cup 2 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
      2 large eggs, beaten
      1 cup vegetable oil
      1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
      1 green onion, thinly sliced
      1 cup chicken broth
      1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
      1/2 cup sugar
      1/3 cup distilled white vinegar
      1/4 cup soy sauce
      2 cloves garlic, minced
      1 tablespoon orange zest
      1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more, to taste
      1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
      1/4 teaspoon white pepper

      To make the marinade, whisk together chicken broth, orange juice, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, orange zest, Sriracha, ginger and white pepper in a large bowl.
      In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine chicken and 2/3 cup of the marinade; marinate for at least 30 minutes, turning the bag occasionally. Drain the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade.
      Heat remaining marinade in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and stir in 2 tablespoons cornstarch combined with 2 tablespoons water. Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened about 1-2 minutes; keep warm.
      Working one at a time, dip the chicken into the eggs, then dredge in remaining 1 cup cornstarch, pressing to coat.
      Heat vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Working in batches, add chicken and fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; discard excess oil.
      Serve chicken immediately, tossed or drizzled with the marinade, garnished with sesame seeds and green onion, if desired.

  3. Yum! I have this on my menu for the week. I’m wondering what that chicken recipe is in the background. I need a good chicken to go with it. :)

  4. Made this for the fam tonight along with some teriyaki chicken. The Chow Mein was a HUGE hit – even with the hubby who is diabetic and doesn’t eat noodles (he went back for seconds).

  5. Finally!!! I have seen other versions, but they include a lot of ingredients that aren’t found in Panda Express’. Can’t wait to try this as my son, 5, loves “Polar Express” as he calls it.

  6. This is sooo yummy! We don’t have a Panda Express in our town and this was perfect!! We certainly got our Panda fix! Defiantly makes this again, and again, and again………………!

  7. Made this last night with some grilled Asian chicken. It was such a great dinner. My husband is not a big fan of lo mein and he loved this, he had 3 helpings! This is a great copy cat recipe, and it tastes better than the original. We’ll definitely be making this again and again! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Can’t wait to try this recipe. My family loves Panda Express. Just wondering what grocery store do you buy the Yaki Soba noodles at?
    Thanks :-)

    • We just found it at Albertsons. They also have it at Winco.. pretty much any grocery store you go to should have it in their produce section (sans WalMart.. I don’t know why they don’t have it).

  9. I added a handful of cashews, a shredded chickens breast and used whole wheat spaghetti noodles…OMG

  10. Made this for lunch and added some frozen grilled chicken strips and my son and I loved it! Thank you!

  11. why are you rinsing the noodles? just put it in the pan and add a little water to let the hot water/steam break up and warm the noodles while incorporating it into the rest of the dish

    • I rinse the noodles because that it what it says to do on the Yakisoba noodle package. I don’t know why the suggest you do it… I just figured it would be a good idea.

      • The only Asian noodles I eat are from Panda. I usually eat them every couple weeks and every time I go, I spend my entire meal trying to figure out what noodles they are. LOL
        Today, I finally got brave and decided to buy some that I thought were the correct ones to try at home. Now I’m worried cuz I got them off the regular Asian aisle, not the fridge section. I’m praying I have the right kind of noodles. I’m gonna try using your recipe. Wish me luck! Thanks for the recipe!! Can’t wait till dinner.

        • Oh goodness…..YUM!!! This recipe is so similar to Panda! As I stated before, I ONLY eat Panda’s noodles (cuz I’m so picky when it comes to any Asian dishes) and I LOVED this version. My noodles did turn out to be the wrong ones, but they did work. The texture was a little softer like spaghetti noodles, but the flavor was spot on. I saved the recipe and will find the correct noodles now that I have a name and kind of noodle. I am sooooo happy!! Thanks again for the yummy recipe!

    • you are rinsing the extra starch off of the noodles. this helps with having them NOT stick to the bottom of your pan. I missed this step only one time (second time I made) and they stuck HORRIBLY! This is something I make on a pretty regular basis. We LOVE noodles at our house – no rice for us :)

  12. This is the easiest and the BEST! The copycat Panda Express chow mein recipe is right on! I did add a little more cabbage but
    I couldn’t stop eating it! Since it was suppose to be for my family’s dinner I now have to make more! YUMMY!!!!

  13. This is going to be a little silly but,

    I can’t believe you discard the seasoning packets. The fresh yakisoba three pack seasoning have the most unique and amazing flavor. I’ve been eating them for years, and they are much better then any chow mein. I almost want to tell you to send them to me, I love them that much.

    As I said, silly, but it hurt my heart when you said you discard them. If you’ve never actually tried it, I urge you to do so.

    • Sorry to make you so sad! We use the packets in other yakisoba dishes.. just not this particular one. :( Next time I will have to save them and just mix them with other stir-fry dishes!

  14. added to my comments of June 21, 2013, I did not use the soba noodles I used thin spaghetti.
    I have made it four times since and I will continue to make it frequently with the thin spaghetti

  15. This is delicious! Way better than Panda’s :) i substituted the store noodles for stir fried regular spaghetti pasta :D it was do flavorful and yummyyyyyyyyy! Thank you

  16. Your website is a real find! It sure was nice to enjoy chow mein that was not covered in oil. Absolutely yummy and very easy. I added tiny broccoli florets, and shredded carrots. And a smidge of sriracha. Anyhoo…thanks! Can’t wait to try some more of your recipes!! :)

  17. Made it several times and it is delicious. Follow the recipe to the T!
    Tastes a lot like panda. I love it and could eat it as a stand alone meal (although my DH would likely not go for it). :)

  18. Oh my gosh. I’ve tried so many mock Chinese take out recipes in the past that just didn’t pan out and tasted no good, but THIS. This recipe is magic. Easy, cheap ingredients, easy to make, and easy to add stuff to. I used dollar store spaghetti and it was perfect. I’m still in shock at how good it was. Thank you based Erica. I will never starve at 1:10 am again.

