How Long Does Chow Mein Last in the Refrigerator?

If you have leftover chow mein that you want to use quickly, you might wonder, how long does chow mein last in the refrigerator? Here are some answers. Learn how long chow mein keeps in the fridge and when you can reheat it. We also answer the question, can you freeze chow mein? And can you reheat leftover chow mein in the oven? Read on to find out!

Refrigerate leftover chicken chow mein or lo mein in sealed containers to extend its shelf life while maintaining its quality and safety. Chicken chow mein or lo mein leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

What is Chow Mein?

Fried noodles are typically referred to as chow mein. There are two basic categories of chow mein meals, specifically:

Steamed Chow Mein: The noodles in steamed chow mein are first flash-fried, after which they are stir-fried while being combined with extra ingredients like meat or veggies and drenched in a thin sauce.

Crisp Chow Mein: The noodles are flattened while being fried to produce a dish that resembles a pancake. The noodle pancake is topped with any extra toppings and sauces.

The noodles are the real highlight of the dish in both types of chow mein recipes. These toppings are only added to the noodles after they have already been boiled and fried in oil, letting the chef concentrate entirely on crisping them to perfection. Any other vegetables or protein ingredients are kept to a minimum to avoid detracting from the crunchy noodles.

Similar to this, little sauce is utilized in chow mein recipes. Chow mein dishes don’t drown the noodles in sauce, letting the crunchy noodles shine without being soggy. On occasion, a darker, richer sauce will accompany crisp chow mein, softening the noodles’ crisp outside and creating a creamy interior.

In the case of crisp chow mein, the noodles have a unique crunchy texture. When it comes to steamed chow mein, the noodles are greasy. Here are several simple techniques to tell if you’re eating chow mein:

The sauce is sparingly used and does not obscure or smother the noodles. Vegetables and protein intake are maintained to a minimum.

How Long does Chow Mein Last in the Refrigerator?

Various Chinese meals, including King Pao chicken, Orange Chicken, Chicken Low Mein, Chow Mein, and fried rice, give a savory palate.

Soy sauce, chili oil, vinegar, and spice powder are added to the dishes, whether made with chicken, rice, or noodles. Chinese cuisine owes its fame to the perfect umami combination that goes well with the spices.

Refrigerate leftover chicken chow mein or lo mein in sealed containers to extend its shelf life while maintaining its quality and safety. Chicken chow mein or lo mein leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

How to Reheat Chow Mein?

Reheating Chow Mein in a Wok or Frying Pan

On medium-high heat, preheat a wok or nonstick frying pan. Wait until it’s heated before adding one tablespoon of oil (hot enough will have a little shimmer). For around 3 to 4 minutes, add the noodles and toss them around the pan using kitchen tongs.

Use a Wok or Frying Pan to Reheat Chow Mein as Follows:

  • On medium-high heat, preheat a wok or nonstick pan.
  • Drop a little bit of noodle into the oil to gauge the temperature. One tablespoon of oil should be added and heated up. It ought to start sizzling right away.
  • Add the noodles and stir for 3 to 4 minutes when heated. It will take longer if you’re heating many portions.
  • Add some sauce or water to the pan if the noodles are dry. It worked well as soy sauce.
  • When it comes to applying oil, exercise your best judgment.
  • You might not need additional oil if your chow mein is already fatty.
  • Tossing the food using kitchen tongs is an excellent method.
  • If you use a spatula or spoon, I find that you could get some overdone noodles since they’ve been sitting on the bottom for too long.
  • The vegetables in chow mein may get less crispy and lose some of their crispness in the refrigerator.
  • The recipe can be improved by frying some fresh items in the skillet before adding the chow mein.
  • May go-to ingredients are bok choy, ginger, and garlic.
  • You can make the dish spicier by including some freshly diced chili peppers.

Reheating Chow Mein in a Microwave

In a bowl that can be heated in the microwave, put the chow mein. Stir in between each 30-second heating period to ensure that the noodles reheat evenly. To keep your noodles moist, add a small bit of soy sauce or water if they are dry.

