Chow Mein vs. Lo Mein: What's the Difference?

Konnichi wa / Great Outdoors

Introduction

When it comes to Chinese food, there are two dishes that you may come across: chow mein and lo mein. While they sound similar, the difference between these two dishes is actually pretty significant. This blog post will discuss the difference between these two dishes in terms of taste as well as texture.

Watch this video on how to make chicken chow mein

What is the difference between chow mein and lo mein?

Chow Mein

Chow Meins have thicker wheat flour noodles with a variety of vegetables and meat toppings on top such as egg or tomatoes (though not always). The sauce for this dish ranges from soy sauce or oyster sauce-based sauces to black bean or hoisin based sauces. The Chinese noodles are usually fried before being topped with the vegetables and sauce, which is what gives you chow mein dish its characteristic flavor and texture.

Lo Mein

Lo Meins have thinner fresh noodles that come in a variety of shapes including round or flat strands as well as spaghetti-style Italian pasta egg noodles--any noodle type can be used for lo mein! Lo mein contains boiled or parboiled noodles in water or broth, whereas chow mein noodles are stir fried after being parboiled. Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, peas, bell peppers, bean sprouts, mushrooms or onions accompany this dish. Unlike chow mein where you put all the toppings on top of your meal to eat it like soup; you mix your lo mein together until everything is coated in the sauces. This way of eating means there's less mess when you're done too! Chicken Lo Mein and Chicken Chow Mein are two popular dishes in Chinese cuisine you can try.

You may also use fresh, soft noodles that have been boiled or steamed. You can also use pre-packaged fresh, soft noodles found in the produce section of your local grocery store.

The history of these two dishes

Chow mein and lo meins can be found all over the world, but they have their roots in China. Chow Mein is believed to date back as far as 19th century China during the height of Imperialism when European traders and settlers came into contact with Chinese food for the first time. Lo Mein dishes were popularized by Chinese chefs who immigrated overseas to San Francisco’s Chinatown after fleeing hostilities at home--they served these savory noodles with a variety of vegetables for an easy meal that was quick enough for restaurant customers on their lunch break.

As immigrants settled throughout North America outside this community, they brought both dishes along too! Today you'll find chow meins alongside traditional Cantonese-style meals served in Chinatowns, while lo meins are popular across the United States.

How to make a delicious, authentic dish that tastes like takeout from your favorite Chinese restaurant

Chow Mein recipe

Slice the white onion and green onions.

Chop scallions finely (both green and white part).

In a bowl, add soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, oyster sauce, rice wine vinegar. Mix well then pour it over sliced vegetables in pan to cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant before pouring this mixture on top of noodles. Add splash of water if too dry.

Throw uncooked egg into skillet with hot chow mein mix. Cook until slightly cooked through but still runny before stirring everything together by flipping around noodles with spatula so that eggs are evenly distributed throughout dish - then serve!

 

Lo Mein recipe

Slice the white onion and green onions.

Chop scallions finely (both green and white part).

In a bowl, add soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, oyster sauce, rice wine vinegar. Mix well then pour it over sliced vegetables in pan to cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant before pouring this mixture on top of noodles. Add splash of water if too dry. Cook for another minute before adding eggs into skillet with hot lo mein mix as directed above to incorporate them fully throughout dish - then serve! **Note that you do not need to flip around noodles when cooking egg into lo mein! This is the main difference between chow mein and lo mein.

 

Toppings for Chow Mein or Lo Mein dish

Soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, oyster sauce (chow mein)

Rice wine vinegar (lo mein) **Note that it is very important to add a dash of soy sauce - this ingredient adds saltiness as well as creates the rich brown color! You can also add some chili garlic paste if you want to create spicy dishes like Singapore noodles. Just mix with rice wine vinegar first before adding into hot cooking pan/skillet. If your recipe does not need eggs where there are other proteins such as tofu or shrimp in addition to noodles, the next thing you would need to do is add soy sauce, rice wine vinegar or chili garlic paste in order to create a salty/sweet and sour taste.

Textures of chow mein vs. lo mein dishes

Chances are that chow mein noodles will be thicker than lo mein noodles because they're cooked for about 30 seconds before adding eggs whereas lo meins are only cooked for one minute so it's much easier to cook scrambled egg into them without breaking up too many pieces - but both types of noodle can still become thick when overcooked. The texture also depends on what type of pan you use as well! If stir fry with wok, it should have some crispy bits on the bottom of pan while noodles will be a little crispier because they're tossed around in the dish. If stir fry with sauce, it's more likely that you'll create a saucy type texture as opposed to crispy or crunchy bits - but this all depends on personal preference!

