Charlie Chan Chicken Pasta Food Hack: Our Not-So-Secret Favorite at Yellow Cab

May 7, 2019

Way back when my pasta universe consisted solely of spaghetti and meatballs, my father took me out to try the newly opened branch of Yellow Cab Pizza Co. I remember this especially because we got into a stubborn argument on what to order. I was convinced that spaghetti and meatballs would trump this Charlie Chan Chicken Pasta he was insisting on. We settled with ordering both and at the end of the meal there was a barely touched box of spaghetti, and I was converted.

For the complete Yellow Cab experience, sans the pizza, enjoy this with our Squash Soup food hack.

If you’re as much a fan of Yellow Cab’s Charlie Chan Chicken Pasta as I am, I bet these 2 questions have crossed your mind before: Who’s Charlie Chan? And more importantly how does one recreate this sweet yet fiery bowl at home?

While we can’t give a legitimate answer to where this dish gets its namesake, what we can guarantee is that we’ve come up with the definitive Charlie Chan food hack that captures all the savory goodness of the original.

Yellow Cab’s Charlie Chan Chicken Pasta

  • Serves: 6-8 people
  • Active time: 35 mins
  • Total time: 35 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy



  • ¾ cup Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce
  • ½ cup Lee Kum Kee chili bean sauce
  • ½ cup Lee Kum Kee char siu sauce
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • slurry, to thicken (½ cup water + 1 tbsp cornstarch)


  • 500g spaghetti noodles (cooked according to directions on pack)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • ½ cup garlic slivers
  • 3 cups sliced chicken thigh fillet, season with salt and pepper
  • 4 cups sliced fresh shitake mushrooms
  • ½ cup spring onions, sliced into 2" long pieces
  • 1 cup greaseless peanuts


  1. For the sauce, put all ingredients in a pot.
  2. Boil and thicken with cornstarch slurry.
  3. Set aside until ready to use.
  4. For the pasta, heat both oils in pan and sauté garlic until light brown.
  5. Add in chicken and cook for 3-5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, but not too browned.
  6. Add in shiitake mushrooms and sauté for another minute.
  7. Toss in the spring onions.
  8. Add about 3/4 cup of Charlie Chan sauce to pan. Toss in noodles and peanuts.
  9. Add sauce according to taste.
  10. Turn off fire and serve warm.
Kathy Hofileña Kathy Hofileña

Kathy is a real life happy camper who likes her food spicy and her iced tea, bottomless. Obsessed with order, she has a habit of rewriting all her notes and schedules to help her sleep at night. Her other hobbies include hoarding books, buying film SLRs and collecting travel itineraries. Currently, she’s in the predicament of trying to gain weight while traipsing around mountains and beaches with her 40 plus liter backpack.

31 comments in this post SHOW

31 responses to “Charlie Chan Chicken Pasta Food Hack: Our Not-So-Secret Favorite at Yellow Cab”

  1. Den says:

    Oooooohh masubukan nga bukas. Salamat!

  2. Victoria says:

    Is it better to use local peanut butter (sweeter) or imported peanut butter (saltier) here? They are quite different.

  3. llyann says:

    thanks!!!! hope i can easily buy all the ingredients…

  4. Adrian De Leon says:


  5. Katrina says:

    *raises hand up* Question! The bottle says Chili Bean Sauce, while the ingredient list says Chili Garlic sauce. As far as I know Lee Kum Kee has both. Are they interchangeable? So excited to try this.

  6. Naji says:


  7. Yelo says:

    You can also use Clara Ole Kung Pao sauce. Ready made sauce that tastes like Charlie Chan pasta 🙂

  8. Addi dela Cruz says:

    Oh wow. Thank you.

  9. secretbakitba says:


    kahit mababa, gagawin ko pa din to 🙂 thanks! haha

  10. Cel says:

    Would love an answer on the chili bean/chili garlic question too.
    Though I am going to assume it’s the former as it’s in the photo.

    • Mikka Wee says:

      Hey Cel, sorry about that! It’s the Chili Bean Sauce 🙂 We must’ve had a craving for siomai when putting this post together!

  11. Waldo says:


  12. Art says:

    Haha dear author, this is not a ‘hack’, this is a recipe. lol
    But thanks for this useful article though. 😉

  13. bernard says:

    added to favorites

  14. Mary Jane Bantegui says:

    You are a GENIUS. Can’t wait to try this out, see how it goes. Thumbs up. 🙂

  15. abby says:

    please hack mann hann’s yang chow fried rice! thank u!

  16. peplplate says:

    hope you can hack Shrimp Bucket’s Mardi Gras 🙂 been looking for the recipe!

  17. Henritz says:

    Superb! Thanks for the recipe!

  18. Athena Arlene Fucoy says:

    Could the Lee Kum Kee sauces be swapped for other brands? If so, which ones approximate? Read reports that that brand has high levels of 3-MCPD, which can cause cancer. Planning to make this this weekend. 🙂

  19. Cat X Robles says:

    Thanks for the recipe! Whenever I used to have this at Yellow Cab, I’d get dizzy from too much oil, so much that I had to avoid having it altogether. I’ll try your take — veganized — and hope it agrees with me. Fingers crossed! 🙂

  20. Arlen says:

    Where to buy the lee kum kee suaces and peanut oil? Thanks!
    Excited to try this one..

  21. […] normal pasta. It’s softer. I decided to turn it into a Kung Pao Pasta kind of thing using a Charlie Chan Pasta hack from that I’ve been wanting to try. The recipe ended up being too salty for my liking, but I was […]

  22. Lindsay M. says:

    Where and when do we add the “garlic slivers”? Do we fry them first or we saute them at some point before or after the proteins?

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