Chow Mein Noodles

“Simple doesn’t always mean easy,” Christopher Kimball writes in his book Milk Street Simple. Rather, he writes, a simple recipe is one that is constructed so each step and ingredient is essential and in balance with the whole.

Kimball’s recipe for chow mein with broccoli and bell peppers checks the “simple” box — the harmony of the ingredients and the minimal steps make this a great option for a weeknight dinner. The fact that this is cooked in the oven on a rimmed baking sheet and uses instant ramen noodles also makes it quick and easy. Let us know how you like this recipe — find us on Facebook at COCountryLife to share a photo and your comments!

DID YOU KNOW? – Ramen noodles contain wheat flour, salt, water, and a special alkaline water called “kansui.” Kansui is what gives the noodles their unique flavor and springy texture. Source: San J

Chow Mein Traybake with Broccoli and Bell Peppers

Start to finish: 40 minutes | Servings: 4


  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, finely grated and/or 2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • Three 3-ounce packages instant ramen noodles, seasoning packets discarded
  • 3 c boiling water
  • 5 tbsp neutral oil (such as canola or vegetable oil), divided
  • 12 oz broccoli crowns, cut into 1½-inch florets
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and sliced into ¼-inch strips


Heat the oven to 500 degrees with a rack in the middle position. In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, ¾ tsp pepper and 3 tbsp water; set aside.

Place the noodles in a large heatproof bowl, pour in the boiling water, and stir. Let stand, stirring once or twice, until the noodles are pliable, about 6 minutes, then drain. Toss with 3 tbsp oil, then set aside.

Meanwhile, generously mist a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. On the baking sheet, toss the broccoli with 1 tbsp of the remaining oil, then distribute in an even layer. Roast until just starting to soften, about 4 minutes.

Using a spatula, push the broccoli to one end of the baking sheet. Pile the bell peppers onto the center, drizzle with the remaining 1 tbsp oil, and toss. Push the peppers to the opposite end of the baking sheet. Add the noodles to the center in an even layer. Roast until the broccoli is lightly charred, the peppers are tender, and the noodles begin to crisp, 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove from the oven and drizzle the noodles and vegetables with the soy sauce mixture. Using tongs, toss well. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Optional garnish: Thinly sliced scallions, chili-garlic sauce, toasted sesame seeds.


Enter our contest to win a copy. Visit Contests at for details on how to enter

Excerpted from MILK STREET SIMPLE by Christopher Kimball. Copyright ©2023 by CPK Media, LLC. Photographs by Erik Bernstein. Used with permission of Voracious, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY. All rights reserved.