Lo Mein vs Pad Thai: Evaluating Nutritional Value and Taste

When it comes to takeout, two dishes often stand out as crowd favorites: lo mein and pad thai. But what sets these two dishes apart? And more importantly, which one is healthier for you? In this blog post, we will delve into the nutritional information of both lo mein vs pad thai to help you make an informed decision next time you’re craving some delicious Asian cuisine. So, let’s explore the differences and find out which dish reigns supreme.

What Is The Difference Between Lo Mein vs Pad Thai?

what is the difference between lo mein vs pad thai

Lo Mein is a popular Chinese noodle dish consisting of egg noodles that are stir-fried with various vegetables and proteins. The noodles in Lo Mein are typically thicker and chewier in texture. The dish is usually seasoned with a soy-based sauce, giving it a savory and slightly sweet flavor.

On the other hand, Pad Thai is a traditional Thai dish made with rice noodles. It is a stir-fried dish with ingredients like shrimp, tofu, bean sprouts, and peanuts. Pad Thai has a tangy and slightly spicy flavor, often achieved with tamarind paste, fish sauce, and lime juice.

In summary, the main differences between Lo Mein and Pad Thai are the type of noodles used and the dishes’ flavor profiles. Lo Mein has thicker egg noodles and a savory taste, while Pad Thai is made with rice noodles and has a tangy and slightly spicy flavor. Both dishes are delicious in their own right and offer unique culinary experiences.


Lo Mein, which literally translates to “tossed noodles” in Cantonese, is a traditional Chinese dish that originated in the Guangdong province.

On the other hand, Pad Thai is a popular stir-fried noodle dish from Thailand. It is believed to have been influenced by Chinese cooking techniques but has evolved to become a distinct Thai specialty.


Lo Mein typically consists of wheat noodles stir-fried with a variety of vegetables, like carrots, snow peas, and cabbage, along with proteins such as chicken, beef, or shrimp. The key to a delicious Lo Mein is the balance of flavors achieved by adding soy sauce, sesame oil, and other seasonings.

On the other hand, Pad Thai is a traditional Thai dish with rice noodles and stir-fried ingredients like bean sprouts, tofu, shrimp, and eggs. The unique flavor profile of Pad Thai comes from the combination of fish sauce, tamarind paste, lime juice, and palm sugar. The dish is often garnished with crushed peanuts and fresh herbs, such as cilantro.

Nutritional Comparison

I can confidently say that there are significant differences between Lo Mein and Pad Thai when it comes to nutritional comparison. After examining their ingredients and nutritional aspects, it is clear that Lo Mein is the healthier option of the two.

Lo Mein is low in fat, cholesterol-free, and low in calories. This makes it a great choice for those watching their weight or trying to maintain a balanced diet. On the other hand, Pad Thai has a higher fat, cholesterol, and calorie content. While Pad Thai does contain dietary fiber, which has many health benefits, its overall nutritional profile is not as impressive as Lo Mein.

It’s important to note that the specific nutrient values may vary depending on these dishes’ specific recipes and portion sizes. However, based on the general comparison of Lo Mein and Pad Thai, it is clear that Lo Mein offers a healthier option for those seeking a balance between taste and well-being.

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Lo Mein is a Chinese dish that features puffy, thick noodles. These noodles are made from a well-rested dough rolled into thin, tender strands. The result is a satisfyingly chewy texture that holds up well to stir-frying.

On the other hand, Pad Thai is a classic Thai noodle dish. It is made with rice noodles, which have a light and delicate texture. The noodles are usually stir-fried with ingredients like shrimp, tofu, bean sprouts, and scrambled eggs.


Lo Mein is a Chinese dish typically featuring stir-fried noodles mixed with various vegetables, such as carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, and snow peas. The vegetables in Lo Mein are usually cooked until crisp-tender, retaining their vibrant colors and crunchy texture. This dish allows the flavors of the vegetables to shine through, complementing the noodles perfectly.

On the other hand, Pad Thai is a Thai dish incorporating rice noodles cooked with various ingredients, including vegetables. However, the vegetables in Pad Thai are usually more subtly flavored and are not the star-like dish in Lo Mein. Pad Thai commonly includes bean sprouts, green onions, and sometimes carrots or bell peppers. These vegetables are usually lightly cooked or added raw, giving the dish a refreshing crunch.


