Guyanese Style Chicken Chowmein is a favorite in my family. Today’s post will include a short history lesson or should it be Social Studies? I’m not quite sure. Well here goes. I’m featuring Chowmein. How is this Guyanese you ask? Well, Guyana is a fusion of six cultures. Chinese is one of them. Indian is another (you might have guessed this from the Indian dishes I posted before).

Chowmein is definitely one of my favorite dishes to cook and eat. It’s one of those dishes that most Guyanese make on special occasions (Birthday parties etc) or for lunch on Sundays. But in my house, it’s an “any day you don’t feel like cooking too much but want something delicious kind of meal” to prepare. So we have it often! It’s quick and perfect for my lazy days.

Check out my Instagram Highlights to see a live demonstration of me cooking this chicken chowmein dish!

Preparing the chicken

For this recipe you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chicken breasts or bone in chicken cut up into 1 to 2 inch chunks. I am using skinless chicken thighs. They are bone-in but I cut most of the meat from around the bone and left the bones for added flavor. I always prep and season my chicken before doing anything else. This way it marinates while I am prepping my vegetables.

Prepping the vegetables

While the chicken marinates prepare all your vegetables. This will make stir-frying easier. Julienne your bell peppers (or baby bell pepper in my case), julienne your carrots, blanch your vegetables if you are using those and have everything ready to go before you start cooking. I even measure out my seasoning ingredients ahead of time if I am following a recipe. You don’t want to be hunting for a particular spice while you are stir-frying on high heat! No one likes burnt food, especially burnt chowmein.

Cooking the ingredients for the chowmein

I love cooking my meat separate from my vegetables. When I first started cooking, like really got serious about my food. I used to cook my chicken then add all of the vegetables into the pot with the chicken and stir-fry them all together. It is simple and produces a really delicious chowmein. But all the color of the vegetables would get washed away by the sauce from the chicken, so I started sautéing them separately, then adding everything back together. The flavor was so much better this way and it’s how I’ve been making chowmein ever since.

Bringing the Chicken Chowmein together

I cook my chowmein noodles while I am cooking my other ingredients. I don’t boil it, drain it and let it sit while I am cooking. The best chowmein I make is when I put the pot of water on to boil when I put the skillet on to sauté the chicken. Then I cook the noodles about 1-2 minutes shorter than the instructions on the packet. The noodles are usually done cooking right when I need to add them to my meat and veggies.  I drain the noodles and transfer them immediately to my pot with the meat and veggies. I don’t have to run them with cold water to separate them or anything.

To take the flavor of my chowmein up a notch I serve it with a garlicky sesame oil sauce. I love serving the sauce on the side and then dinners can pour it over the chowmein and mix it together for a real hands on dining experience. And by dinners I mean my husband and children!

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The Printable Chicken Chowmein Recipe:

