Mein is simply the Chinese word for noodles. During the cooking process, we would boil the noodles (Mein) till cooked, drained, then go to the following step "lo" or "chow" the noodles with other ingredients. Noodles can be cooked in different ways and on behalf of cooking method; they are categorized in different dishes. Chow Mein and Lo Mein are two different types of noodle dishes. Usually, people think that these two different types of dishes mean different types of noodles. This is not exact definition. Here are some key differences between Chow Mein and Lo Mein.
"Chow” means frying in wok “Mein” is noodle" so Chow Mein is fried noodle, it can be dry or with gravy with meat and vegetables. It is a stir-fried dish consisting of noodles, meat, onions and celery. There are two main kinds of chow Mein available in the market: 1) Steamed chow Mein, and 2) Crispy chow Mein. The steamed chow Mein has a softer texture, while the latter is crispier and drier. Crispy chow Mein uses fried, flat noodles, while soft chow Mein uses long, rounded noodles.
"Lo means mixing" so lo Mein refers to noodle cooked in a pot of hot water then mix into some cooked oil and sauce, then top with some ingredients like meat or vegetable. Lo Mein is a Chinese dish with wheat flour noodles. Lo Mein is a popular take-out food in American Chinese restaurants.
Chow Mein vs Lo Mein
The obvious difference between Chow Mein and Lo Mein is that prior is fried noodles, while later are cooked noodles. Chow noodles are cooked twice in the wok, but Lo Mein are pre-boiled and usually not cooked twice. Basically, the way the noodles are cooked makes the difference between these two types. In general Lo Mein is a soft noodle, while Chow Mein is a crunchy noodle.
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