Lo Mein sauce is typically made from soy sauce and other seasonings. It has a subtle taste that complements the texture of the noodles, enhancing the flavors of stir-fried vegetables and protein toppings. On the other hand, Pad Thai sauce contains tamarind paste, fish sauce, lime juice, and palm sugar. This unique combination gives Pad Thai its distinct flavor profile, balancing sweetness, sourness, saltiness, and spiciness.

How Do Lo Mein And Pad Thai Differ In Terms Of Taste And Texture?

how do lo mein and pad thai differ in terms of taste and texture

Let’s start with taste. Lo Mein, typically has a rich and savory flavor. The noodles are stir-fried with various vegetables, meat, or seafood, and a delightful sauce that combines all the flavors. The sauce can vary from restaurant to restaurant, but it often includes ingredients like soy sauce, oyster sauce, and garlic, resulting in an umami-packed dish that will satisfy your taste buds.

Pad Thai, has a unique blend of flavors. It is often described as a harmonious sweet, sour, and savory balance. Combining ingredients creates a tantalizing mix of sweet and sour notes with a hint of saltiness.

Now, let’s talk about texture. Lo Mein noodles are typically soft and chewy, contrasting the crunchy vegetables and tender meats or seafood. The noodles soak up the flavors of the sauce, ensuring every bite is delicious.

On the other hand, Pad Thai noodles are thinner and lighter in texture. They have a slightly chewy and tender bite but are not overly soft. The ingredients in Pad Thai, such as bean sprouts and crushed peanuts, add some crunch to the dish, giving it a delightful textural variety.


I can explain the difference between Lo Mein and Pad Thai toppings. The toppings used in Lo Mein and Pad Thai play a crucial role in enhancing the overall flavor and texture of the dishes.

Lo Mein, typically features thick egg noodles stir-fried with various vegetables, meat, or seafood. Regarding toppings, Lo Mein often includes ingredients like sliced scallions, bean sprouts, and sesame seeds. These toppings add a refreshing crunch and enhance the dish’s visual appeal.

On the other hand, the toppings in Pad Thai usually consist of crushed peanuts, fresh lime wedges, and chopped cilantro. These toppings add a delightful contrast of flavors, providing a nutty crunch and a burst of citrusy acidity.

Pad Thai vs Lo Mein: Calories

When it comes to calories, Lo Mein tends to be a healthier option compared to Pad Thai. Lo Mein usually made from wheat flour. It is typically mixed with vegetables and a protein like chicken or beef. The sauce used in Lo Mein is often light and flavorful, which helps to keep the calorie count lower.

On the other hand, Pad Thai usually cooked in oil and mixed with a tangy sauce made from tamarind paste, fish sauce, and other seasonings. While Pad Thai is delicious, it is known to be higher in calories than Lo Mein due to the oil used in the cooking process and the richer sauce.


Lo Mein typically uses fresh egg noodles, which can be more expensive than Pad Thai noodles. The price for a 10 oz pack of Pad Thai noodles is around $3.50, whereas fresh egg noodles for Lo Mein can vary depending on the brand and quantity.

Next, let’s consider the protein. Shrimp is a popular choice for both Lo Mein and Pad Thai. Shrimp costs are generally similar, with prices averaging around $1.00 per 10 oz. However, it’s worth noting that the quantity of shrimp used in each dish can vary. Some recipes call for more shrimp in Lo Mein, which could affect the overall cost.

If we compare the price of ordering Lo Mein versus Pad Thai from a restaurant, it can be a bit tricky. Many factors come into play, such as the restaurant’s pricing and additional charges like delivery fees or tips. However, the cost difference between the two is often negligible on average.

Similarities Between Lo Mein And Pad Thai

similarities between lo mein and pad thai

As a chef with experience and expertise in Asian cuisine, I’ve noticed several similarities between Lo Mein and Pad Thai. Both dishes incorporate noodles made from wheat flour, water, and eggs, giving them a similar base. The preparation techniques for both dishes involve stir-frying the noodles with various ingredients.

In terms of ingredients, Lo Mein and Pad Thai share some common elements. Both dishes often include carrots, cabbage, and bean sprouts, which give them a crunchy texture and add a pop of color. Additionally, proteins such as chicken, shrimp, or tofu can be added to elevate the flavor and provide a source of protein.

What is Lo Mein?

what is lo mein

Originating from China, Lo Mein has made its way into the hearts and stomachs of people worldwide. So, what exactly is Lo Mein? Let me break it down for you in a concise manner.

