Noodle Enthusiast? The Difference Between Chow Mein And Lo Mein
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People generally believe that the fundamental distinction between lo mein and chow mein is the type of noodles utilised. It stands to reason, after all, chow mein noodles are crisp, but lo mein noodles are squishy. The biggest difference between these two popular recipes is how the noodles are made. The Chinese name for noodles is simply mein or mian. Chow mein or chao mian means "fried noodles," whereas lo mein means "tossed noodles."

Lo mein and chow mein are both made with Chinese egg noodles, which are wheat flour noodles with an egg added. For lo mein, use fresh egg noodles, while chow mein can be made with either fresh or dried egg noodles. In any case, the noodles must be softened in boiling water prior to cooking. Dried noodles must be parboiled in boiling water for 5 to 6 minutes before use, whereas fresh egg noodles only require 2 to 3 minutes. The exact amount of cooking time will depend on the thickness of the noodles, so if available, follow the packaging directions. However, whether you're using fresh or dried noodles, the goal is to cook them until they're just cooked but not too soft (what the Italians call "al dente," or "cooked to the tooth").

Other Key Differences

1. Texture And Flavour Profile

Because of the manner in which they are cooked, chow mein noodles are crunchier than lo mein noodles. Because lo mein noodles are fully cooked before being mixed with any additional toppings and sauce, they are often smoother and slightly chewier. Lo mein noodles must also be thick and robust enough to withstand the weight of more sauce.

2. Wok

Even though cooking the noodles in a wok produces the best-tasting results, the two noodle dishes are prepared differently. Chow mein noodles are made by softly frying the ingredients in a hot wok with a minimal quantity of oil while swirling quickly. Instead of being fried, the noodles in lo mein are already cooked and are simply mixed and tossed with the rest of the ingredients.

3. Sauce

Chow mein is a dry noodle meal with a very light and delicate sauce — if any at all. Lo mein is a saucy noodle dish that relies heavily on a rich sauce for flavour.