What’s the difference between Lo Mein and Chow Mein? We know the answer!
If you order Chinese takeout often, you probably have one, or a few, go-to dishes.
This editor loves shrimp with broccoli. My daughter orders chicken lo mein, every time.
If you’re like us, you may not have tried some of the other options, partly because you’re unsure about the terminology.
They both involve noodles made with wheat flour and eggs. Mein, or “mian,” refers to noodles in Chinese.
But how are they different?
Lo Mein vs. Chow Mein
It’s all in the method. The cooking method, that is.
Lo mein involves boiling the noodles until they’re al dente, then mixing them with the protein and vegetables. “Lo mein” means mixed noodles.
Chow mein involves stir frying the parboiled noodles. Chow, or “chao” in Chinese, means stir fry.
There are different styles of chow mein in the United States and around the world. Sometimes, chow mein features crispy noodles, which is a Hong Kong tradition.
Lo mein is saucier than chow mein. Either soy sauce or oyster sauce can be used as the base. Lo mein vegetables often include bok choy and cabbage.
Which Noodles to Use
For lo mein, use rounded noodles, such as linguine. For chow mein, you can use either flat or rounded noodles. You can use ramen noodles for either lo mein or chow mein.
Now that you know the difference between lo mein and chow mein, you might want to try one of each! And be sure to check out our Asian recipes for meals to make at home.
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