You are currently viewing Subgum Vs. Chow Mein: What’s The Difference?

Subgum Vs. Chow Mein: What’s The Difference?

Chinese American cuisine offers many dishes with diverse flavors.  

These dishes are meant to cater a global audience, and they draw influences from both Chinese and American cooking techniques. 

Subgum and chow mein are popular Chinese American dishes which are often prepared by stir-frying.  

Although they often feature similar ingredients such as meats, noodles, and vegetables, these two dishes are different.  

Each of these dishes brings a unique combination of flavors and textures, and understanding the differences between these two dishes would help you appreciate them better. 

In this post, we highlight the characteristics distinguishing these two dishes. 

What is subgum?

Subgum is a Chinese American dish known for its diverse range of ingredients and flexibility in preparation.  

It is typically stir-fried and displays a rich blend of textures and flavors.  

Meats like beef, pork, chicken, contribute to the dish’s variety. A wide variety of vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms, and bean sprouts can be used as well. 

Seafood like shrimp and scallops can also be used to prepare this dish. Sometimes noodles or rice are incorporated into subgum. 

The preparation style is not limited to stir-frying; subgum can also be braised or steamed, enhancing its complexity. 

What is chow mein?

Chow mein is a distinctive stir-fried dish centered around noodles, emphasizing their crispy texture.  

The main ingredients include a variety of vegetables and meats, with the noodles taking the center stage.  

These noodles are either boiled or steamed separately to achieve a soft texture.  

During preparation, vegetables are stir-fried in a wok, and the softened noodles are added towards the end of the stir-fry process, creating a blend of flavors enriched by a sauce.  

The technique employed results in the signature crispy texture of the noodles in this dish. 

Difference between subgum and chow mein

The main difference between subgum and chow mein lies in their ingredient choices.  

While both are stir-fry dishes, chow mein is characterized by its focus on noodles as the main ingredient, as well as creating a distinct crispy texture. 

On the other hand, subgum is more diverse, with no specific main ingredient, emphasizing the use of a range of ingredients, resulting in varied flavors and textures from recipe to recipe.