8 Great Difference between Chow Mein and Lo Mein (In Tabular Form)

What is the difference between chow mein and lo mein?

The two popular dishes tend to confuse a lot of people. Many people end up using the name interchangeably. But these two dishes are quite different.

The core difference between chow mein and lo mein is that chow mein is a stir-fried noodle whereas lo mein is a tossed noodle.

Comparison Table: Chow Mein vs Lo Mein

Basic Terms Chow Mein Lo Mein
Description Noodles are soaked in hot water before stir-frying to cook the noodles. Noodles are cooked fully before they are mixed with meat, vegetables, and sauce
Literal Meaning Stir-fried noodles Tossed noodles
Texture Crispy Soft
Alternative Name Chao Mian Lo Mian
Noodle Shape Either flat or round Round
Appearance Dry noodle dish Sauce noodle dish
Origin of the names Chinese language Cantonese dialect
Types Chicken chow mein

Shrimp chow mein

Pork chow mein

Soy chow mein

Panda express chow mein

Vegetable lo mein

Chicken lo mein

Shrimp lo mein

What Is Chow Mein?

Chow Mein is a Chinese noodle cooked with a unique recipe and technique. The dish is highly nutritious and this is the reason behind its popularity.

The name chow mein is derived from the Chinese language to mean stir-fried noodles. The preparation of the noodles is quite simple and very fast.

Chow Mein is prepared by soaking the noodles in hot water before stir-frying. The stir-frying is the process that helps to cook the noodles completely.

The cooked noodles are served without sauce. Hence they tend to be dried noodles. They are normally fried in the hot Chinese wok.

chow mein (Difference Between Chow Mein and Lo Mein)

What Is Lo Mein?

Lo Mein is another unique noodles that are popular due to their taste and texture. The noodles are highly valued among China-American food enthusiasts.

The name Lo Mein is derived from Cantonese dialect. These two words literally mean tossed noodles.

Low Mein is fully cooked before being mixed with meat, vegetables, and sauce in the wok. They are mixed and tossed.

The noodles tend to be quite soft and mouthwatering. Some common types of sauce noodle dishes are shrimp lo mein, vegetable lo mein, and chicken lo mein.

lo mein (difference between chow mein and lo mein)

Main Difference between Lo Mein and Chow Mein In Point Form

  1. Chow mein is derived from Chinese language chao mian whereas lo mein is derived from Cantonese dialect lo mian
  2. Chow mein is stir-fried noodles whereas lo mein are tossed noodles
  3. Chow mein noodles are crispy whereas lo mein are soft noodles
  4. Chow mein is soaked in hot water before stir-frying whereas lo mein is fully cooked before being mixed with vegetables or sauce
  5. Chow mein is dried noodles while lo mein are wet noodles
  6. The shape noodles of chow mein are either flat or round whereas those of lo mein is always round.
  7. Chow mein traditional name is cho mian whereas that of lo mein is lo mian

Similarities between Chow Mein and Lo Mein

  1. Both have similar ingredients
  2. Both are noodles
  3. Both are traditional Chinese food

Frequently Asked Questions about Chow Mein and Lo Mein

  • Is Chow Mein or Lo Mein Healthier?

Chow Mein, it has a low content of saturated fats and a low amount of calories. It is regarded to be healthier than lo mein.

  • Is Lo Mein Or Chow Mein Better?

The taste depends on personal preference. There is no winner between the two types of noodles. Lo mein is soft and chow mein is crispy.

  • Does Chow Mein Taste Like Lo Mein?

Chow mein has a chewy texture and fried flavor whereas lo mein is stir with vegetables and mixed with proteins at the end of the process. The texture of the lo mein is soft. Hence the taste of the two foods is quite different.

  • Can I Use Spaghetti Noodles For Lo Mein?

Yes. The spaghetti will make a tasty noodle dish though it does not contain egg ingredient as in lo mein.

You May Also Like

Comparison Video


The main difference between chow mein and lo mein is that low mein is a sauce wet noodles while chow mein is a crispy and crunchy noodle. Both are healthy in Chinese traditional foods.

More Sources and References

Leave a Comment