Guyanese Style Chicken Chowmein
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A delicious one pot dish that brings together chow mein noodles, chicken and vegetables with bold Chinese flavors.
Author:
Recipe type: Noodles
Cuisine: Guyanese
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 Packet of dried Chowmein noodles
  • 3 tablespoons of oil (olive oil, avocado oil, sunflower oil)
  • 1½ lbs boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 small onion (thinly sliced)
  • ½ teaspoon of Chinese 5 spice
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Salt for taste
Vegetables
  • ⅓ green cabbage, thinly shredded (optional)
  • 4 green onions finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • ½ head of broccoli spears
  • 1 cup petite green beans, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 4 baby bell peppers, julienned
May replace the fresh vegetables with 2 cups of frozen mixed vegetables
To season the chicken:
  • ½ tablespoon of dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon cassareep or soy sauce (may substitute with coconut aminos for a soy free and sugar free option)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar (use coconut aminos for a sugar free option)
  • 2 teaspoons of onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
  • 1 tablespoon of ketchup
Optional Finishing Sauce
Instructions
Cook the noodles:
  1. Follow the instructions on the packet to cook the noodles, then drain and set aside. For best results try to cook your noodles so that they are finished cooking just when it is time to add them to the other ingredients
Season the chicken:
  1. Cut chicken into 1 inch chunks. Then season with thyme, cassareep or soy sauce, grated garlic, brown sugar (or coconut aminos), salt, mustard, black pepper, Chinese 5 spice and ketchup
  2. Set aside and let marinate while you are prepping your vegetables
Cooking the Chicken Chowmein
  1. Add oil to a large skillet or wok on medium heat. When oil comes up to temperature add onions and cook until onions are translucent and soft. Then increase the heat to high
  2. Next, add seasoned chicken and sauté until chicken is fully cooked, stirring once or twice to ensure it doesn't burn. If you are using bone in chicken, you can reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and let the chicken cook for 10-15 minutes
Adding the vegetables: Two options
  1. Option 1: Add the vegetables (except for the pepper, green onions and cabbage) to the cooked chicken and cook for another 5 minutes, constantly tossing for even cooking
  2. Then add the peppers, granulated garlic, pinch of salt and remaining Chinese Five Spice and sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add the green onions and the cabbage
  3. Option 2: Remove the meat from the pan and place in a clean bowl, then add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan
  4. Next Add the vegetables (except for the pepper, green onions and cabbage) and sauté on high heat for 3-5
  5. Then add the peppers, granulated garlic, pinch of salt and remaining Chinese Five Spice and sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add the green onions and the cabbage
  6. Next add the chicken to the sautéed vegetables
Adding the noodles
  1. Add the cooked noodles to the sautéed chicken and vegetables and stir-fry for a few minutes on high heat, mixing together well
For the finishing sauce:
  1. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce, then drizzle over individual portions of chowmein as you serve them
  2. Serve your chowmein hot and enjoy!
Notes
1. The key to good chowmein is to have a bit of sauce in the cooked meat and vegetables, so that once you add the noodles, it soaks all that goodness up.
2. You could substitute the protein in this dish for any protein of choice or eliminate it all together.
3. It takes about 30 minutes to cook this dish if you have good time management. Cut up the chicken first, season and set aside, put noodles on to boil, while noodles are cooking prep veggies. Etc.
4. After writing this post, I wanted to go make some more chowmein. I seriously love this stuff.
5. CASSAREEP is a Guyanese dark sauce (similar to soy sauce) made from cassava/yuca juice. It's traditionally made by the indigenous peoples (Amerindians) of Guyana and makes stews and almost any dish you would add soy sauce too, taste amazing.
6. You can also cook this dish in a wok. Once upon a time, I had a wok. It was amazing. We had so much fun. I made lots of delicious stir fries. Then we moved and got an electric stove. The wok doesn't work the same with an electric stove. The wok was laid to rest. The end.

 

Try these other chowmein recipes

 

22 Comments

  1. Ayana January 29, 2013 at 4:06 am

    Hi Altee I bookmarked this since last week to read. I’m just on my lunch break and reading this. Beautiful pictures and clear instructions. I felt like I was right there watching you cook up this delicious dish. I’ll definitely give this recipe a whirl. And I’m looking at your blog design and taking notes. Metamgee.com is of course bookmarked in my Favourites on Google Chrome. I look forward to more pictures and recipes- a delicious reminder of home!

    Reply
    1. Metemgee January 29, 2013 at 8:21 am

      So glad you are inspired. I typically post recipes every Wednesday and Sunday. Stay tuned.

      Reply
  2. joel bunbury April 18, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    I love the way everything is used thanks a lot

    Reply
  3. Vincent June 18, 2013 at 8:03 am

    For the spicy people, chop up some marie wirri pepper or bird pepper 5 mins before end and stir up!

    Reply
    1. Metemgee June 19, 2013 at 10:49 am

      You can even season the chicken with some wiri wiri pepper for extra heat, or put pepper sauce at the end 😉

      Reply
  4. Amrita March 30, 2014 at 10:09 am

    This has become one of my fav websites. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
    1. Metemgee April 2, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      Thanks for the love.

      Reply
  5. J November 17, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    I cooked this tonight and the flavors were wonderful. Thanks for sharing. I also made your roti, and your bake and saltfish. All meals were outstanding :0)

    Reply
  6. J December 8, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    Love your recipes,,, this was delicious. Thanks so much :0)

    Reply
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    I just love this site!! Don’t ever take it down.

    Reply
  8. Bella September 10, 2015 at 7:04 am

    Awesome awesome although I’m born guyanese! Its never too late to put lil more guyanese spice in my life!

    Reply
  9. Dave March 21, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    Think your cooKing instructions are wrong?

    Reply
    1. Althea Brown March 21, 2020 at 10:58 pm

      You are absolutely right. Looks like the recipe card got corrupted and is jumbled. Just fixed it. Thank you for pointing this out.

      Reply
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