Kitchen Humanities: Chow Mein

Tools and techniques.
Vegetable Chow MeinTools and techniques.


In this 8th grade humanities lesson, students stir-fry vegetables to prepare Vegetable Chow Mein. Using the same produce as the roasted vegetable lesson students further explore how cooking methods and seasonings flavor ingredients.


After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • execute a new cooking a method
  • learn a simple and versatile sauce
  • cut vegetables into appropriate and consistent sizes


During this lesson, students will:

  • blanch the vegetables and observe the changes in appearance, flavor, and texture
  • compare the flavors of the Roasted Vegetables with Salsa Verde to the flavors of the Vegetable Chow Mein
  • cut vegetables at an angle and in consistent sizes


For the Chef Meeting

  • Vegetable Chow Mein recipe
  • Ingredients and tools for demonstration
  • Visual aid


  • Fresh wheat Chow Mein noodles
  • Seasonal vegetables
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Oyster sauce or hoisin sauce
  • Cornstarch
  • Vegetable oil
  • Sugar
  • Pepper
  • Water


  • Chef knives
  • Paring knives
  • Crinkle cutter
  • Garlic peeler
  • Cutting boards
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoons
  • Tongs
  • Wok
  • Vegetable Peeler
  • Colander or Spider
  • Chopsticks


  • Stove

Before You Begin

  • Collect all the tools and ingredients, and then distribute them to the tables
  • Gather the supplies for the Chef Meeting
  • Create the visual aid
  • Copy the Vegetable Chow Mein recipe to hand out


At the Chef Meeting

  1. Welcome the students and introduce Vegetable Chow Mein as a chance to use many of the vegetables from the roasting lesson in a new recipe. Emphasize how the seasonings you choose and the sauces you make can create a new dish out of the same basic ingredients.
  2. Recall the Fried Rice recipe from 7th grade, and elaborate on the similarities and differences between the fried rice and the chow mein. Explain that because students will be eating with chopsticks, they should cut the vegetables into long, thin pieces that will be easy to pick up.
  3. Introduce blanching as a method of cooking in which you submerge something quickly in boiling water. Explain that we will be blanching the vegetables before we stir-fry them in the wok to enhance the color and flavor.
  4. Ask the students to wash their hands and join their table group.

At the Table

  1. Meet with the table groups to introduce the ingredients, review the recipe, and assign jobs.
  2. Prepare the recipe.
  3. Set the table with chopsticks
  4. Eat.
  5. Clean up.

Download: Chow Mein Visual Aid

Download: Chow Mein Recipe

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