The Ultimate Chicken Subgum Chow Mein Recipe

Ever craved the rich flavors of chicken subgum chow mein but didn’t know how to make it at home? You’re in luck! This beloved Chinese-American dish, filled with thin wheat noodles, tender chicken, and a colorful array of vegetables, is easier to whip up than you might think. Whether you’re a kitchen pro or just starting out, this recipe is tailored for you. With a few simple steps and some handy tips, you’ll be serving up a plate of chicken subgum chow mein that rivals any restaurant’s. Ready to impress your family and friends with a dish that’s as delightful to eat as it is to make? Let’s dive in and explore this tasty culinary adventure together!

chicken subgum

The Rich History of Chicken Subgum Chow Mein

Chicken subgum chow mein is a fascinating blend of culinary traditions, reflecting the rich tapestry of Chinese-American culture. Let’s explore its origins and how it became a beloved dish in many households.

Origins in China

The term “chow mein” translates to “stir-fried noodles” in English, and it has its roots in the Chinese culinary tradition. Noodles have been a staple in Chinese cuisine for centuries, and stir-frying them with various meats and vegetables has been a common practice.

The Emergence of Subgum

Subgum, meaning “numerous and varied” in Cantonese, adds another layer to the traditional chow mein. It refers to a dish containing at least eight different ingredients, symbolizing wealth and prosperity in Chinese culture. The combination of meats, seafood, and vegetables in subgum dishes reflects this philosophy of abundance.

Adaptation in America

As Chinese immigrants began to settle in America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they brought their culinary traditions with them. Chow mein quickly became popular, and the subgum variation emerged as a unique fusion of East and West.

In American Chinese restaurants, chicken subgum chow mein evolved to cater to local tastes. Ingredients were adapted, and the dish was often served with a thicker sauce and crispy fried noodles.

A Modern Classic

Today, chicken subgum chow mein is a staple in Chinese-American cuisine. It’s celebrated for its versatility, allowing for endless variations and personal touches. Whether enjoyed in a bustling city restaurant or a family kitchen, it continues to be a symbol of cultural connection and culinary creativity.

Chicken Subgum Chow Mein Recipe

Rebekah Plec



  • Chicken: 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • Noodles: 8 ounces of dried chow mein noodles
  • Vegetables: 2 cups of mixed vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, and onions
  • Oil: 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • Garlic: 2 cloves minced
  • Soy Sauce: 2 tablespoons
  • Cornstarch: 1 tablespoon
  • Chicken Broth: 1 cup
  • Oyster Sauce: 1 tablespoon
  • Sugar: 1 tablespoon
  • Salt and Pepper: to taste



  • Prep the Ingredients: Chop all the vegetables and prepare the sauce by whisking together soy sauce, cornstarch, chicken broth, oyster sauce, and sugar.
  • Tip: Prepping all ingredients before cooking makes the process smoother.
  • Cook the Noodles: Follow the instructions on the package, drain, and set aside.
  • Tip: Don’t overcook the noodles; they’ll continue to cook in the stir fry.
  • Stir Fry the Chicken: Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add chicken strips and cook until no longer pink. Remove and set aside.
  • Tip: Cook the chicken in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan.
  • Cook the Vegetables: Add minced garlic and mixed vegetables to the skillet. Cook until tender.
  • Tip: Add harder vegetables like carrots first, as they take longer to cook.
  • Combine Everything: Add the sauce mixture to the skillet and bring to a boil. Simmer until thickened. Add the cooked chicken and noodles, stir to combine, and cook until heated through.
  • Tip: Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Season and Serve: Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds if desired.
  • Tip: Serve with a side of steamed rice for a complete meal.


Ingredient Substitutions
Arrowroot Starch: Can replace cornstarch for a grain-free option.
Beef or Shrimp: Can be used instead of chicken for a different flavor.

FAQ’s on Chicken Subgum Chow Mein

What is Chicken Subgum Chow Mein?

It’s a common Chinese-American dish made with noodles, chicken, and various vegetables stir-fried together.

Can I Use Other Meats in Chicken Subgum Chow Mein?

Yes, you can use beef, pork, or shrimp, depending on your preference.

What Makes Chicken Subgum Different from Regular Chow Mein?

Chicken Subgum often includes a variety of meats and seafood, while regular chow mein typically includes only chicken.

Can I Make This Dish Gluten-Free?

Yes, by using gluten-free soy sauce and arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch.

How Can I Store Leftovers?

Refrigerate for up to three days in an airtight container.

Can I Add More Vegetables?

Absolutely! Feel free to add more colorful vegetables like spinach and mushrooms for added nutrition.

Conclusion: A Culinary Journey with Chicken Subgum Chow Mein

It is more than just a delightful dish; it’s a culinary journey that bridges cultures and generations. From its ancient Chinese roots to its modern American adaptations, this recipe embodies a rich history and a celebration of flavors.

Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner or a festive gathering, this chicken subgum chow mein recipe offers a versatile and satisfying experience. With its blend of savory sauce, tender chicken, fresh vegetables, and perfectly cooked noodles, it’s a dish that invites creativity and personal touches.

The included tips and ingredient substitutions ensure that you can tailor the recipe to your preferences and dietary needs. And with the step-by-step instructions, even those new to the kitchen can master this classic dish.

So grab your wok, gather your ingredients, and embark on a delicious adventure with chicken subgum chow mein. Happy cooking, and enjoy the taste of tradition and innovation on your plate!

The article was reviewed By Rebekah Plec, Hospitality professional with over 20 years of experience in the industry.

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Note: This article was crafted with the primary intent of educating and assisting our readers. We ensure that our content is backed by research and expertise. For more culinary insights, stay tuned to the Authentic Hospitality blog.

Rebekah Plec

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