How to Make Fried Noodles with Veggies, Chicken, Shrimp, and More (Cambodian Recipe)

Fried noodles

This fried noodle recipe is popular in Cambodia for a reason — it’s unexpectedly delectable, utterly customizable, relatively healthy, and it takes very little effort to make. You’ll find various iterations of these authentic Khmer fried noodles served in restaurants throughout Cambodia, with locals and foreigners enjoying this low-cost, delicious, and filling meal at all times of day.

Although these fried noodles are simple to prepare (much easier than most Chinese fried noodles recipe equivalents), they are rich in flavor and low in cholesterol and saturated fats. The special fried noodles recipe you’ll find below is a vegetarian one, which can be made with any vegetables, such as bok choy, spinach, or even chopped broccoli stems. However, you can customize these noodles by adding a protein of your choice, including shrimp, beef, pork, chicken, or tofu.

The preparation instructions are simple and you don’t need any exotic Cambodian ingredients — any local US supermarket should have everything you need to cook this noodle dish in less than 30 minutes. You can serve these noodles as the main course for lunch or dinner, or even eat them as appetizers, as they pair quite well with cold beer. For heat, you can serve the fried noodles with a side of sriracha sauce, this Khmer hot dipping sauce, or your favorite hot sauce. Any leftovers can be easily refrigerated and kept for the next day.

Fried noodles

Fried Noodles with Vegetables

Thida Koeut
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cambodian
Servings 4 people
Calories 1208 kcal


  • 1 Colander


  • 1 lb Dry plain wide noodles
  • 1.5 lb Bok choy
  • 6 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Chilli
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • ½ Tablespoon MSG
  • ½ Tablespoon Fish sauce or soy sauce as an alternative
  • Tablespoon Oyster sauce
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Cooking oil

Optional Ingredients

  • 2 Stalks Green onions you can chop and sprinkle green onions on top of the dish when serving
  • ½ lb Bean sprouts add bean sprouts to the stir-fry, right before you're done frying
  • Shredded carrots add shredded carrots to the stir fry
  • 1 lb Pork, chicken breast, or beef chop into small, 1 x 1 1/2-inch slices and fry after garlic but before the vegetables
  • 1 lb Prawns (alternative to pork, chicken, and beef) clean, devein, and fry right after garlic but before adding the vegetables


  • Soak the bok choy in water.
    1.5 lb Bok choy
  • Boil the noodles. The noodles must be pre-cooked separately before you fry them. So, heat half a 3-quart pot of water with a teaspoon of cooking oil over high heat (oil prevents the noodles from sticking), then add the noodles to the water when it's boiling. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
    1 lb Dry plain wide noodles
  • As the noodles boil, clean the garlic cloves, then crush them with the flat end of a butcher knife and mince.
    6 Cloves Garlic
  • Cut the chilli pepper into thin slices.
    2 Chilli
  • Rinse the bok choy, then strain in a colander and set aside.
    1.5 lb Bok choy
    Bok choy
  • Once the noodles are cooked, strain the noodles in a colander and set aside.
    1 lb Dry plain wide noodles
    Strained noodles
  • Heat a tablespoon of cooking oil in a frying pan over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and fry four eggs over medium and set aside.
    1 Tablespoon Cooking oil, 4 Eggs
  • Reusing the same oil and adding another teaspoon, heat the oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Fry the garlic until it browns, while stirring continuously (roughly 30 seconds).
    6 Cloves Garlic
  • Add the bok choy to the frying pan and stir.
    1.5 lb Bok choy
    Bok choy stir fry
  • Add the chilli, oyster sauce, fish sauce, MSG, and sugar to the stir fry and stir with a spatula. Continue stir-frying the vegetables for roughly 7 minutes.
    2 Chilli, 1 Tablespoon Sugar, ½ Tablespoon MSG, 1½ Tablespoon Oyster sauce, ½ Tablespoon Fish sauce
  • Add the noodles to the stir fry and mix together with the vegetables. Continue to stir-fry for another 5 minutes, then remove the fried noodles from heat.
    1 lb Dry plain wide noodles
    Noodles in frying pan
  • Serve the fried noodles on plates with the fried egg on top.
    1 lb Dry plain wide noodles


Calories: 1208kcalCarbohydrates: 158.9gProtein: 292.2gFat: 42.4gSaturated Fat: 9.6gCholesterol: 786mgSodium: 2059mgPotassium: 2523mgFiber: 14gSugar: 28.5gCalcium: 918mgIron: 17mg
Keyword fried noodles
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

What are pan-fried noodles called?

Pan-fried noodles are called many different things depending on the type of noodle used in the recipe. Chow Mein noodles and Hong Kong noodles are popular examples of pan-fried noodles. In our fried noodle recipe above, the Cambodian fried noodles are simply known as “mee char” — meaning “fried noodles” in Khmer.

