What Is Chow Mein Noodles?

I bet you’ve at least tried one of the following: lo mein vs chow mein, do you know the distinctions between them, or are they both identical to one another? If you taste both, you will detect a slight texture difference. However, is that the only confusion-causing factor? No, there are other factors as well.

Noodle lovers should not miss this article. I’ll outline all of their similarities and differences for you so you can distinguish between them at any time. The best lo mein and chow mein recipes are also provided for you at the conclusion.

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Use our Tamari Soy Sauce to improve the flavor of your noodle recipe if you want your homemade chow mein or lo mein to taste better than takeout. Our Tamari Soy Sauce’s savory complexity will enhance the other flavors in your dish and give it a distinct richness. You can feel good about adding our Tamari Soy Sauce to your dish because it is also Non-GMO verified by the Non-GMO Project, certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, certified vegan, and certified kosher.

Explore our selection of San-J Tamari products and get your San-J Tamari today to move one step closer to the chow mein or lo mein of your dreams.

Chow Mein vs. Lo Mein: Which Is Better?

The most important consideration when deciding which Chinese noodle dish is better is personal preference. Others prefer a hearty bowl of steaming, sauce-drenched lo mein, while some noodle lovers enjoy the crunch of dried egg noodles expertly stir-fried into a delectable chow mein dish.

The other ingredients in your dish will frequently affect the texture of your noodles. Consider serving lo mein dishes with tougher ingredients like carrots, broccoli, celery, and snow peas and pairing crunchy chow mein noodles with softer ingredients like cooked mushrooms, juicy tomatoes, and bean sprouts.

What Is Chow Mein Noodles?

If hearing about chow mein and lo mein is making you hungry, you might be interested in learning how to prepare these noodles at home. Let’s talk about why you should order chow mein for dinner before I show you how to make it. Here are some of the top justifications for making chow mein, in addition to the mouthwatering flavors and textures:

  • Versatility: Like any other stir-fry, chow mein is incredibly customizable and allows you to switch up the vegetables and proteins as you please.
  • Simple sauce: While chow mein sauce is unbelievably easy to make, it still brings a complexity of flavors to the dish. The careful combination of ingredients like soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce and sugar results in a chow mein sauce that has hints of both savory and sweet notes.
  • Quick and easy: Homemade chow mein is simple to prepare and the entire cooking process takes less time to complete than ordering takeout and picking it up or waiting for a delivery order to arrive.
  • Disguised veggies: Thanks to a delicious blend of crunchy noodles and slightly sweet sauce, chow mein is the ideal noodle dish for sneaking in vegetables. Members of your family will be so focused on the yumminess of the noodles that they won’t notice nutritious additions like cabbage and bean sprouts.
  • Gather the following ingredients for your chow mein before you begin cooking it:

  • Egg noodles: For chow mein, you can use fresh or dried egg noodles depending on what texture you want your dish to have. Make sure you use dried egg noodles if you want your chow mein to be crispy.
  • Vegetables: Chow mein almost always features bean sprouts, shredded cabbage and chopped carrots. Usually, chow mein does not contain many other veggies, but you can feel free to add more.
  • Protein: You can toss whatever type of protein you want into your chow mein. From chicken or shrimp to tofu or tempeh, just about any source of protein tastes good with chow mein. Chicken tends to be the most popular chow mein protein because it complements the broth in the sauce quite nicely.
  • Sauce components: A standard chow mein sauce includes soy sauce, oyster sauce, light sesame oil, chicken broth, cornstarch and granulated sugar.
  • Before beginning the cooking process, make sure all the ingredients for your chow mein are chopped, prepared, and ready to go because a hot wok cooks food very quickly. Even though making chow mein in a wok is the best and most common method, you can also make it in a regular skillet if you don’t have one. Just make sure the skillet you use to stir-fry the noodles and other ingredients is big enough to hold everything.

    To make sure your chow mein is properly prepared, follow these instructions:

  • Start by boiling the egg noodles.
  • As the noodles are cooking, whisk together your chow mein sauce ingredients.
  • Cook any protein you’re using in a hot wok or skillet.
  • After the protein is cooked through, saute your veggies in the wok.
  • Once the noodles are ready, stir-fry them in the wok with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add the sauce to the wok and mix until the noodles are coated — only a minute or so.
  • Remove from the wok and enjoy!
  • Although the stir-fried noodles are the main attraction in a chow mein dish, the sauce is what separates a great chow mein from a mediocre one. Use a high-quality soy sauce to improve your chow mein sauce, which will give your dish a deeper savory quality and more layers of complex flavors. Make a wow-worthy chow mein with Tamari, a rich, dark soy sauce, as your secret ingredient.

