Mum’s Chow Mein

This recipe was probably one of the first Australian recipes to use the exotic ingredient – “curry powder”! This Chow Mein didn’t really taste anything like Asian cuisine, but it was very tasty & kids loved it!

Asian Cuisine was just starting to kick in to Australian cooking in the 70’s and this was a kind of mix between western & oriental cuisine. It was very fast & easy to make & perfect for parties or get togethers.

“It’s funny how a particular recipe can carry on through the years and still be enjoyed as much today as it was way back then. I can remember my Mum often used to make this dish on the Saturday nights after the cricket when the regulars from the Cricket Club would meet back at our place for a social get together. Of course this wasn’t the only dish on offer for the night as all the girls would pitch in and help..there always seemed to be such an array of casseroles etc on the table…food that would go a long way!”…. recipe submitted by Sue.

Well here it is..simple, easy & tasty

Mum’s Chow Mein


  • 500g Mince Steak
  • 2 Onions (chopped)
  • 1/4 Cabbage (sliced)
  • A couple of Celery sticks (chopped)
  • 1 cup Green Beans
  • 1 pkt Continental Chicken Noodle Soup
  • 1 heaped dessertspoon Curry Powder
  • 3 cups water


  1. In a large saucepan, brown mince & onion.
  2. Add all other ingredients and simmer until liquid is reduced right down…about 30-45 mins.
  3. Serve with boiled white rice. Have Soy Sauce on hand as a condiment.

22 comments to Mum’s Chow Mein

  • "Rin

    Wow, I cut this same recipe out of a magazine back in the early ’80s and still make it and still thinks it’s delicious, though my girls think I should make a more authentic Asian type Chow Mein but I still resist 🙂

  • Jessie

    My mum served this on toast 🙂 I am making it now for my toddler daughter. I loved it so much as a child- ultimate comfort food! Definitely still serving it on toast 😀 😀 😀

  • Paul Mulcahy

    I should have come here before spending 3hrs translating mum’s shorthand but then I wouldn’t have added the parsnip and soy that her recipe has. Great site.

  • Heather

    I am so grateful to have found this particular recipe as I have misplaced mine and this is the one. I think I might have added just a wee bit of finely sliced carrot for colour. Anyway, thanks so much for this posting and it is delicious.

  • Jenny

    My Mum made it as well from the back of the Continental pack. I cooked it for my kids who are now all grown up and it’s still a favourite with all of us. I also add extra curry powder, a dollop of soy sauce and have now varied it again by adding a packet of 2 minute noodles with some extra water through it as it cooks. Yummmmmmmm!

  • Di

    I use chicken tenderloins and egg noodles delicious!

  • Chez

    My mother-in-law used to make this all the time, I grabbed the recipe from her & my kids now know this meal as well

  • I remember Mum making this lovely recipe in the 70’s, when we didnt have the Continental Chicken Noodle Soup packet we used the Chinese Noodle soup variant, do you remember it.

  • Anne-Marie Koelewyn

    The exact recipe from Cindy Amey used to be on the back of Continental Chicken Noodle Soup packet (Continental only used 1 1/2 cups water and added dried rice through mixture as it cooked) and that’s where our parents got it from. My mother in law first made it for me about 40 years ago and I adapted it over time using pork mince instead of beef and served it on the rice. I also add fresh sliced mushrooms and use a few dollops of soy sauce.

  • JanG

    I’m cooking this as I write. My Mum cooked it a little differently… 500g minced beef, can of crushed pineapple, dash worchestershire sauce, squirt of tomato sauce, ½ tsp. curry powder, packet of chicken noodle soup and about a cup of water. At the end of cooking add 3 cups of shredded cabbage, ½ cup of sultanas and a packet of fresh bean shoots.

  • Sandra Dowling

    I recreated this recipe using chicken mince and spring vegetable soup with noodles (PODRAVKA available in Woolworth) a little less curry powder to accommodate children. Was delicious.

  • Leanne

    Glad to find this old school recipe as the modern ones just don’t sound the same! I plan to make it as my mum did which is the same recipe except for adding a tin of crushed pineapple (drained) added in the last 10 minutes of cooking. -Thanks

  • Cindy

    I love the cheat of putting 2 cups of frozen carrot peas and corn to bulk it out more… and it is yummy as

  • Maree Reidy

    I rediscovered this recipe after talking to a friend last year, I am cooking a big batch to take to a BBQ this weekend!!!

  • Annette

    My daughter is vegetarian so I put some of the ingredients aside for her. She can’t have the chicken noodle soup so I substitute with vegetable stock and heaps of sliced mushrooms instead of the beef mince. It turns out really well and she loves it.

  • Sandy Crofts

    Hey all – yes I remembered this recipe on watching a tellie show. This is a cheap, easy and delicious recipe. Just like when my mother cooked it in the 60s and 70s. Recipe is on the back of chicken noodle soup packets. I add a few more greens and a little garlic and only 2 teaspoons of curry powder plus a little soya sauce. This recipe will become a weekly addition to the menu. Oh so yummy.

  • Shags

    The recipe is still on the back on the Continental Chicken Noodle soup packets. A couple of yrs ago I made it for my husband and he had forgotten all about it. Now its back on the weekly menu, and really, its a pretty healthy meal!

  • Candice R Another expat here

    I live in the USA now and remembered my mother too used to make this, so I went looking for the receipe online. Thank you it was just like how I remembered. Lucky for me they have a chicken noodle soup here in the USA that tastes identical to the continental one back home, here its a lipton brand. I added a small amount of rice and a little less curry (husband isn’t a fan of curry) and it was delicious.

  • Allan lamb

    Thanks, expat here, and I had a craving for this recipe from back home! The yanks love it! Added julienne carrots,ginger plus cilantro ( coriander)!

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