Use a Microwave to Reheat Chow Mein as Follows:

  • Put the chow mein in a bowl that can go in the microwave.
  • Cover with plastic wrap or a damp paper towel (leaving a small gap so the steam can escape).
  • OPTIONAL: Add a spoonful of water or soy sauce.
  • Heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring the noodles in between.
  • Before serving, give the chow mein a 60-second resting period.
  • The best advice is not to microwave fish chow mein. In the microwave, seafood quickly overheats, leaving you with a rubbery mess.
  • Always move your chow mein from the takeout bowl to a bowl that can be heated in the microwave.
  • Takeout containers frequently feature plastic or metal handles that, when heated, will leak dangerous chemicals into your food.
  • Use a microwave-safe bowl unless your content is marked as BPA-free and contains no metal.

Is Chinese Food Healthier Than American Food?

Professor of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., claims that the traditional Chinese cuisine is substantially healthier than the typical American diet, which frequently has meat as the main dish. You do not have to go to rural China to eat healthily.

Although not all Chinese food is healthier than fast food, some are. There are numerous wonderful and healthy Chinese alternatives to fast food. In many Chinese herbs, preservatives, salt, oil, and fat are plenty. If you enjoy nutritious Chinese food, pick from Beef and Broccoli, Egg Foo Young, or Egg Drop Soup.

Reference: The Globalization of Chinese Food

Can Chow Mein be Frozen?

Chow mein can indeed be frozen. The tastest frozen noodles are a touch underdone. Noodles that have been overcooked may become mushy if frozen. After freezing, certain veggies will also get a little limp (bok choy, for example). In the freezer, chow mein can keep for two to three months.

After two to three months, the food is still edible, but the quality will decrease. Chow mein should be cooled to room temperature before freezing.

  • Set aside some chow mein.
  • Please put it in a freezer bag or an airtight container. Avoid choosing a container with a lot of additional space if you use one.
  • Make sure the freezer bag is as airtight as possible, or cover the chow mein in the airtight container with a layer of plastic wrap.
  • Place the freezer with a label on it.
  • After freezing, use within 2 to 3 months.
  • Before freezing, the chow mein must be cooled.
  • When hot chow mein is frozen, ice crystals form inside the noodles and melt away when the food is thawed.
  • Place an open frozen bag in a water bowl to release the air. You can then shut the bag after the water pushes the air out.
  • Another option for sucking out the air is to use a straw.
  • This can’t be done in an airtight container, so I cover the noodles with plastic wrap to prevent air exposure.
  • Premature freezer burn will result from too much air exposure in the freezer.

How to Make Chinese Pork Chow Mein at Home?


  • 1 or 1/2 pounds of finely sliced lean pork
  • Three sliced garlic cloves (optional)
  • Quarter cup cornstarch
  • Sugar, two teaspoons
  • Soy sauce, five teaspoons (divided, more is desired)
  • Vegetable oil, two tablespoons
  • Shortening, two tablespoons
  • Divided into 1 3/4 cups of water
  • Two celery stalks, chopped
  • One big, chopped onion
  • Molasses, one spoonful (do NOT omit)
  • Eight ounces of sliced water chestnuts in a can.
  • Bean sprouts, 1 pound (or more)
  • 1 (4-ounce) can of drained mushrooms with salt and pepper
  • Two green onions, total (optional)
  • Toasted almonds that have been blanched


  1. Make thin pieces of beef.
  2. Two tablespoons of cornstarch, one tablespoon of soy sauce, and two tablespoons of oil should be mixed.
  3. Pork strips should be covered completely with the mixture before being marinated for 20 minutes.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of shortening in a wok or sizable sauté pan. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Lightly brown the beef in the hot shortening on all sides.
  5. Add the remaining 4 tbsp soy sauce and 1-1/2 cups water, then simmer for 45 minutes, covered, over low heat.
  6. Add the celery and onions, then simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
  7. In a small bowl, stir the remaining cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water into the meat mixture.
  8. Completely heat the molasses, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, and mushrooms.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Green onions and toasted almonds can be used as a garnish for noodles in Chow Mein.

