Noodles vs Chow Mein: Difference and Comparison

Noodles and Chow Mein are famous worldwide. They are a very favourite and quick dish for people of all ages.

It is delicious and easy to cook. Besides, it can be prepared in many exciting forms.

We tend to use the terms Noodles and Chow Mein quite interchangeably. However, if we recall correctly when we order a dish in the restaurant, we do not refer to it as just “Noodles.

That is when it strikes us that there may be a fine line of difference.

We need to understand when to use the respective terms. They do not substitute for each other.

The difference tends to get clearer when we learn more about their preparation and making. In this article. w shall aim to do so.

Key Takeaways

  1. Noodles are versatile food items made from unleavened dough, boiled or fried before consumption.
  2. Chow mein is a specific Chinese dish that uses stir-fried noodles as its base, combined with various vegetables, proteins, and sauces.
  3. Noodles are a staple in various cuisines worldwide, while chow mein is specific to Chinese cuisine.

Noodles vs Chow Mein

Noodles are long, thin, and cylindrical pasta made from wheat flour, rice flour, or other types of starch. They can be used in a variety of dishes. Chowmein is a dish that originated in China and is now famous worldwide. It consists of stir-fried noodles from wheat flour, egg, and water.

Noodles vs Chow Mein
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Noodles are boiled. The boiling process is continued till the flour paste softens.

Then, it is allowed to cool down eventually. They are made from flour dough.

It comes in the shape of strips or strings. It can be used as raw ingredients to prepare several dishes.

On the other hand, Chow Mein is the fried form of noodles. They are prepared in the toss and stir-fry style.

This adds exceptional crispiness to the noodles. Many exciting dishes can be prepared using various kinds of sauce.

Other ingredients can also be added to make it more delicious. Green vegetables and salads are also added for the decoration.

Comparison Table

ParametersNoodlesChow Mein
IngredientsThe dough for noodles is prepared from wheat, flour, rice, etc.They are boiled.
TextureIt has a very soft texture. It has a very crispy, deep texture.
NutrientsIt is rich in carbohydrates.Proteins can be added to make the dish healthy.
TypeIt can be stir-fried or deep-fried.Can be stir-fried or deep-fried.
PreparationIt is prepared from a dough of flour.It is prepared by frying the noodles.

What is Noodles?

In most Asian countries, Noodles are considered a staple dish. They are prepared from a dough of flour.

It is also available in various shapes and flavours. Among them, stripes and strings are the most common.

To make it edible, noodles are boiled for a continued duration.

The soft outcome is used to prepare tasty dishes. The idea of sauce goes very well with any noodles.

They are a perfect combination. Noodles have a wide range of varieties. They are also of different types.

This is because the dough for noodles can be prepared with various ingredients such as wheat, flour, rice, etc.

Hence, we can get them in a variety of flavours. This is the reason we do not simply order “Noodles” when we go to the restaurants.

Noodles are just the essential ingredients. The name of the dish depends upon how they are prepared.

When the noodles are fried to make a particular dish, we call it “Chow Mein.” Other ingredients are added according to our wishes and requirements.

They can be prepared as stir-fried, deep-fried, and various others.

noodles 1

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What is Chow Mein?

‘Chow’ means ‘something fried’, and ‘Mein’ means ‘Noodles.’ In English, Chow Mein means fried Noodles.

Hence, as the name suggests, it is a dish that includes fried noodles as its ingredient. So, we call it a noodle dish.

It is a Chinese dish. However, Chow Mein is enjoyed by people throughout the world.

The deep fry of the noodles makes it tastier and crunchier, adding a fantastic taste to it.

We can make different kinds of dishes according to our choices.

Chow Mein is prepared by the toss and stir-fry method. Also, we can add some healthy nutrients to it.

Sometimes, people prefer a traditional touch by adding carrots and vegetables. Especially in Chinese-based restaurants, we get to see a variety of Chinese dishes.

The delicious pan-fried taste goes pretty well with some thick homemade sauce. The addition of some meat or tofu makes the dish even more enjoyable.

The sauce is an essential ingredient, and it is the one on which its type depends.

chow mein

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Main Differences Between Noodles and Chow Mein

  1. The main difference between Noodles and Chow Mein is their ingredient. Noodles are themselves an ingredient.
  2. Whereas the main to prepare Chow Mein is Noodles. 
  3. Noodles are rich in carbohydrates. Chow Mein is rich in carbohydrates too. However, proteins can be added to make the dish healthy.
  4. Their preparation process is yet another point of difference to keep in mind. Noodles are prepared from a dough of flour. On the other hand, Chow Mein is prepared by frying the noodles.
  5. Next, coming to their texture. Noodles have a very soft texture. Whereas Chow Mein has a very crispy, deep texture. 
  6. Noodles are boiled. However, Chow Mein can be of different types, like stir-fried or deep-fried.
Difference Between Noodles and Chow Mein
References
  1. https://ifst.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2621.1987.tb00535.x
  2. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/75/1/11/4689240

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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