  19. I have to make this for my daughter. We have been fighting about the lo mein/chowmein name at Panda Express. She even took a picture to prove to me. They’re still wrong!!!!!! lol Looks delicious! And I can call it lo mein!!!

  20. This recipe is absolutely fantastic! I’m allergic to onions (I know- incredibly sad!), and so there are so many things that I would love to eat in restaurants, but cannot. Due to it, I’ve become a pretty great cook (if I say so myself), and modify. Simply omitting the onion was an easy fix, and my husband said he couldn’t taste the difference between mine and when he goes to the shop! Awesome! Thanks for posting!

    • Yay! I am so glad you liked it! Our sister, Emily, is allergic to onions too. You will find that all of the posted recipes by her are onion-free! Just so you know :)

  21. I was looking for an easy low mein recipe and this was it. I made this last night and it was delicious!! So easy to make. I didnt use ginger because i had none and i used thin spaghetti because i couldnt find refrigerated noddles. I added oyster sauce and just a tiny amount of sesame oil. My whole family loved it. Served it with some orange chicken. Thanks for the recipe!!

  22. The recipe is great! Thank you for sharing. Like many others who’ve commented previously, I substituted regular thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta instead of the noodles this recipe calls for. I’ve also used pre-packaged cole slaw (without the cole slaw sauce) for the veggies in this. My family loves it! :)

  23. Made it for my family tonight – they loved it! Even my picky eater! It was delicious – thanks for posting it.

  24. Oh help. I just tried making this but my noodles came out rather gummy. I followed the recipe to a tee. Any ideas his to fix it?

    • Maybe it is the brand of yakisoba? It could have been you rinsed the noodles too long and all the oils came off. Some people have had success just using spaghetti or linguini noodles. That might help? I’m not EXACTLY sure what to tell you because we haven’t really had that problem before :S

  25. I am late to the party but fully endorse this recipe. Only recently tried Panda Express and was underwhelmed with their chow mein. Fiddled with this a little per other commenters’ suggestions: no soba noodles (in the MS Delta, are you kidding?) so used 6 oz cooked pasta, sautéed 12oz shrimp first, then onions-garlic-celery plus grated carrots, then a small bag of finely grated cabbage for slaw. When I added the noodles and shrimp I used 1 1/2 times the soy sauce mixture, plus a few drops of sesame oil and a couple of squirts of Sriracha. Topped with cashews. Yum. The nearest Panda Express is 100 miles away but we are content! Thank you!

  26. I can’t eat celery so I made mine with 2 or 3 green onions chopped, I also added one packet of beansprouts. Cooked these first in the oil then I added the noodles and then 1/3 cup of soy sauce, 1/3 cup of rice wine vinegar and about 3 tablespoons of brown sugar. I heated the sauce up first to dissolve the sugar then I added it to the Noodles and beansprouts.m It was AWESOME!!!!!! I also threw in some cooked chicen at the end…Soooooo good!!!

  27. Hey guys ! I’m making this tomorrow for dinner with the orange chicken . How long does it take for this to bake ? Thanks guys !

    • You are making the Chow Mein right? You don’t bake it at all.. It doesn’t take long to heat everything up together. You only want it on the heat long enough to heat up the noodles

  28. I have to laugh… My boyfriend really wanted us to try and make this for a date night, but the only noodles I had in my house were angel hair spaghetti noodles! Well, we used the rest of the recipe as listed, and just added the boiled spaghetti noodles at the end. Long story short… IT WAS STILL DELICIOUS! We loved it, and although it wasn’t true to Panda, it was scarfed down in no time. Thanks for the delicious recipe! I look forward to using many more of your recipes to keep him happy and well-fed after our wedding. What a wonderful site!

    • Thank you so much for that nice compliment!! haha I am glad you liked it with spaghetti noodles– I can honestly say I have never made them that way before but I am so glad they turned out! :D

  29. So, so yummy! I just used maruchan ramen instead of the yakisoba (….they’re pretty much the same right?) I ended up using an entire head of cabbage to flesh it out a little for my bottomless pit of a husband. Anywho, thanks very much for the recipe, it is now one of my absolute favorites and helps with my Panda Express withdrawal! Great site, too :)

    • So glad you and your family liked it! Glad it worked with the ramen :) we did it with spaghetti noodles last time and they were pretty good that way too! Thanks for the compliment!

  30. Hi im buying the list for this recipe to taste this weekend for for the official gathering next weekend. Ive been to s couple of asian markets for the yaki soba noodles & they constantly ask me dry or fresh? Im confused.. which one am I looking for?

  31. I’m so glad that I happened to stumble upon this website! Being sixteen, relatively new to cooking, and constantly busy with work, school and sports teams this is a quick and delicious recipe that I can cook for my family! I have never been to Panda Express, but if it tastes anything like this, I think I’ll check it out!

    • Wow, way to go– cooking for your family! I love that you have a passion for cooking at such a young age. Well done! :)

  32. This was delicious! All our kids loved it! We were out of cabbage, so added stir fried veggies (carrots, broccoli, mushroom and red bell pepper). Also doubled the tasty sauce since we added some grilled chicken. This is truly a family favorite in our house!! Thanks!!!

    • Suzanne, I love that you added stir fried vegetables. I’m going to do that next time I make it. I’m always looking for ways to get more vegetables in my family’s diet. Thank you for sharing!

  33. Does anybody know how to make the Black Pepper Chicken from Panda Express? It is my husbands favorite and I would love to be able to make it for him!


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