Just ’cause I’m currently dashing around the country on my Ready or Not! book tour doesn’t mean I can’t serve up a recipe for Paleo Chicken Chow Mein!
Eager Nomsters who preordered our brand new cookbook, Ready or Not!, and submitted the form for extra thank-you gifts before August 1 already have this recipe—it was included in our exclusive One and Done e-book of hassle-free one-pot/one-pan meals. That goodie has expired, but I figured this chow mein’s too good not to share.
I know—some of you are probably looking at this picture and scratching your head because you’ve either never heard of chow mein, or you’re accustomed to chow mein looking like something else entirely. Well, for starters, chow mein is a stir-fried noodle dish and a staple of Chinese-American cuisine—but its ingredients and preparation can vary widely. On the West Coast, chow mein noodles are typically soft and cooked together with the accompanying meat and veggies, while on the East Coast, the noodles are fried super-crispy (a.k.a. Hong Kong style) and served beneath a pile of cooked ingredients (and/or a thick brown gravy). On the East Coast, stir-fried soft noodles are usually called “lo mein.” Lo mein is rarely found on the menus of Chinese restaurants on the West Coast.
My Paleo-friendly version is kind of a mish-mash of both styles, combining the softer noodles (or in this case, sweet potato noodles) of the West Coast with some crispy bits more reminiscent of East Coast chow mein. This is the way I like my chow mein ’cause it reminds me of the way my mom and dad used to tag-team this recipe every weekend: My dad would patiently pan-fry the noodles while my mom made the gravy topping with veggies and meat. Right before serving, my parents would combine their finished components, Voltron-style. I think this may be one of the only dishes my mom ever allowed my dad to help with in the kitchen in all their years together.
Enough nostalgia—it’s time to cook!
Place the chicken pieces in a medium bowl. Pour in 1 tablespoon avocado oil and 1 tablespoon coconut aminos. Add the aged balsamic vinegar, fish sauce, sesame oil, and arrowroot powder, too.
Stir well to combine, and set aside.
Next, heat a large skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, Add 2 tablespoons of avocado oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the spiralized sweet potato noodles (swoodles!) in a single layer.
Fry undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes so that some of the swoodles start to brown and crisp. (But don’t let the swoodles burn!)
Sprinkle on ½ teaspoon of salt, and carefully flip the swoodles over. Cook the swoodles undisturbed for another 2-3 minutes. Transfer the swoodles to a serving dish.
Heat the now-empty skillet over medium-high. Then, add 2 tablespoons of avocado oil. Once the oil is hot, add the thinly sliced onions and sauté with a liberal sprinkle of salt. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until softened.
Toss in the mushrooms, ginger slices, and another sprinkle of salt.
Stir-fry for about 2 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked and the ginger is fragrant. If the pan is looking a little dry, feel free to add another tablespoon of oil.
Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until no longer pink.
Stir in the scallions and the spinach. Season the meat ’n veggies with 1 tablespoon coconut aminos and red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Once the spinach is wilted, plate the chicken and veggies atop the swoodles.
Chow down on your chow mein!
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013) and Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017)!
Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 30 mins
Yield 4 servings
This Whole30-friendly Paleo Chicken Chow Mein is a delicious and healthy weeknight meal that uses spiralized sweet potato in place of noodles!
Orange-flesh sweet potatoes will not get crunchy and may be too mushy for this dish. Spiralized carrots, Russet potatoes, or Yukon Gold potatoes are good alternatives if you can’t find white-fleshed sweet potatoes.
Cuisine Paleo, Whole30, Primal, Chinese, Gluten-free
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