Difference Between Lo Mein and Chow Mein (With Table)

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Numerous people believe that the difference between chow mein and lo mein meals comes down to the type of noodles chosen. Because chow mein noodles are wonderfully crunchy and lo mein noodles are velvety and delicate, this assumption makes sense but it is not the only conclusion to this.

To help you learn more about Asian cuisine’s king this article will help you understand the types of noodles, namely lo mein and chow mein side-to-side. A comparison between both will help you grab your favorite noodle for your dinner date!

Lo Mein vs Chow Mein

The difference between Lo Mein and Chow Mein is that Lo Mein straightaway translates to ‘tossed noodles’ whereas chow mein means ‘fried noodles. Mandarin egg dough grain noodles with just an egg added—are used throughout lo mein as well as chow mein. For lo mein, raw egg noodles (ideally around 1/4-inch thickness) are preferred, whereas chow mein can be made with either fresh or dried rice noodles. The noodles must be prepared in boiling hot water before cooking in either case.

Lo mein is a Chinese dish that consists of twisted or mixed noodles. The most common ingredients in a lo mein meal are veggies and a meaty chunk source, such as chickens, beef, pig, shellfish, or tofu. Lo mein is essentially a dry version of conventional noodle soup. The chef coats the noodle meal in a flavorsome sauce to give it the feel of soup.

Lo mein noodles are created with boiling and rinsed noodles that are thoroughly prepared. These fried noodles are mixed inside the lo mein sauces with different veggies and meats that have previously been fried in a wok.

Chow mein is stir-fried and cooked in a wok. The noodles are always first par-boiled or steeped in hot water to dissolve somewhat, and they are also not yet entirely prepared. In a searing wok, meats (such as poultry, pig, or cow), tofu, or prawns are mixed with aromatic compounds like onions and carrots, as well as beans sprouts, or even other veggies. To complete frying, add the average noodles to the wok. In the end, you’ll get a softish noodle meal with crispy, delicate veggie salsa all over it.

Comparison Table Between Lo Mein and Chow Mein

Parameters of ComparisonLo MeinChow Mein
TextureLo mein noodles traditionally known as ‘loe mian’ is not crunchy but more smooth and velvety and is silky textured.Chow mein has a coarse and hard texture with fried condiment flavorings. Soft chow mein employs long, rounder noodles, and crispy chow mein uses fried, flat noodles.
Method of MakingLo mein noodles are created with boiling and rinsed noodles that are thoroughly prepared.Chow mein is a medium heated stir fried noodle dish made with a variety of veggies, miso, flavourings, and seasonings.
Sauce TypeThin and runny sauces are used which are rich in vinegar and soy.Thick and rich with flavourings and vinegar provides a savory taste.
IngredientsSpring onions, vinegar, oyster sauces, sesame garlic and bell peppers.Soy, cabbage, salsa sprinkles, meat chunks, egg broth, julienne carrots, etc.
DishesChicken Lo Mein, mixed continental lo mien, sweet chicken lo mein, pork lo mein.Lanzhou lamian, Shanghai fried noodles, Dan dan mian chow mein.

What is Lo Mein?

Lo mein is a Chinese dish that consists of spun or mixed noodles. The most common ingredients in a lo mein dish are veggies and proteins, such as fowl, beef, pig, shellfish, or tofu. Lo mein is essentially a dried version of conventional ramen. The chef coats the noodle dish in a savory sauce to give it the feel of soup.

Lo mein is prepared with cooked and rinsed noodles that are completely cooked. These boiled noodles are swirled in the lo mein sauce with various veggies and proteins that have been already fried in a wok. Toss all of the contents combined carefully until the noodles are just warmed through.

Lo mein is a common take-out dish in American Asian restaurants and is commonly confused with chow mein. Guangdong lo mein and Cantonese crispy chow mein are not the same things. Guangdong lo mein is mixed with a thin soup before topping with wontons or prime brisket ribs. Lo mein noodles in the United States, on the other hand, are frequently stir-fried in a creamy sauce of soy sauce as well as other ingredients.

Greens like bok choy and broccoli can be included, as well as proteins such roasted pig, lamb, or chicken. There are occasions when shrimp lo mein, shrimp lo mein, veggie lo mein, and “house” lo mein (many lumps of meat) are offered.

Lo mein noodles, unlike chow mein noodles, are prepared differently from the rest of something like the dish’s components, so they’re cooked properly rather than average-boiled. In the meantime, stir-fry veggies and meats or shellfish, then combine things along with a marinade sauce before dishing. (Another difference between chow mein and lo mein is this: Chow mein is often drier and less viscous liquid, whereas lo mein is gooey.) The end result is a soft, sauce-coated meal.

What is Chow Mein?

Chow mein is a medium heated stir-fried noodle dish made with a variety of veggies, miso, flavorings, and seasonings that is popular in Asian countries like China and Japan. Chow-mein meals are typically downtown vegetarian chow mein with a delectable Indian sub-mix. Chow-mein vegetarian meals are savory works of art made out of silky, smooth noodles and a plethora of crunchy vegetables.

Chow mein is an additional ingredient of the Taishanese chu-mèn, which means “stir-fried noodles with veggies and occasionally meat or tofu.” The meal is famous among the Diaspora and can be found on the plates of nearly every Chinese restaurant in town. It is especially famous in India, Nepal, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Crunchy chow mein would either be completed with peppers and vegetables or delivered “overstretched,” with no veggies. Heated chow mein could be made with a variety of veggies, the most frequent of which being onions and garlic, but beets, broccoli, and mung green beans can also be used. Boiled chow mein is blended using miso soup or soy sauce before being served, whereas crispy chow mein is frequently covered with a rich brown sauce.

Main Differences Between Lo Mein and Chow Mein

  1. Lo mein translates to tossed noodles whereas chow mein means fried noodles.
  2. Lo mein noodles are cooked in sauce whereas chow mein is cooked and boiled in the wok.
  3. The sauces used in lo mein are thick and gooey and change according to nation whereas chow mein sauce is always thin and light.
  4. Lo mein dishes are limited to Cantonese and Mandarin cuisine whereas chow mein is substantially customized and famous in countries like the USA and India.
  5. Side ingredients in lo mein dishes are beef, broccoli, celery, and shrimps whereas chow mein is cooked with side ingredients like onions, carrots, tofu, and pork or beef.

Conclusion

Chow mein noodles have a far more rich flavor, and since the noodles do not soak the sauces, the sriracha in chow mein meals is used sparingly. Chow mein condiments are often lighter, smoother texture, and even watery, whereas lo mein sauces are generally thicker, with a serving of cornflour to aid in the procedure.

There is a flavor difference between both lo mein and chow mein dishes. There are no empirical means of determining which meal tastes better. That is a matter of personal taste. Chow mein, on the other hand, has traditionally been more popular in the United States.

References

  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lo%20mein
  2. https://vegecravings.com/veg-chow-mein-recipe/
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