Taste of China: A Closer Look at Mei Fun vs Lo Mein

In Chinese cuisine, Mei Fun and Lo Mein are popular noodle dishes that delight taste buds with their distinctive flavors and textures. Both dishes share common elements, yet they possess unique characteristics that set them apart. So, let’s dive into the Mei Fun vs Lo Mein debate and unravel the secrets behind these beloved Chinese noodles.

What Is The Difference Between Mei Fun vs Lo Mein

  • Appearance: Mei Fun noodles are thin and translucent, resembling rice vermicelli noodles. On the other hand, Lo Mein noodles are thicker and more opaque, resembling egg noodles.
  • Ingredients: Mei Fun noodles are typically stir-fried with vegetables, meat or seafood, and a soy-based sauce. They often include ingredients like bean sprouts, carrots, scallions, and shrimp or chicken. Lo Mein noodles are also stir-fried with similar ingredients but are usually mixed with a slightly thicker sauce, including soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sometimes hoisin sauce.
  • Nutritional: Both dishes are typically high in carbohydrates because the noodles provide energy. However, if you are looking for a healthier option, you can choose whole wheat or vegetable-based noodles and opt for lean protein sources like chicken or shrimp, paired with a generous serving of vegetables.
  • Cooking Time: Mei Fun with rice vermicelli is thinner and cooks quickly. It only needs a few minutes of soaking in hot water before stir-frying with other ingredients. On the other hand, Lo Mein noodles are thicker and require around 8-10 minutes of boiling before they are stir-fried.
  • Texture: Chow Mei Fun offers a silky smooth texture with thin and delicate rice noodles, while Lo Mein has thicker noodles for a denser bite. Chow Mei Fun has a milder and crunchy texture. On the other hand, Lo Mein has a heartier texture that can soak up all the savory goodness, ensuring satisfaction.
  • Taste: Chow Mei Fun has a lighter flavor profile, allowing the natural taste of the ingredients to shine. On the other hand, Lo Mein has a stronger and more savory taste, enhanced by the sauces and seasonings used in the dish. 
  • Sauce: Chow Mei Fun is typically served with minimal sauce. On the other hand, Lo Mein is known for its generous amount of sauce. The sauce in Lo Mein is usually thick and rich, coating the noodles and ingredients with a flavorful brown sauce. The sauce in Lo Mein plays a prominent role in delivering a robust taste that complements the dish’s hearty vegetables and meat.

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Similarities Between Mei Fun And Lo Mein

similarities between mei fun and lo mein

Chow Mei Fun and Lo Mein are two popular dishes in Chinese cuisine that share several similarities. Both dishes feature noodles as their key component and are commonly served with various vegetables, meats, or seafood. The cooking method for Chow Mei Fun and Lo Mein involves stir-frying with oil or sauce, resulting in a flavorful and savory taste that many enjoy.

Additionally, these dishes are visually appealing, often featuring an assortment of colorful vegetables and protein sources. While they may be similar in many ways, they differ in terms of the type of noodles used and the specific ingredients and sauces employed, giving them distinctive flavors and textures.

What is Mei Fun?

what is mei fun

Mei Fun is a type of noodle made from rice that originates from China and is widely used throughout Asia. These thin rice noodles are the star of dishes like Chicken Mei Fun, which features juicy chicken, tender eggs, and crunchy vegetables stir-fried with the rice noodles in a rich and savory sauce.

Mei Fun is known for its delicate texture and ability to retain its consistency even when sitting for a while. It is popular at Chinese buffets and takeout places, alongside other classics like lo mein and fried rice.

Whether enjoyed as a simple dish or as part of a more elaborate recipe, Mei Fun is a delicious and fulfilling option for noodle lovers.

What is Lo Mein?

what is lo mein

Lo Mein is a popular Chinese dish with tossed or mixed noodles. It is a dry variation of traditional noodle soup, where the noodles are made from wheat flour and eggs, similar to Italian pasta. Lo Mein typically includes a variety of vegetables and a protein such as chicken, beef, pork, seafood, or tofu.

The dish is characterized by its minimal use of protein and vegetables, with a light application of sauce that doesn’t overwhelm the noodles. The term “lo” in Lo Mein means “tossed,” highlighting how the noodles are prepared. It is important to note that Lo Mein and Chow Mein are made from the same type of Chinese noodle, but Chow Mein specifically refers to fried noodles.

FAQs About Mei Fun vs Lo Mein

Which Dish is Healthier, Chow Mei Fun or Lo Mein?

Chow Mei Fun typically has fewer calories, less fat, and higher protein content than Lo Mein. Additionally, both dishes offer a variety of vegetables, which add to their nutritional value.

Are Both Dishes Visually Appealing?

Yes, the presentation of both dishes usually includes an array of colorful vegetables and protein sources, resulting in visually appealing plates. The vibrant colors and textures make them enticing to the eye.

Which Dish is More Suitable for Someone on a Low-Fat Diet?

Chow Mei Fun is generally a better option for those on a low-fat diet, as it uses minimal oil and lighter sauces. However, it’s always a good idea to inquire about the cooking methods and ingredients used when ordering from a restaurant or preparing these dishes at home.

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