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The Chao Men – a big deal!

The chao men :We make a big deal of it

In Tahiti, Chinese cuisine is a heritage of the Hakka community, originally from the Canton area. Over the years, this cuisine has become an integral part of Polynesian daily life, adapting to the specific characteristics of Fenua and local produce. As a result, it is now referred to as “Tahitian Chinese cuisine” and is an integral part of the local culinary specialties. Among the many “Tahitian Chinese” dishes, there’s the famous chao men, which we like to eat on the spot in food trucks or take away with our salad bowls from the backyards of Chinese restaurants. Its taste and preparation are slightly different from the chow mein served in Asia. Basically, it’s a complete dish of stir-fried Chinese noodles, vegetables, meat and/or seafood, all tossed in a soy-based sauce. Available in vegetarian, meat or seafood versions, or in “royal or special” mode when all these ingredients are combined. In Chinese tradition, long noodles symbolize longevity!

Chao men recipe for 6 people

From Teheiura’s book, Culinary Adventure
500 g Chinese noodles (yellow)
4 beautiful chicken thighs
1 Chinese sausage
12 shrimp (preferably raw)
4 large carrots
½ white cabbage
2 stalks celery
2 onions
150 g turnip
Sesame oil
1 tablespoon dehydrated chicken stock

For the marinadestrong
tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
10 g finely chopped ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt, freshly ground pepper


Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl. De-bone and remove skin from chicken thighs. Add to marinade and chill.

Bring ¼ liter of water to the boil and stir in the dehydrated chicken stock.

In a pot of boiling salted water, soak the Chinese noodles for a few minutes. Untangle, drain, add a little sesame oil, mix and set aside.

Mince onions, white cabbage and celery. Cut the carrots and turnip into small sticks, and the Chinese sausage into slices.

In a wok, over high heat, brown the chicken until halfway cooked, then set aside. In the same wok, sauté each vegetable separately and the Chinese sausage in a little vegetable oil. Return all ingredients to finish cooking; add chicken stock. Adjust the seasoning and arrange the shrimps on top. Cover and keep warm. Just before serving, stir-fry the Chinese noodles and season. Mix the noodles  with the filling.

Tama’a Maita’i ! 

Teheiura’s culinary adventure book Au Vent des Îles

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