Definition of chow mein in US English:

chow mein


  • A Chinese-style dish of fried noodles with shredded meat or seafood and vegetables.

    • ‘From Russian fare to Chinese chow mein, there's a taste for every palate.’
    • ‘I had spicy shrimp with chicken, fried rice, chow mein, and spicy beans.’
    • ‘This was one of several ‘normal’ Chinese meals on the menu, along with other old favourites such as chow mein and black bean and garlic.’
    • ‘They serve the sort of good quality Chinese food that you only get outside China, with fresh local scallops, some of the finest chicken chow mein, and traditional British-style sweet and sour pork.’
    • ‘I had beef chow mein and she had something vegetarian, but I don't remember what it was called.’
    • ‘Hey, could you pass me some more of that chow mein please?’
    • ‘Although these do represent some of the basic foods of Mexico - in name only - they have been brought down to their lowest common denominator north of the border, on a par with the chop suey and chow mein of Chinese restaurants 20 years ago.’
    • ‘For our main course we both plumped for the Jaipur Spice Special, which - strange as this may seem - is a sort of Indian equivalent of the Chinese house special chow mein.’
    • ‘Some people even like having spaghetti, chow mein, sushi, and hot dogs available on the same street.’
    • ‘Nicola, being hypoglycaemic and anaemic, will only eat 10 foods (chicken chow mein is one of them).’
    • ‘In the Chinatown area, you can get sweet syrupy spareribs, two kinds of rice, pineapple chicken balls and ‘classics’ like chow mein, chop suey and macaroni with beef.’
    • ‘The Cantonese chow mein was one of the better choices, obviously freshly tossed together.’
    • ‘He never reeks of garlic and prefers chicken chow mein to spaghetti.’
    • ‘I got myself some chow mein and rice and went back down stairs.’
    • ‘My beef with peppers and black beans looked fairly authentic and I chose chow mein to go with it.’
    • ‘For those without a sweet tooth for main dishes, there are other selections, such as the Cantonese chow mein with shrimp, for example.’
    • ‘At Lord's on a big match day a food village offers fish and chips, sandwiches, curries, chow mein, pizza - you name it.’
    • ‘We had pork fried rice, sweet & sour chicken, chicken chow mein with pan fried noodles and an order of broccoli beef.’
    • ‘It's what leads people to think that Indian food is just curried vegetables and meats, that Chinese food is little more than chow mein and fried rice and Japanese eat only raw fish wrapped in seaweed.’
    • ‘Whether pizza or chow mein, cabbage rolls or plum pudding, Canadian cuisine is best characterized as eclectic rather than consistent in content.’


Late 19th century: from Chinese chǎo miàn ‘stir-fried noodles’.


chow mein

/ˌCHou ˈmān//ˌtʃaʊ ˈmeɪn/