Chicken Chow Mein Vs Chicken Lo Mein: What’s The Difference?

chicken chow mein vs lo mein

Chow mein and lo mein are two popular Chinese takeout dishes that have been around for centuries with numerous varieties.

So how do you know which dish tastes better?

You probably find the answer in this article.

Let’s check it out!

What is chicken chow mein?

La Choy Chicken Chow Mein with Vegetables, 42 oz (Pack of 2)

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Chicken chow mein is a Chinese dish that consists of noodles, different kinds of vegetables (carrots, broccoli florets, cabbage, bean sprouts, green onions that are all shredded or thinly sliced), and chicken meat.

The name “chow mein” comes from the Cantonese word for stir-frying, or frying, which means noodles are fried to achieve a crispy texture before cooking with other ingredients.

The sauce to cook chicken chow mein is usually sesame oil base with garlic, ginger, oyster sauce, and soy sauce to taste.

Chow mein can be made from any type of protein besides chicken, such as pork, beef, shrimp, or even vegan options like peas or nuts.

Chicken chow mein is not only popular in China, where it was created, but also worldwide, especially in American Chinese cuisine.

It can be served in a restaurant, easily made at home, or typically as a delicious takeout dish.

What is chicken lo mein?

Simply Asia Chinese Style Lo Mein Noodles, 14 oz (Pack of 6)

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Chicken lo mein is also a staple in Chinese cuisine.

It is quite similar to chicken chow mein, however, the way the noodles are prepared is different.

Chicken lo mein also consists of noodles, various vegetables, chicken meat, soy sauce, and other aromatic spices like ginger and garlic to enhance the flavor.

Noodles, after being boiled, will be tossed with other seasoned stir-fried ingredients like chicken and vegetables, with some oyster sauce and soy sauce, as the name implies, “lo mein” referring to “toss”.

The noodles are usually made from wheat flour and egg, and Chinese people tend to make their own noodles just before cooking the dish instead of buying processed instant noodles.

Therefore, their noodle dishes always have a fresh taste.

There are also different variants of this dish, in which the main protein is replaced by pork, beef, either thinly sliced or ground and shrimp.

What are the differences between chicken chow mein vs chicken lo mein?

Chicken chow mein and chicken lo mein are two similar dishes.

However, the methods to cook noodles are basically different from each other, which will be unraveled in the table below:

 Chicken chow meinChicken lo mein
Cooking methodBoiled noodles are fried to achieve a slightly crispy crustBoiled noodles are stirred or tossed with sauce and other ingredients
Cooking timeLonger because it will take a little more time for the noodles to be crispyShorter
TextureCrispySoft
Fat contentA bit fattier because the noodles are fried in oilLess fat because boiled noodles are tossed with other ingredients without being fried with oil, therefore, it is considered a bit healthier

What are the similarities between chicken chow mein vs chicken lo mein?

There are numerous similarities between chicken chow mein and chicken lo mein, making it hard for a lot of people to differentiate these two dishes.

1. Chicken chow mein and chicken lo mein have the same ingredients and taste

Basically, you will need exactly the same ingredients for cooking these two dishes.

Fresh noodles, different kinds of vegetables, chicken, sauce (usually soy sauce and oyster sauce), and spices like garlic, ginger, sesame oil, pepper, sugar, and Chinese cooking wine.

Feel free to opt for your favorite vegetables, but these dishes are traditionally made of shredded carrots, cabbage, bean sprouts, and green onions.

You can also use spinach or bok choy, as long as the resulting dish is colorful thanks to the use of different kinds of vegetables that are contrasting in colors.

When it comes to chicken, it’s your choice to choose white meat or dark meat chicken.

But if you want a healthier option, lean meat like chicken breast will be better.

2. Chicken chow mein and chicken lo mein are both famous worldwide

Another similarity between chicken chow mein and chicken lo mein is that they have the same origin.

Both are popular Chinese dishes that are now not only popular in this Asian country but also in the United States, United Kingdom, India, and Nepal.

Which one is better?

Product ComparisonLa Choy Chicken Chow Mein with Vegetables, 42 oz (Pack of 2)Simply Asia Chinese Style Lo Mein Noodles, 14 oz (Pack of 6)
Product ImageLa Choy Chicken Chow Mein with Vegetables, 42 oz (Pack of 2)Simply Asia Chinese Style Lo Mein Noodles, 14 oz (Pack of 6)
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It may seem like these two dishes are very similar, despite the fact that chicken chow mein will be a little crispier in texture and greasier in flavor.

Therefore, which dish tastes better for you will actually depend on your preference.

Will you stick with a healthier and lighter version like chicken lo mein or a crispy dish like chicken chow mein?