Take A Closer Look: Chow Mein vs Lo Mein Noodles Differences


So you are curious to discus Chow Mein Vs Lo Mein Noodles and find their differences, well, you are just coming to the right page. In this case, many people think that the difference between these two noodles are the noodles used. That’s due to the people’s culinary observation on noodles. They prove that Chow Mein noodles are crispy while Lo Mein noodles are smoother. However, the very basic thing differentiating the noodles is the cooking instructions. So if you are questioned “Are Lo Mein and Chow Mein noodles the same?” The Answer is totally not.

Chow Mein vs Lo Mein Noodles
Source: jessicagavin.com

Now let’s look at the difference details on both Chow Mein and Lo Mein in the review below:

About Chow Mein

Generally, Chow Mein deals with the fried noodles. There are two types of Chow Mein dishes available in the restaurants. The first type is Steamed Chow Mein. These noodles are fried along with the extra ingredients like vegetables and meat mixed with a light sauce. The second type of Chow Mein is Crisp Cow Mein. These noodles are cooked by pressing them flatly while frying. So, they create such a pancake-like dish. These noodles are topped by the ingredients and sauces.

The two types of Chow Mein noodles are crunchy. There are additional ingredients added along with protein just after the noodles are boiled and fried. The sauces are prepared sparingly. The sauces are not mixed with the noodles. Instead, the sauces are served by pouring them on top to help soften the crispy noodles’ exterior.

Here are the characteristics of Chow Mein noodles:

  • The noodles are crispy and oily.
  • There are only minimum amount of protein and vegetables.
  • The sauce is applied lightly.

About Lo Mein

Now that you have known Chow Mein in general, you should also understand Lo Mein as a part of learning Chow Mein Vs Lo Mein Noodles.

Simply, Lo Mein deals with mixed noodles. Essentially, Lo Mein dish consists of vegetables and some sources of protein like beef, pork, chicken, seafood, and tofu. Lo Mein is known to be a dry version of traditional noodles.

Preparing Lo Mein is similar to Preparing ramen, udon, and soba noodles. The noodles are boiled and drained first. Later, they are added with various cooked veggies and proteins. Some extra sauces are also added to finish the dish.

Here are the characteristics of Lo Mein Noodles:

  • The dish is coated with sauce to create tasty flavor.
  • The noodles are not slimy.
  • The noodle dish is rich in vegetables and protein. It is also mixed with sauce.

Chow Mein Vs Lo Mein; Which One To Choose?

Deciding which one to choose between Chow Mein and Lo Mein noodles can be very confusing if you are a fan of noodles. You may think that both of them are good options for your daily menu. However, some people have their own preference if it deals with which taste they like.

Now if you like crunchy fried-egg noodles, go for Chow Mein dish. On the other hand, if you like a bowl of steamed noodles better than the fried-one, go for Lo Mein.

Chow Mein Cooking Instructions

As we have mentioned, the basic thing that differs Chow Mein from Lo Mein is their cooking instructions. Yes, the way of cooking the noodles make them different. Now we’ll focus on how to make Chow Mein Noodle.

Ingredients preparation:

  • Egg noodles. Use dried egg noodles to create a crispy noodle dish.
  • Choose bean sprouts, chopped carrots and shredded cabbage.
  • Grab chicken or shrimp and tofu. Chicken is the popular addition for Chow Mein.
  • Prepare standard sauces for Chow Mein like soy sauce, oyster sauce, chicken broth, light sesame, cornstarch and granulated sugar.

Steps to Cook:

  • Prepares all the ingredients by chopping them first.
  • Heat the wok with little vegetable oil.
  • Stir-fry the noodles along with the other ingredients.
  • Serve while hot.

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Low Mein Cooking Instructions

Similar to Chow Mein, Low Mein noodle dish offers versatility, simple sauces, fats and easy way of cooking as well as vegetables. However, Lo Mein has different cooking instructions. The noodles are not fried as you do with the Cho Mein. In Lo Mein, the egg-noodles are cooked. After that, the cooked noodles are fried along with the vegetables and protein. To soften the noodle, more sauces are usually added.

Ingredients Preparation:

  • Egg noodles. Use fresh egg noodles or long noodles.
  • The vegetables that are commonly added to Lo Mein are broccoli, bell peppers and carrots.
  • Extra Pop Flavor. Prepare chopped onions, green onions and garlic to sprinkle.
  • Lo Mein noodle dish is usually served with chicken, turkey, shrimp, beef, pork and tofu.
  • Collect sesame oil, dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, garlic, oyster sauce, ginger and a dash of sugar. Sauce is the primary ingredients in Lo Mein to make the noodles thick and chewy.

Cooking Instructions:

  • Prepare all of ingredients on your countertop.
  • Fry the boiled noodles along with the vegetables and other ingredients.
  • Add sauce you like. It is recommended that you use dark soy sauce to color the dish and light soy sauce to add saltiness. To come with full taste, use tamari or soy protein.

Final Words

Based on our Chow Mein Vs Lo Mein Noodles review we have just shared, it is clear that Chow Mein and Lo  Mein noodle dishes are different one to another. Chow Mein noodles refer to the fried noodle with crunchy tastiness.

On the other hand, Lo Mein noodle dish tends to be smoother and tender. This is due to the way of cooking at which the egg noodles are boiled at first then fried along the vegetables and other ingredients. Lo Mein plays with sauces to create much more flavor and make the noodles taste steamed. The dark sauce will help color the noodle dish while the light color will add the taste.

Now which of the noodle dish are you going to taste? Chow Mein or Lo Mein Noodles? It depends on your personal choice and appetite.