Lo Mein is usually served with some sort of protein (fried tofu, shrimp) whereas chow meins are mostly just vegetables and meat such as beef or chicken. This can also depend on what style Chinese restaurant you go to though! It really varies from place to place which one would recommend for each person specifically so it's best if people ask their server what dishes include certain types of proteins before ordering them at a restaurant.

The biggest difference between Chow Mein and Lo Mein is that they're both stir fry dishes but the lo meins are just a little bit thinner overall (since it's fried for one minute) and also have eggs mixed in with them while chow meins do not! They look similar at first glance, but there are actually many differences when you take into account texture or even flavorings used to create these two types of dish - so make sure you consider which type suits your taste buds best before ordering either one at an eatery!

You may think that chow mein and lo mein are both noodles, but they're actually very different. Chow Mein is a fried dish of Chinese origin made with wheat-based egg noodles which are usually boiled to soften before frying them in hot oil until crisp. Lo Mein is a stir-fried noodle dish from China's Szechuan region containing rice or wheat based thin strands of dough (noodles). The word "lo" means "tossed," so the main difference between these dishes comes down to how you prepare your ingredients: Chow Mein calls for tossing everything together while cooking, whereas Lo Mein requires stirring all of the ingredients together at once during preparation.

The character 久 is a word used in both chow mein and lo mein. In English, 久 means "long time," but if you see it on the menu at your favorite Chinese restaurant, there are two different dishes with similar names that use this character:

Chow Mein - A dish of fried noodles served with vegetables such as bok choy (菠菜) or broccoli (大白菜). The name comes from how long these ingredients cook before they're added to the dish--about ten minutes for each vegetable.

Mixed Lo Mein- A stir-fried noodle dish made up of rice or wheat based thin strands of dough (noodles), along with eggs, vegetables, and meat. The name comes from how long you stir all of the ingredients together--about three minutes to get everything mixed well.

The main difference between chow mein vs lo mein is in how they're prepared: Chow Mein calls for tossing everything together while cooking, whereas Lo Mein requires stirring all of the ingredients together at once during preparation. Another distinction between these dishes is that Chow Mein always contains wheat-based egg noodles which must be boiled before frying them in hot oil until crisp; meanwhile, Lo Mein can be made with either rice or wheat based thin strands of dough (noodles), depending on regional preference. 久 also means "long time" in Chinese and serves as a word used in both chow mein and lo mein. Chow Mein is made with fried wheat-based egg noodles that are boiled before frying them in hot oil until crisp, whereas Lo Mein can be made with either rice or wheat based thin strands of dough (noodles), depending on regional preference.

In the end, it really just depends what you're looking for: if you prefer crispy noodles and want to make an authentic Chinese dish at home, then Chow Mein may be your best bet; however, if you don't have a lot of time but need a quick dinner idea tonight, then try making some delicious Mixed Lo Mein instead!

Why you should try this recipe for dinner tonight!

This dish is a hit for dinner because it's easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. All you need are rice noodles, eggs, vegetable oil, water chestnuts (optional), some soy sauce or salt and pepper--and that's all! You'll want to fry your ingredients until crisp before adding in the soy sauce or salt and pepper as well; this will make sure they are crispy on the outside but still gooey on the inside. After cooking up these lo meins at home tonight we recommend topping them with fried onions or mushrooms which will give them an extra crunch while also providing more flavor than just plain old vegetables would provide. And if you have any leftovers? 久 means "long time" in Chinese so these noodles will last for days in the fridge--and you can always reheat them with a little bit of vegetable oil and water to bring back their original crispy texture!

Tips and tricks for making the best lo mein or chow mein at home

When making Chow Mein, always use a wok and make sure to fry the noodles for about ten minutes before adding them to your dish.

If you're looking for an authentic Chinese meal at home, then chow mein is probably the best option; however if you don't have much time or want something simple tonight, then lo meins are delicious too! Just be mindful that they take less time to prepare (about three minutes) than Chow Mein does (ten minutes).

Frying your ingredients before adding soy sauce or salt and pepper gives that extra crispiness 久 means "long time" in Chinese so these noodles will last for days in the fridge. They are easy to prepare, absolutely delicious, all you need is rice noodles eggs vegetable oil water chestnuts (optional) some soy sauce or salt and pepper. Fried onions on top if desired also give it an extra crunch while providing more flavor than just plain vegetables would provide. If there’s any leftovers from dinner tonight then they'll keep well for days in the fridge - just reheat them in some vegetable oil and water to bring back their original crispy texture.

The two dishes can look similar at first glance but when comparing textures and flavors there's quite a lot of difference in these stir fried noodle dishes - so make sure you consider which type suits your taste buds best!

Final thoughts on chow mein vs. lo mein

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Konnichi wa / Great Outdoors