3 Big Difference: Chow Mein VS Lo Mein

CHOW MEIN VS LO MEIN: To better understand the distinctions between the two popular Chinese noodle dishes—Chow Mein and Lo Mein—we’ve compiled this guide, including everything from recipes and preparation methods to nutritional information.

I get a lot of these questions from individuals.  What is Lo Mein, and what is it made of?

Being an expert in Chinese cuisine, I’ll go into further depth.

A wide variety of Chinese noodle dishes are available.

Two of China’s best-known noodles have a few notable differences:

  • Chao Mian is the Chinese word for Chow Mein. Noodles stir-fried are the literal meaning of the two words.
  • In Cantonese, Lo Mein is referred to as “Lao mian.” Literally translated, the two terms indicate “noodles mingled or tossed.”
  • Cooking procedures are vastly different in the two countries. However, the cooking method is vastly different despite the similarity in components.
  • Before stir-fried in a wok, Chow Mein Noodles are pre-boiled or pre-soaked in hot water. The noodles are totally cooked throughout the stir-frying process. Lo Mein noodles are adequately cooked before mixed with meat, vegetables, and sauce in the pan.  Mix and toss, not a stir-fry, these ingredients.
  • In contrast to the dry noodles in Chow Mein, the noodles with Lo Mein are smothered in sauce.
  • In a hot Chinese wok, chow mein noodles are quickly stir-fried. Chicken and vegetables, as well as the Lo Mein sauce, are combined with the noodles in a Lo Mein.


Here are various Chow Mein recipes, all of which use classic stir-frying methods to prepare and cook the noodles.

  1. Chow Mein
  2. Chicken Chow Mein
  3. Shrimp Chow Mein
  4. Pork Chow Mein
  5. Soy Sauce Chow Mein
  6. Panda Express Chow Mein Copycat

The sauce is lavishly lathered over the wet noodles in a dish called Lo Mein. Lo Mein recipes are suggested below.

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