    What Is Chow Mein Noodles?

    Try one of these classic chow mein recipes for a more precise list of ingredients:

  • Chicken chow mein: Chicken chow mein is an iconic Chinese takeout dish. You can whip up your own chicken chow mein in minutes by following the chow mein instructions above and using chicken, shredded cabbage, julienned carrots and green onions as your add-ins.
  • Shrimp chow mein: Have a seafood lover in your household? Shrimp chow mein will surely become a new dinnertime favorite for anyone who enjoys seafood and Chinese cuisine. Simply combine shrimp, cabbage, carrots and bean sprouts with your chow mein noodles to create this delicious dish.
  • Soy sauce chow mein: Ready to let your chow mein sauce-making skills shine? A simple soy sauce chow mein seasons plain fried egg noodles with a mouthwatering blend of light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, sugar, white pepper and Shaoxing wine.
  • What Is Chow Mein Noodles?

    Although lo mein uses a slightly different cooking method, it has all the same advantages as chow mein, including versatility, a straightforward sauce, quick preparation, and vegetables that aren’t readily apparent. For lo mein, noodles are not fried. Instead, pre-stir-fried vegetables and protein are combined with fully cooked egg noodles. In order for the soft, plump noodles in the lo mein to adhere to the additional sauce,

    Here are the ingredients for lo mein noodles that you should have on hand before getting into the specifics of making this delicious dish:

  • Noodles: For the best results, use fresh egg noodles. If you’re in a pinch, you can substitute virtually any other type of long noodle for your lo mein.
  • Vegetables: Lo mein typically includes sturdier veggies like broccoli, bell peppers, sliced zucchini and carrots. You can also sprinkle in some chopped onion, green onion and garlic for an extra pop of flavor.
  • Protein: Nearly any protein goes well with lo mein. Most commonly, lo mein involves chicken, beef, pork, turkey, shrimp or tofu.
  • Sauce components: Lo mein sauce is mainly composed of sesame oil, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, garlic, ginger, oyster sauce and a dash of sugar. If you like your noodles to have a little heat, you can sprinkle in some red pepper flakes.
  • To make the ideal lo mein, take the following actions after gathering your ingredients:

  • Boil and drain the egg noodles.
  • Make your lo mein sauce by whisking all the ingredients together.
  • Stir-fry the veggies and protein in a hot wok or heavy-based skillet. Incorporate a bit of the lo mein sauce while you’re cooking the veggies and protein to season them even more. Make sure you only cook the veggies until they are just cooked on the outside and still a bit raw in the center — overcooked veggies will leech water, which waters down the sauce’s flavor.
  • Add the noodles and sauce to the wok.
  • Use two wooden spoons to toss the noodles with the sauce and other ingredients. Work quickly and constantly stir so the noodles do not become overcooked, watery or soggy.
  • Remove from the wok as soon as the noodles are coated, plate and enjoy!
  • Make sure to spend time perfecting the sauce because it is the distinguishing element of any lo mein dish. While using light soy sauce will add extra saltiness and flavor to the dish without making the noodles darker, using dark soy sauce will give the lo mein color and a bolder flavor. Consider using Tamari, which uses more soy protein to produce a richer, more complex taste, for a more intense savory flavor.

    This dish will have a lot more sauce than chow mein because the sauce is the main component of lo mein. The lo mein sauce is perfectly complemented by the thick and chewy fresh egg noodles, which absorb the sauce. The perfect lo mein noodle, these plump and soft noodles can also be wrapped around chopsticks.

    What Is Chow Mein Noodles?

    Try one of these recipes when you’re prepared to make a tasty lo mein dish:

  • Spicy lo mein noodles: If you can handle some heat, add some red pepper flakes and sriracha sauce to your regular lo mein recipe. You can also zest up your lo mein’s flavors by using a splash of Chinese cooking wine in its sauce.
  • Chicken lo mein: Chicken is the standard meat used in lo mein noodles. If you’re looking for a little extra protein with your noodles and want to try a classic Chinese takeout dish, add some stir-fried chicken to your lo mein. Be sure to cook the chicken in the lo mein sauce to take the dish’s flavors up a notch.
  • Szechuan shrimp and asparagus over linguine: For those who really love to think outside the box, this Szechuan shrimp and asparagus over linguine recipe will certainly satisfy your daring taste buds. Adding a touch of San-J Szechuan Sauce to this lo mein-style recipe fills the dish with impactful flavors, while using linguine gives it a unique texture.
  • Noodle Shape

    By comparing the shapes of their noodles, you can easily tell lo mein from chow mein. Even after they have been cooked, lo mein noodles retain their distinctively round shape.

    However, the shape of chow mein noodles, particularly crispy ones, is flattened.

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