Lo Mein is a Chinese noodle dish consisting of stir-fried wheat noodles with various vegetables, meat, seafood, or tofu. “Lo Mein” translates to “tossed noodles,” which perfectly describes the cooking method used to create this delectable dish.

Now comes the protein component. The protein is seasoned and cooked separately before adding to the wok, whether succulent chicken slices, tender beef, juicy shrimp, or even tofu for our vegetarian friends. This ensures that each ingredient retains its distinct flavors and textures.

What is Pad Thai?

what is pad thai

Pad Thai is a traditional Thai stir-fried noodle dish that has gained immense popularity both in Thailand and worldwide. It is often considered the national dish of Thailand and is a staple on virtually every Thai restaurant menu.

Pad Thai is often garnished with toppings, such as crushed peanuts, fresh cilantro, and lime wedges. These toppings add texture, freshness, and an extra layer of flavor to the dish.

One of the reasons why Pad Thai has become so popular is its versatility. It can be easily customized to suit individual preferences and dietary restrictions. For example, vegetarians can opt for tofu or a medley of vegetables as their protein choice, while those with gluten intolerance can use gluten-free rice noodles.

How To Store Pad Thai And Lo Mein?

how to store pad thai and lo mein

I want to share some tips on storing two popular dishes: Pad Thai and Lo Mein. So, let’s get right into it.

When storing Pad Thai, there are a few key things to keep in mind. First, make sure to let the dish cool completely before storing it. This will help prevent any condensation that can lead to sogginess. Once cooled, transfer the Pad Thai to an airtight container. I recommend using a container with a tight-fitting lid to keep out any air and moisture. This will help maintain the freshness and flavors of the dish.

Next, it’s important to store Pad Thai in the refrigerator. This will help extend its shelf life and prevent any bacterial growth. Be sure to place the container in the coldest part of the fridge, usually the back. This will ensure that the Pad Thai stays chilled and safe to eat.

Now, let’s move on to Lo Mein. Similar to Pad Thai, it’s crucial to let the dish cool down completely before storing it. Once cooled, transfer the Lo Mein to an airtight container. Again, use a container with a tight-fitting lid to maintain freshness and prevent air or moisture from getting in.

When refrigerating Lo Mein, it’s best to do so within two hours of cooking. This will help prevent bacterial growth and maintain the dish’s quality. Place the container in the coldest part of the fridge, just like with Pad Thai, to keep it chilled and safe to eat.

What Are The Meat Options Typically Used In Lo Mein And Pad Thai?

what are the meat options typically used in lo mein and pad thai

The most commonly used meat choices in Lo Mein are chicken, pork, beef, and shrimp. These proteins are usually stir-fried with the noodles and vegetables, allowing their flavors to infuse the dish with savory goodness.

On the other hand, Pad Thai traditionally features different meat options. The most popular choices include shrimp, chicken, and tofu. These ingredients are stir-fried with rice noodles, bean sprouts, eggs, and a tangy Pad Thai sauce. Combining these meats with the other elements creates a harmonious balance of flavors and textures.

What Role Does Oyster Sauce Play In Enhancing The Taste Of Pad Thai?

Oyster sauce plays a crucial role in enhancing the taste of Pad Thai. It adds a layer of complexity and mystique to this already tantalizing dish. The umami depth of oyster sauce elevates the flavors, infusing the dish with a captivating depth that leaves a lasting impression on the palate. It brings a harmonious fusion of flavors that enriches the overall experience of Pad Thai. Adding oyster sauce amplifies the dish’s umami quotient, creating a symphony of flavors that truly delight the senses.

Is Sesame Oil Commonly Used In Both Lo Mein And Pad Thai?

I confidently say that sesame oil is commonly used in both Lo Mein and Pad Thai dishes. Sesame oil is a staple ingredient in Asian cooking, adding a distinct flavor and aroma to these popular noodle dishes. Its nutty and aromatic undertones enhance the overall taste and can elevate the dish to another level.

Traditional recipes often prefer toasted sesame oil for its rich and deep flavor. However, it’s important to note that a little goes a long way, as it can be quite potent. So, be sure to use it sparingly to avoid overpowering the other flavors in the dish.


In conclusion, the debate of lo mein vs pad thai ultimately boils down to personal taste and dietary considerations. Whether you prefer the delicate balance of flavors in lo mein or the bold tanginess of pad thai, both dishes offer a delightful culinary experience. So, the next time you contemplate between lo mein and pad thai, trust your taste buds and indulge in the dish that satisfies your cravings.






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