Guyanese-style chow mein - vegan and gluten-free

Gluten-free, vegan Guyanese-style chow mein

I’ve mentioned in a few of my posts that my parents are from Guyana. I love Guyanese food; it has a distinct taste, made up of a combination of flavors from Africa, Asia, Europe, and India. One of the dishes my dad makes better than anyone I know is chow mein. I don’t know what he does, but it tastes like magic if food could taste like magic.

One of the flavors in Guyanese chow mein is Cassareep. It’s a sauce made from the juice from cassava root, one of Guyana’s oldest traditional foods. The juice is boiled down to a molasses-dark syrup, which has powerful antiseptic properties that are used in medicine as well. It’s not that easy to find depending on where you live, so in a pinch, I included a substitute.

Listed below the recipe are the full nutrition and health benefits.

Chicken or vegan chow mein recipe

  • Makes: 4-6 servings
  • Total time: 30 minutes, cook time: 15 minutes, prep time: 15 minutes
  • Note: Traditional Guyanese veggie chow mein doesn’t have tofu, but I’m all for extra protein, especially in a carb dish.


  • 1 package of vermicelli, I use Mama whole grain rice brand, if you’re not gluten-free use regular chow mein noodles
  • 1.5 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, sliced or cubed, or 3 packages of medium tofu cubed
  • 2.5 tablespoons of sunflower oil
  •  1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups of mixed bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup green beans or snow peas, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 5 heads of green onions, finely chopped
  • Optional: cilantro garnish
For the tofu
pepper salt thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of cassareep or substitute with 1 tablespoon of tamari sauce (gluten-free soy sauce) mixed with a teaspoon of molasses or brown sugar
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • A teaspoon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • Follow the instructions on the package to cook the noodles.
For the tofu
  • Season the tofu with the ingredients above. Prepare the vegetables. Then in a skillet large enough for the noodles, warm oil on medium heat.
  • Add the onions and cook until they are brown and soft.
  • Next, add the tofu and vegetables, except for peppers, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add the peppers and cook for 3 minutes. Peppers should be crunchy after cooking. Then add the noodles.
  • Toss together then add chopped scallions.
  • Remove from heat and serve.

Approximate nutritional value

  • Calories: 371
  • Fat:  10.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 58.1g
  • Protein:  26.5g

If you like my Guyanese-style chow mein, try some of my other modified gluten-free and plant-based Guyanese recipes.


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