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Lo Mein Vs. Ramen: What’s The Difference?

There are a lot of noodle recipes from all around the world, and these noodle dishes are prepared using different cooking techniques.

Lo mein and ramen are among the popular noodle recipes that are eaten all over the world, and they can easily be found in restaurants.

Both noodle dishes are prepared with different types of noodles which are also cooked together with a variety of savory ingredients

In this post we discuss these two noodle dishes as well as the differences between them.

Difference between lo mein and ramen

Lo mein is a noodle dish where soft egg noodles are tossed together with a sauce and a stir-fried mix of meats, vegetables and seafood.

Ramen is a noodle soup that consists of wheat noodles which are served with a broth and a variety of toppings.

What is lo mein?

Lo mein is a Chinese noodle dish. It is made up of noodles which are first parboiled and then tossed together with a variety of ingredients. Lo mein means tossed noodles in English.

The type of noodles that is used to make lo mein is egg noodles.

Egg noodles are pale yellow in color and they are made from wheat flour and eggs.

Fresh egg noodles or dried egg noodles could be used to make lo mein, although fresh noodles are often preferred.

Other ingredients in this dish are vegetables, meat, seafood, and wontons which are stir-fried separately.

The egg noodles are also tossed together with a sauce made from sesame oil, soy sauce and sugar.

How lo mein is prepared

Ginger, garlic, carrot and meats are stir fried in a wok heated over medium high.

At the same time, the egg noodles are parboiled for a few minutes in boiling water to soften.

Towards the end of stir frying, when the vegetables are browned, the softened egg noodles are added to the stir fry together with sauce and tossed.

Mung bean sprouts could also be tossed together with the noodles

Lo mein could be eaten as a main dish but sometimes served as a side dish.

Chow mein

Chow mein is another Chinese noodle dish that is very similar lo mein,

 It could prepared using the same ingredients as lo mein which include the egg noodles, vegetables, meat, sauce and seafood.

However, in chow mein, there is a slight difference when it comes to how this dish is prepared.

Chow mein means fried noodles.

Unlike lo mein where the meats and vegetables are first stir-fried separately from the noodles, in chow mein, the noodles are fried together with the vegetables, meats and other ingredients in the pan

The egg noodles in chow mein also have a more crisp texture

What is ramen?

Ramen is also known as Japanese noodle soup.

It is a very popular dish in Japan and also all around the world.

Ramen has so many varieties, however, each ramen noodle soup has three main components; wheat noodles, broth and toppings.

The wheat noodles that are used to make ramen are made using only wheat flour and water.

These noodles which may be thick or thin, and they are also chewy. Their yellow color as a result of an alkaline mineral known as kansui which is used to make these noodles.

The broth used to make ramen could be meat broth, fish chicken, or pork broth, the broth could be made from a mixture of different broths.

Various toppings are used for the different types of ramen including pork, eggs, soy sauce, miso, nori, menma and scallions.

The noodles are traditionally cooked separately from the broth.

After boiling the noodles, they are added to the broth followed by the different toppings for this dish. Ramen is also traditionally eaten with chopsticks.

Types of ramen noodles

Ramen is versatile dish and there are a lot of ramen recipes with many variations in its ingredients.

This dish also vary from region to region, however, there are four main types of ramen; shoyu, shio, miso and tonkotsu ramen

Shoyu ramen is made with a chicken broth. Soy sauce is also used in this variety of ramen.

Shio ramen is made with a chicken or pork base broth and then it is seasoned with salt

For miso ramen, the broth is flavored with miso while tonkotsu ramen is made with a pork bone broth.

Ramen is also available in the dried packaged which is easy to prepare.