Difference Between Chow Mein and Lo Mein

Main Difference

Chinese food is perhaps the most famous food in the world, and there is a broad variety of dishes which are available to try for the ones who enjoy different foods. The vast range of menu still creates confusion among people because there are instances where the food looks similar but has a different name or taste. Two of such items which share the same issue are Chow Mein and Lo Mein. They seem just like one another but have some differences among them which will be discussed in the lines which follow. The similarity between them is that they both are made from noodles, this leads to the main difference which is the method in which both these items are cooked. Chow Mein noodles are cooked properly after frying while Lo Mein noodles are boiled instead of being fried. Regarding the meaning of both these words, Chow means prepared while Lo means tossed, which fulfills the criteria of the explanation given above. Chow Mein can be made from different types of noodles, but Lo Mein is more suitable for traditional Chinese egg noodles which are boiled quickly. The advanced method of cooking both these kinds is different too. Chow Mein are initially fried with some oil and can be made of various types such as kebabs, regular noodles, and pancakes while Lo Mein is eaten in the traditional way. One noticeable difference between them is that Chow Mein are spicy and stiffer while Lo Mein noodles are less spicy and are softer in comparison. Chow Mein are more famous all over the world because they can be made into different types suiting people living in various parts of the world. While Lo Mein is famous in China where people prefer traditional ways and fewer spices. Chow Mein can be made into a variety of forms. Stuff such as meat and peppers added at will but for Lo Mein there are few types of dishes but still meat, and other stuff can be added since it does not use oil and is softer people prefer to eat them in the regular form.

Comparison Chart

Chow MeinLo Mein
EtymologyThe word Chow means fried.The word Lo means tossed.
TypeType of noodles which are fried.Type of noodles which are boiled.
SequenceFried after cookingBoiled before cooking
ImpressionCrispy and spicySoft and salty
FameAll over the worldMostly in China

Definition of Chow Mein

Chow Mein dishes are one of the most famous dishes in Chinese food and are eaten all over the world, this is due to the reason that they can be cooked in different ways and suit the people living in different parts of the globe. The main way of cooking these type of noodles is that they are fried, because of frying they are stiffer and can be made of different kinds such as pancakes, simple noodles, cakes, balls and even kebabs. People prefer them because they have more spices and easier to eat which give a different taste. Many things can be added in Chow Mein noodles such as vegetables and meat and even fruits in some cases. They are less preferred in China because people there do not like the use of spices but in the world, this dish is the best ambassador for Chinese food.

Definition of Lo Mein

It is derived form the word Lo which means tossed, these types of noodles do not include any kind of oil for cooking and are boiled in the first place before any experimentation can be done with them. They are softer and rounder in texture and do not have the option of making them in different variety. It also uses fewer spices and is eaten in the regular noodle form, which makes it more famous in the local community of China. Since it is less spicy, it goes well with vegetables and other typical foods and usually chicken and beef is not added. This is not popular with people around the world because of a distinct taste. They are easier to make in comparison to Chow Mein and take less time. Cost effectiveness is another feature of these types which are also healthier.

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. The word Chow means fried while the word Lo mean tossed and they form the basis of the difference between these two types.
  2. Chow Mein are fried noodles while Lo Mein does not use any kind of oil and are boiled before cooking.
  3. Chow Mein can be utilized in a variety of ways and many different forms while Lo Mein does not have much variety and has a particular way.
  4. Chow Mein are crispy and hard while Lo Mein is soft noodles.
  5. Chow Mein are more famous all over the world, but Lo Mein is mostly eaten in China.
  6. Pancakes, Kebabs, Salads can make use of Chow Mein noodles while Lo Mein is just available as usual
  7. Chow Mein are spicy while Lo Mein is less spicy.
  8. Chow Mein are less favorable for health and kill appetite while Lo Mein is healthier and can be consumed in larger portions.

Conclusion

All in all, it can be concurred from the above discussion that both the dishes belong to the Chinese cuisine but are very different from each other in most ways. From the way of cooking to the taste and even the amount of fame both get. Hopefully, this would have been beneficial towards understanding them better.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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