Hamburger Chow Mein

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm not sure how my mom is going to feel about this post but Hamburger Chow Mein was a staple in our house.  It is not the fanciest of fare but boy is it tasty! 

My mom made dinner for my brother, dad and I every.single.night.  I mean that, on the super, super rare occasion she would pick up "Slick Chick" aka Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Nuggets, biscuits and cole slaw. Don't get me started on their cole slaw--obsessed.  But that was maybe twice a year.  Every other night my working mom made sure that we were gathered around the table.  

Now, as a married woman, I really enjoy doing the same for my family.  Mr. Schwartz and I have a homemade dinner every night or leftovers from the night before.  I really like knowing what is in our food and umm yeah, saving tons of cash by making it myself.  

This dinner is perfect for a week night, super quick and easy.  What are your favorite go-to's for week night dinners? 

Musical Selection: What I got (Sublime Cover) by: Shannon Campbell because I like it. 
 Chop up a small onion or 1/2 of a medium one.  Sauté it in a drizzle of canola oil on medium high heat.
 Add a pound of ground beef and brown it.
 Once it is fully browned, add two and a half cups of beef stock.  Mine looks funky because I use powdered beef base and water.
 Add a few shakes of soy sauce.
 Let it simmer for at least 10 minutes.
 Meanwhile, make a slurry--combine cold water and corn starch.
 Pour the slurry into the bubbling meat mixture while stirring.  You want the sauce to be pretty thick, it will thin out a bit with the moisture from the veggies.
 Speaking up, chop up a red bell pepper, add it to the pan.
 Next, drain a can of chop suey vegetables and add it to the pan.
 Stir it up.
 Serve on a bed of rice, we love it on brown jasmine rice.
 If you are like Mr. Schwartz you will want those crispy noodles.
So comforting.  A hug on a fork.

Hamburger Chow Mein

1/2 medium onion, chopped
drizzle of canola oil
1 lb ground beef
2 1/2 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce (we like the low sodium)
1/2 cups cold, cold water
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 red pepper, chopped
1 14 oz can chop suey vegetables, drained
Rice, for serving
Crispy noodles, for serving

Start by drizzling canola oil in a large skillet on medium high heat, add the chopped onion and let it cook for about 3 minutes.  Add the ground beef and chop and brown it until it is no longer pink.

Add the beef broth and soy sauce.  Let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the cold water and cornstarch.  Slowly pour it into the meat and beef broth while stirring.

Add the chopped red pepper and vegetables, stir.  Heat through.

Serve on a bed of rice with crispy noodles if you wish.


Recipe by: my Momma and slightly adapted by me.


  1. That is so interesting, I have never had hamburger chow mein, but it DOES sound tasty!

    1. I know, it really does sound kind of strange but it is really tasty!

  2. Darn, this was looking pretty interesting until I read add a can of chop suey vegetables. I couldn't serve canned vegetables of any sort to my kids and not feel guilty about it as they're so high in sodium. Do you know La Choy chop suey veggies contain MSG, and that 1 serving has 26.67% of your daily recommended value of sodium? That's pretty scary when you think about it.


  3. Jay -- you can replace the chop suey vegetables with fresh bean sprouts, or if those are not easily available in your neighbourhood grocery, use very finely shredded green cabbage.

  4. Mmm yummy. My mom made this while I was growing up also.

  5. This is a great recipe. I always add a lot of celery that can be cooked along with the onions and canola oil to add more texture. Bean sprouts and water chestnuts in replacement of La Choy.

  6. I had completely forgotten this recipe. My late Mom used to make this dish too.

    I have some ground beef in the frig -- we're going to turn on the Wayback Machine tonight. :-)


  7. I got a similar recipe from my mother and made it for my family many times. Now that the kids are grown I still cook the chow mein every few months using fresh mung bean sprouts, lots of celery and chicken broth. There are a lot of ways to tweak this recipe and it will still be delicious and quick.

  8. I thought this was really good and I will be making it again...Thank you so much for the lovely recipe...............


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