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There’s no denying that Lo Mein and Chow Mein are 2 popular Chinese noodles that taste delicious. However, while some American Chinese food menus consider Lo Mein and Chow Mein are similar, they are 2 distinct dishes. So, what is the difference between Lo Mein and Chow Mein? Let’s learn with BestLifeTips now!
What is Lo Mein?
Mein in general, or mian is a Chinese word to indicate noodles (pronounced as miàn). Besides, Lo means tossed, so, when we heard about Lo Mein (捞面, as lāo miàn), it is totally about tossed noodles.
Source: Pinch of Yum
So, how can we cook Lo Mein, and what is the difference between Lo Mein and Chow Mein?
How to make Lo Mein?
To make a delicious Lo Mein bowl, you need these fresh ingredients:
- 230 grams Lo Mein noodles or spaghetti noodles
- Flank steak (sliced against the grain)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 julienned red bell pepper
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
- 1/2 snow peas
- 1 julienned carrot
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Source: The Woks of Life
Then, follow the following steps:
Step 1: Whisk together sugar, soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, and Sriracha in a small bowl to make the sauce, then set aside
Step 2: Boil and drain Lo Mein noodles
Step 3: Heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat, then cook the steak until no longer pink.
Step 4: Add the mushrooms, garlic, carrot, and bell pepper inside to cook for a minute more
Step 5: Cook and stirring frequently about 3-4 minutes until tender
Step 6: Stir in snow peas and spinach for about 2-3 minutes until the spinach has wilted
Step 7: Stir in egg noodles and soy sauce mixture, and gently toss to combine.
Step 8: Serve immediately.
So, how about Chow Mein? What is the difference between Lo Mein and Chow Mein?
What is Chow Mein?
Similar to Lo Mein, Chow Mein (炒面, pronounced as chāo-miàn) is also a kind of noodle. However, Chow means fried, so, for Chow Mein, they are about fried noodles.
In China, there are two common types of Chow Mein, including Crisp Chow Mein and Steamed Chow Mein, where the noodles are pressed flat when frying, to make a sort of pancake and where the noodles are fried while tossing and coated in a sauce after the initial frying, respectively.
So, how can we cook Chow Mein? And what is the difference between Lo Mein and Chow Mein?
How to make Chow Mein?
This article will guide you on how to make dried noodles for Chow Mein.
Source: Serious Eat
Follow these steps to cook dried noodles for Chow Mein:
Step 1: Boil the Chow Mein noodles for 2 to 4 minutes in a large pot of salted water, then stir to separate them carefully.
Step 2: Pour the Chow Mein noodles out in a colander to drain them.
Step 3: Toss the Chow Mein noodles with oil to keep them from sticking together.
Step 4: Spray a steamer basket with a light coating of nonstick cooking spray, then place the oiled steamer basket in a large pot.
Step 5: Add enough water to the pot to fill the space below the bottom of the steamer basket and the bottom of the pot.
Step 6: Boil the water. Rinse the Chow Mein noodles in cool water then place the softened noodles in the steamer basket. After that, cover the pot and steam the noodles for 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 7: Drain the Chow Mein noodles without turning the heat off under the pot and the steamer basket
Step 8: Rinse the Chow Mein noodles in hot water, then return them to the steamer basket.
Step 9: Steam them for another 2 to 3 minutes before turn the noodles out into a bowl and splash them with a bit of canola oil or vegetable.
With just a few simple steps, you can cook yourself nice dried noodles for Chow Mein.
Source: Ahead of Thyme
Here’s how you can tell if you’re eating Chow Mein:
- The noodles are distinctly crispy (Crisp Chow Mein) or oily (Steamed Chow Mein)
- The amount of veggies and/or protein is at a minimum
- The sauce is thicker and dark
Then, what is the difference between Lo Mein and Chow Mein noodles?
What is the difference between Lo Mein and Chow Mein noodles?
Both Lo Mein and Chow Mein noodles are originally from China, made with egg noodles (cook with vegetables and sometimes meat or seafood), and contain wheat flour, just like Italian pasta, but their similarities stop there.
So, what is the difference between Lo Mein and Chow Mein noodles?
Source: This One vs That One
According to Bee Yinn Low, an author of a best-selling Chinese cookbook “Easy Chinese Recipes” determined that Chow Mein is a dry noodle dish without sauce, while Lo Mein is a saucy dish. So, the biggest difference is from how they’re cooked.
Lo Mein is best made with fresh noodles, and Chow Mein can be made with either fresh or dried noodles. Besides, Chow Mein noodles are stir-fried in a hot Chinese wok while Lo Mein noodles are mixed and tossed with ingredients such as chicken and vegetables and the Lo Mein sauce.
In addition, different from Chow Mein, Lo Mein noodles are cooked separately from the remaining ingredients in the dish, so they’re fully cooked instead of par-boiled.
They may be basically the same dish, however, the small differences can make a big difference between them.
Those are about what is the difference between Lo Mein and Chow Mein noodles. Can you tell them apart?
Is Lo Mein or Chow Mein better?
When it comes to how tasty Lo Mein or Chow Mein is, and is Lo Mein or Chow Mein better, the answer is, “It depends”.
While some people love the bite of crisp Chow Mein noodles, others prefer the saucy and chewy texture of Lo Mein. All that matters is that you get the perfect dish to suit your taste buds.
If you are making Chow Mein noodles, it works best with crunchier vegetables and meats, especially ones that have been perfectly browned to a crisp. Lo Mein, on the other hand, consider using softer ingredients that mush and mix with sauces better.
Is Lo Mein or Chow Mein healthier?
When it comes to is Lo Mein or Chow Mein healthier, Lo Mein noodles absolutely come out on top. Chow Mein is a kind of fried noodle, therefore it has a higher fat count. Lo Mein is the healthier dish because instead of fried, the noodles being boiled.
Source: Dinner, then Dessert
Besides, the nutritional value of Lo Mein and Chow Mein mainly depends on the ingredients we use, as well as the way in which the dish is cooked. Both of the noodles will provide some source of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates if seafood or meat is added to the recipe.
Lo Mein vs. Chow Mein, which has more calories?
The difference between Lo Mein and Chow Mein also comes from the nutrition facts.
Source: Rachael Ray Show
One hearty serving of Lo Mein is just under 500 calories if it’s loaded with fresh vegetables. It’s low in sugar and high in protein for a deliciously well-balanced meal.
Chow Mein, on the other hand, one serving of Vegetable Chow Mein just around 255 calories, but a normal one can up to 458,6 calories.
Above are about what is the difference between Lo Mein and Chow Mein. We do hope that you will get more knowledge about those common noodles from China. Don’t forget to come back with BestLifeTips for more interesting articles.