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

chow mein vs lo mein pork

In this blog post, we will be comparing two popular Chinese dishes: pork chow mein and lo mein.

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Both dishes are delicious, but they are quite different from one another when it comes to taste and appearance.

Today, it is very easy to find pork chow mein or lo mein in any Chinese restaurant in the United States, therefore, it will be better if you know how they are distinctive from each other, which will be unraveled right below.

What is pork chow mein?

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Pork chow mein is a dish that is popular in many Chinese restaurants, but the origins of this dish are unclear.

Some believe it was first created by Cantonese immigrants to America who wanted to recreate their favorite home-cooked meal back in China.

Others say pork chow mein came from food carts on the streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles during the 1930s and 1940s when an influx of Asian workers was coming into California for jobs.

However, no matter which origin is true, pork chow mein is usually considered a Chinese-American dish.

It consists of stir-fried noodles with pork, various vegetables like cabbage, carrot, or peas, with other condiments, such as soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and pepper.

The dish has been popularized by large chain restaurants such as Panda Express.

The word “chow” means “fried” or “stir-fried.” The word “mein,” which can also be spelled mien, simply means noodle.

So the literal translation of this dish would be fried noodles.

What is pork lo mein?

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Lo Mein, also spelled lao mian or lo mei, are noodles that come in many shapes and varieties.

Pork lo mein is the traditional lo mein that is cooked with pork.

It is a popular Chinese noodle dish that calls for thin and chewy noodles tossed in a delicious and thick sauce that coats them evenly, with plenty of veggies to go around.

These noodles have the perfect amount of elasticity for absorbing sauce without being too hard or too soft when bitten into.

The word “lo mein” means “tossed noodles”, which is how the dish is served.

Today, lo mein has become one of China’s most well-known dishes and can be found on menus all over the world!

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

Although pork chow mein and pork lo mein might look relatively similar and are two famous noodle dishes in Chinese cuisine, they have some differences which make each unique in their own way.

 ComparisonPork chow meinPork lo mein
OriginIt is believed that pork chow mein was created by a Chinese immigrant in America, so the origin of this dish can be considered as Chinese-AmericaPork lo mein is a completely Chinese dish
NoodlesBoiled and stir-fried until you see they turn a little brown, and they start turning crispyNoodles are thinner and only boiled then tossed with the sauce, no need to stir-fry
TextureThinner because the noodles are stir-fried so they become smaller in sizeThicker because the noodles are only boiled then tossed in a thick sauce
Fat contentHave more fat because all the ingredients are stir-fried with oil. The resulting dish tastes richerHave less fat because there is no need to stir-fry the noodles in oil so the fat is minimized

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

Despite the key differences that set pork chow mein and the lo mein counterpart apart, these two dishes also share some similarities:

They are two popular Chinese noodles dishes

Pork chow mein and pork lo mein have the Asian root, even in their names.

Chow mein and lo mein refer to stir-fried and tossed noodles respectively.

They are now not only famous in China or Asian cuisine but also all over the world.

They call for the same ingredients

The only main difference between these two dishes is how the noodles are prepared.

The rest of the ingredients are usually the same.

The recipes for both dishes call for soy sauce as the base for a thick sauce, some condiments such as garlic, red pepper, ginger, sesame oil, and sugar for a flavorful taste with sweet, savory, and tangy punches.

Moreover, both use plenty of veggies, which make the whole dish healthier and balanced.

Which one is better?

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You will decide which dish seems to taste better to you.

Pork chow mein and lo mein are both delicious, but they have different tastes and appearances that you may prefer over the other.

It might be a good idea to try them both if you like Chinese food and are not sure what dish to replicate at home next time.