Cu Chow Mein (Shanghainese Thick Fried Noodles)

This simple chow mein (fried noodle) is super easy to whip up for a weeknight meal, especially when you’re using frozen udon — something I always have stocked in my freezer. Shanghainese chow mein typically has a darker color thanks to the dark soy sauce, and traditionally uses pork, shiitake, and bok choy, but you can mix it up depending on what you have in your fridge. I also like to add just a splash of black vinegar to the sauce. The meat here uses a traditional Chinese velveting technique which makes the pork strips (rou si) extra tender.


  • 2 servings of Shanghai noodles or frozen udon
  • 1/3 lb pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
  • Tenderloin marinade: 1 tsp each of soy sauce, corn starch, shaoxing wine, and a pinch of sugar
  • 2 stalks of baby bok choy (optionally, chop into bite-sized pieces)
  • 5 fresh or dried shiitake, sliced (if rehydrating dry – save the soaking water!)
  • dash of white pepper

Sauce (mix together):

  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp regular soy sauce
  • pinch of sugar
  • splash of black vinegar


  • Slice the pork into thin strips and allow it to marinade for at least 10 mins
  • As the pork is marinating, cook noodles per package instructions, mix together the sauce, and wash your bok choy
  • Heat up some oil in a wok or deep pan over medium heat and cook the pork strips through, remove from pan
  • In the same pan, add additional oil and saute the shiitake and bok choy until bok choy has softened. If needed, add a bit of water (shiitake soaking water if you have it), and cover the lid to allow it to steam cook
  • Toss in the noodles, pork, and sauce and mix well
  • Finish off with a dash of white pepper