What Is The Difference Between Pan Fried Noodle Vs Lo Mein?


Noodles always relate to Chinese food, so, if you like Chinese food, you must love eating noodles, too. However, if you are just new to Chinese food, you may not know what Pan Fried noodle and Lo Mein are. Hence, we are here to describe Pan Fried noodle Vs Lo Mein.

lo mein vs pan fried noodles
Source: whiskaffair.com

Are Pan Fried noodle and Lo Mein different? To what extent they are different? Let’s learn more through the following discussion.

Pan Fried Noodle and Lo Mein in General

Pan Fried noodles are one type of Chinese noodles cooked by frying them on a pan. As the name suggests, Pan Fried noodles are simply fried. The noodles are made from wheat flour and egg. Simply, you can enjoy Pan Fried Noodle with meat and vegetables.

Meanwhile, Lo Mein Noodles are boiled first and then stir-fried with veggies and meat. Lo Mein noodles are made with egg noodles combined with protein such as shrimp, chicken, or beef.

Pan Fried Noodle In Particular

According to the theory, Pan Fried noodles were originated in China and brought to United States by Chine workers in the late 1800s. Eggs are the main materials used to make Pan Fried noodles. They are served along with the vegetables and shrimp, chicken and beef. The cooking method is very simple. You need only to use little oil to fry the noodle. Hence, the noodles become crispy.

Lo Mein In Particular

Different from Pan Fried noodles in history, Lo Mein was told to originate from Cantonese immigrants in the 1940s. Lo Mein noodles are made with wheat flour. In serving Lo Mein, vegetables and protein are allowed to add. The Lo Mein cooking method is different from Pan Fried noodles. In this way, Lo Mein uses boiled egg noodles. Later, the noodles are fried with veggies and protein.

Lo Mein is also common to serve with a soy-based sauce. Lo Men noodles have strips shape.

Key Differences of Pan Fried Noodles and Lo Mein

Pan Fried noodles are regarded as the most popular noodle dish options. They are both tasty. However, there are some key differences as follows:

Different Characteristics

Pan Fried noodles have different characteristics from Lo Mein. Pan fried noodles have crispy texture and taste with a lack of sauce. In contrast, Lo Mein is a classic Chinese dish that is slightly sweet, salty and umami. That’s due to the savory sauce used in the mixture. Lo Mein has much more sauce than Pan Fried noodle does.

Vegetables Content

Both Pan Fried noodles and Lo Mein are served with vegetables but the former has more in the dish. If you cook them yourself, it is your personal choice how many vegetables are added in the noodles. In restaurant, you will find Lo Mein serves with more vegetables than Pan Fried noodles.

Different Cooking Instructions

Understanding Pan Fried noodle Vs Lo Mein requires to know each of cooking instructions. In this way, Pan Fried noodles have different cooking method from Lo Mein.

How to cook Pan Fried Noodle

Before applying the steps to cook the Pan Fried Noodles, you had better prepare the ingredients on your counter top. The ingredients include the noodles, some shredded carrots and white onions, green onions and garlic. Later, apply the simple steps below:

  1. Cook the shredded carrots and white onions along with green onion and garlic in a pan.
  2. Add the noodles into the pan.
  3. Add little oil to cook them. Cook the mixture until it is browned and crispy.
  4. Make sauce by whisking the joisin sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch and sesame oil.
  5. Mix the noodles and sauce along with the veggies altogether in a pan.
  6. Serve while hot.

There are three tips to cook Pan-Fried noodles well so you can have the best taste. First, use refrigerated noodles that are cooked so you don’t need to boil them first. Actually, there are already wide varieties of boiled noodle for pan fried noodle dish available in the supermarket. Second, use a pack of pre-shredded carrots to save your prep time. Third, mix the sauce and keep it for one day so you can use it anytime you want to cook the noodle. But make sure you whisk it before adding it to the pan.

How to cook Lo Mein

How are the Lo Mein’s cooking instructions compared to Pan Fried Noodle’s? Are they easier and quicker? Or much more complicated? Check out the Lo Mein recipe below:

Make sure you prepare all the ingredients needed to cook Lo Mein. Those ingredients are Lo Mein eggs noodle, olive oil, minced garlic. Sliced cremini mushrooms, red bell pepper, carrot and snow peas as well as baby spinach. For sauce, you can prepare sodium soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, ground ginger and sriracha.

When everything is ready, perform the following steps:

  1. Collect the soy sauce, sugar, ginger and sesame oil in a bowl and whisk together. Afterwards, set aside.
  2. Boil water in a large pan and cook the noodles. Do it based on the cooking instructions based on the package. And, drain well.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet with medium heat. Add garlic, bell pepper, carrot and mushrooms. Stir them until tender. This usually takes 3 to 4 minutes. Add snow peas and spinach. Stir again for 2 or 3 minutes.
  4. Combine egg noodles and soy sauce.
  5. Serve soon while hot.

Tips to Choose Noodles for Pan Fried

In order to get the best taste and serve of Pan Fried Noodles, if you really like fried noodle, remember that the best noodle options must be fresh. So, you had better choose the pre-cooked ones found in refrigerator section in your local grocery store’s Asian aisle.

Related Soba vs Udon Noodle

In this case, Yakisoba and Hong Kong Noodles are highly recommended. Yakisoba is available for those who don’t eat egg. On the other hand, Hong Kong Noodles are egg-based noodles available both in dry and refrigerated.

Final Words

Finally, it is clear that understanding Pan Fried noodle Vs Lo Mein will help you to know what kinds of noodles you may want to eat when visiting Japan. The main big difference between the cooking method. Pan fried noodles are fried so they are crispy. On the other hand, Lo Mein noodles are tender. They use boiled egg noodles. Now which one do you want to taste?