What are the Health Benefits of Beef Chow Mein?

Beef Chow Mein is Vitamin-Rich

This recipe contains vitamins C, B6, B12, E, and K, as well as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and choline because of the beef and other veggies. These vitamins are necessary for a variety of bodily processes.

According to the National Institutes of Health, antioxidants like vitamins C and E shield our bodies from free radicals caused by pollution, tobacco, and solar UV rays (NIH).

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the B vitamins, including vitamins B6, B12, thiamin, riboflavin, and folate, all aid in the body’s ability to utilize energy.

Mineral-Packed Beef Chow Mein

Minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, and selenium are abundant in beef chow mein.

According to the NIH, one of iron’s most significant functions is delivering oxygen to every region of our body. The selenium in beef chow mein is also very high (providing 54 percent of the Daily Value). The NIH states that this mineral is essential for reproduction and a healthy thyroid gland, as well as protecting our bodies from free radicals.

“Beef chow mein is still high in calories and exceptionally high in salt while having considerable levels of vitamins and minerals,” explains Brierley Horton, RD, a dietitian nutritionist in Birmingham, Alabama.

What is the Difference Between Lo Mein and Chow Mein?

You’re not the only one who confuses chow mein with lo mein and vice versa. When you see the term “mein,” it is simple to think they are the same food. But since “mein” means “noodles,” conflating chow mein and lo mein is like conflating tortellini with ravioli: both culinary words relate to a different variety of Italian pasta.

The key distinction between chow mein and lo mein, both types of noodles dishes, is how the noodles are made. Lo mein translates to tossed or stirred noodles, while chow mein implies fried noodles in English. The following are the key distinctions among each Chinese noodle dish’s preparation methods:

Although the components in both recipes are similar, the cooking techniques for chow mein and lo mein are very dissimilar. Before being stir-fried, chow mein noodles are softened by soaking them in hot water. The noodles and the other ingredients are thoroughly cooked throughout the stir-frying procedure. On the other hand, Lo Mein noodles are fully cooked before being combined with pork, vegetables, and sauce.

The ingredients for lo mein are lightly thrown together rather than stir-fried. The ideal way to prepare both noodle dishes is in a wok. However, there are differences in how they are cooked. Instead of being fried, the noodles in lo mein are already cooked and are combined and tossed with the other ingredients. When preparing chow mein noodles, the ingredients are quickly stir-fried in a minimal amount of oil in a hot wok.

The sauce: If there is any sauce, it is very light and delicate, making chow mein more of a dry noodle meal. Most of the flavor in the saucy noodle dish lo mein comes from the thick sauce.

The texture: Because of how they are prepared, chow mein noodles typically have a crunchier consistency than lo mein noodles. Because they are thoroughly cooked before being combined with additional ingredients and sauce, lo mein noodles are often smoother and somewhat chewier. Additionally, the noodles used to prepare a lo mein meal must be substantial enough to bear the weight of additional sauce.

Chow mein and lo mein dishes are created using Chinese egg noodles, and wheat flour noodles with additional egg, despite their distinctions.

Chow mein can be made with either fresh or dried egg noodles, unlike lo mein, which calls for fresh egg noodles.

Boiling the egg noodles is intended to cook them just enough so they are tender but not yet completely cooked. It would help if you softened the egg noodles in boiling water before cooking them, whether you use fresh or dried egg noodles. This texture in Italian cuisine is referred to as “al dente,” which translates to “cooked to the tooth.”


If you are wondering how long chow mein stays good in the fridge, you should keep it in an airtight container. Check it often to ensure it does not have a bad odor. You should avoid eating chow mein that has been in the fridge for more than three days as it may be susceptible to food-borne illness. You can freeze leftover chow mein for two to three months but keep in mind that it may get freezer burn.