How to make pan fried noodles?

To make pan-fried noodles, you can follow the simple recipe we’ve shared above. In our recipe above, you have to cook the noodles completely before straining and frying them. This method of cooking before frying is similar to how Chinese Lo Mein noodles are made, and it ensures that the noodles are nice and soft when you serve them (unless al dente is your thing, of course).

What is the difference between Lo Mein and pan-fried Noodles?

The difference between Lo Mein and pan-fried noodles lies in the preparation method. Lo Mein fried noodles are made with fully cooked noodles that are then stir-fried with vegetables and a sauce. Meanwhile, pan-fried noodles are made with noodles that are stir-fried with vegetables and a sauce straight our of the package. The Cambodian fired noodles in our recipe above are made in a similar fashion to Lo Mein noodles.

Both Lo Mein and pan-fried noodles are widely popular worldwide. However, you may find that you like either Lo Mein or pan fried noodles more depending on your preferred texture and taste. Lo Mein noodles are thick, soft, chewy, and saucy, whereas pan-fried noodles are crisp and thin. The fried noodles we’ve presented in our recipe fall somewhere in between Lo Mein and pan-fried noodles — they’re far less greasy than Lo Mein, yet not crispy like Chinese pan-fried noodles, either.

How do you make fried noodles not sticky?

To make fried noodles not sticky, you should add some cooking oil to the water when you boil the noodles. As we’ve explained in the fried noodle recipe above, pouring a teaspoon of cooking oil into the water where you’ll boil the noodles should prevent the noodles from sticking together once you strain and fry them. And after

Why do my noodles turn to mush?

Your noodles turn to mush because you’ve overcooked them. To avoid overcooking your noodles and ending up with a mushy mess, make sure you follow the cooking instructions — particularly the cooking time — on the package of the noodles. These times will vary depending on the type and brand of noodles you’re using; for example, the noodles we’ve used to create the fried noodle recipe above need no more than 5 minutes in boiling water to achieve a soft — yet non-pulpy — consistency.

Can you make fried noodles?

Yes, you can make fried noodles. You can learn a simple way to fry noodles in our Cambodian recipe here. Alternatively, you can try making well-known dishes such as Chow Mein or Lo Mein, in which the noodles also get fried.

Do you boil noodles before frying?

If you follow our fried noodle recipe, yes — you will boil the noodles before frying them. Simply frying wide rice noodles straight from the package will not work, unfortunately — you’ll end up with a burnt, undercooked mess. However, you can fry noodles such as Chow Mein without cooking them first; all you need to do is soak them before placing them into the frying pan.

Are fried noodles healthy?

Fried noodles can be healthy if you follow the five tips below when you cook them.

  • Fry with a high smoke point oil: Oils with a higher smoke point, like Canola or Avocado oil, remain stable longer and don’t release cell-damaging free radicals.
  • Use cornstarch-free oyster sauce: Cornstarch contains plenty of calories and is known to raise blood sugar levels. So, if you’re trying to lose wait or are watching your blood sugar, consider using cornstarch-free oyster sauce in your fried noodles.
  • Use leaner meats or go vegetarian: Adding leaner meats to your fried noodles will reduce your cholesterol intake, which is thought to be better for cardiovascular health. Alternatively, you can make your fried noodles vegetarian — the way we’ve done in the recipe above.
  • Go easy on the seasonings: In our fried noodle recipe, we’re adding sugar, MSG, fish sauce, and oyster sauce to create the flavor profile. Using less of these seasonings will help you reduce your sodium intake, and consuming less sodium is better for your cardiovascular health.

How do you add egg to noodles?

You can add egg to noodles using the following two methods — both are simple and delicious.

  • Fry an egg separately and serve on top of the noodles: This is what we’ve done in our fried noodle recipe above, and the whole fried egg is a scrumptious addition of protein to our meat-free dish.
  • Break an egg into the noodles as you fry them: After you’ve added noodles to the frying pan, break an egg (or two!) right into the stir fry. This way of adding egg to fried noodles is common in many Thai dishes (such as Pad Thai).

Fried noodles: parting words

We hope you’ll enjoy making our fried noodle recipe! Have you made it already?

Let us know what you think about this recipe in the comment below.

Thida Koeut

Thida Koeut, born near Kampot, Cambodia, is the chef and author behind Thida's Kitchen. Immersed in Cambodian gastronomy from childhood, she later managed a renowned Danish-French fusion restaurant in Kampot, mastering European culinary techniques. Her hands-on farming experience deepened her connection to authentic Cambodian ingredients. Now based in New Westminster, British Columbia, Thida seamlessly blends her rich heritage with global flavors, presenting them to the world through her online publication.

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