Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Easy chow mein for kids

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 3-4
Dietary Vegetarian
Young children often like stir-fried vegetables because they are still crunchy - so this is a good dish for trying new ingredients. Chow mein can be served hot as a main meal or cold as a salad.


  1. Adult’s job: Place the dried noodles in a heatproof bowl and add boiling water from the kettle. They will take approximately five minutes to cook and this is fun for children to watch but be careful of the hot water. When the noodles are cooked, drain them in a sieve and rinse the noodles under cold water.

  2. Kid’s job: Peel and grate the carrot. This can be done by kids but be cautious using graters and peelers as they can be very sharp. Kids can chop any other vegetables you want to include. Everything should be sliced thinly if possible.

  3. Kid’s job: In a small bowl mix together the soy, honey, ketchup and lemon juice. Have a taste - it should be tangy but sweet. You can add a little more of the ingredients as needed.

  4. Adult’s job: Heat a large frying pan or wok and add the oil. Add the garlic and stir fry for a few seconds, then add the grated carrots, spring onions and the beans or peas (either raw or from frozen) as well as any other raw veg or cooked meats you want to add.

  5. Adult’s job: Stir fry for two minutes on a high heat before adding the sauce and a splash of water. Taste (kids can do this). You may need extra honey, lemon or soy sauce.

  6. Adult’s job: Add the cooked noodles to the stir-fried ingredients along with the beansprouts if you are using them. Stir the chow mein for a couple of minutes over a high heat to finish the dish. Serve in a bowl - try using chopsticks!


  • 200g/7oz dried egg noodles (or rice or soba noodles)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 spring onions
  • 50g/1¾oz green beans, peas or mangetout (fresh or frozen)
  • handful beansprouts, cabbage leaves, sliced pepper, broccoli florets or mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 tsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped by an adult or crushed in a garlic press
  • handful shredded cooked meat, prawns or tofu (optional)

For the chow mein sauce

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (low-salt version if possible)
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp tomato ketchup
  • half a lemon, juice only

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