Chicken Lo/Chow Mein

Well I had to do a google search on this recipe, well the recipe is compliments of one of my featured Co-Hosts, Ramona over at Curry & Comfort. Thanks Ramona! I’m trying to  understand the different between Chicken Lo Mein and Chicken Chow Mein. Ramona says Chow Mein but google seems to be leaning towards Lo Mein. Well I made my dish a tad bit different than Ramona, I had pre-made noodles and tossed them with the veggies and sauce, then served.

Question: What is the Difference Between Lo Mein and Chow Mein?

Answer: People frequently assume that the main difference between lo mein and chow mein is the type of noodles that are used. It makes sense – after all, chow mein noodles are crisp while lo mein noodles are soft, right? Actually, the main distinction between these two popular dishes lies in how the noodles are prepared.

Know Your Noodle Vocabulary

Mein or mian is simply the Chinese word for noodles. Lo Mein means “tossed noodles,” while chow mein or chao mian means “fried noodles.”

What Type of Noodles are Used in Chow Mein and Lo Mein dishes?

Both lo mein and chow mein are made with Chinese egg noodles – wheat flour noodles with egg added. Fresh egg noodles (preferably about 1/4-inch thick) are best for lo mein, while either fresh or dried can be used to make chow mein. Either way, the noodles need to be softened in boiling water before cooking. Dried noodles are parboiled in boiling water for 5 to 6 minutes before using, while fresh egg noodles only need to be boiled for 2 to 3 minutes. The exact amount of cooking time will depend on the thickness of the noodles, so be sure to follow the package instructions if available. But whether you’re working with fresh or dried noodles, the goal is to boil them until they are just cooked but not too soft (what the Italian’s call “al dente,” or “cooked to the tooth”).

How are Lo Mein and Chow Mein Prepared?

One method of preparing chow mein noodles is to fry them separately into a “noodle pancake” and then pour the stir-fried meat and vegetables over the fried noodles. The chow mein noodles can also be stir-fried with the meat/poultry and vegetables.

With lo mein, the parboiled noodles are frequently added near the end of cooking to heat through and toss with the other ingredients and sauce. Alternately, the parboiled noodles may be tossed with a sauce and the stir-fried ingredients poured over.

I don’t care what it was because it was all going to the same place! My Bellay!!! So let me tell you how to cook it up and you can be your own judge!
1/4 soy sauce
2 Tbs oyster sauce (I omitted this because I couldn’t find it in the store!)
1/4 cup Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 tsp brown sugar
1 Tbs sesame oil
1/8 tsp Chinese Five Spice (I used Hot Shot, I figured spicy is spicy!)
1/4 chicken stock with 1 Tbs of cornstarch made into a slurry

Chicken Lo Mein (1)


Cook pasta noodles 1-2 minutes shy of package instructions. (I skipped this part because I knew mine were already done to that point so I added them at the end.)  Drain and set aside until later. Add 2tsp of cornstarch to sliced chicken and allow to set for a few minutes.

Chicken Lo Mein (3)

Heat a wok on high heat and add sliced chicken and stir fry for 2 minutes. Then add the ginger, garlic, red chili flakes and some salt and pepper. Don’t forget to go easy on the salt because of the soy sauce.

While this was happening, I then made my sauce. I just stirred it inside a measuring cup for easy access

Chicken Lo Mein (2)

Next add the sliced cabbage, celery and any other vegetables (accept the bean sprouts). Stir fry for another 2-3 minutes.  Add your sauce ingredients and stir fry until sauce begins to boil and thicken.

Finally add the bean sprouts and cook for a minute then add the cooked pasta and toss well with the sauce and vegetables.  Taste for seasoning and serve hot.  Don’t be afraid to taste and add what it may be missing to your taste. I’m really bad at the whole “making a slurry” or “thickening” process it’s sometimes called, my sauces never thicken 🙁 However I didn’t care because the taste was amazing.

Chicken Lo Mein (4)

Serve with chow mein style crunchy noodles or good ol’ fashion fortune cookies. My husband loves fortune cookies.

Chicken Lo Mein (5)

How yummy does that look! Madison loved the noodles! Even ate a few pieces of chicken! Yay!

Chicken Lo Mein (6)

Oh and here was my husbands fortune that night………Ha!Chicken Lo Mein (7)

7 thoughts on “Chicken Lo/Chow Mein

  1. Looks delicious, Momma! Funny – I just made chicken chow mein yesterday (although, now that I’ve read your very informative post about the difference between lo mein and chow mein, I’m thinking what I made was lo mein!). You’re right – it doesn’t matter what it’s called because it’s delicious!

    1. I would measure it out separately. One red, One green (cole slaw) and one or two yellows for the noodles, oh and One orange for the sauce! I hope you enjoy!

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