What is the difference between noodle and chow mein

The main difference between noodles and chow mein is that noodles are thin and long strips of flour, while chow mein is a dish made from noodles.

In fact, the term "chow" means fried and "mine" means pasta. Hence, chow mein refers to a fried noodle dish. In short, all chow mein dishes are noodles, but not all noodles are chow mein.

Key areas covered

1. What are noodles - definition, characteristics, ingredients 2. What is Chow Mein - definition, characteristics, ingredients 3. Relationship Between Noodles and Chow Mein - Overview of Common Characteristics 4. Difference Between Noodles and Chow Mein - Comparison of Key Differences

key terms

Chow mein, noodles Difference Between Noodle and Chow Mein - Comparative Summary

What are noodles?

Noodles are a popular staple food in many Asian countries. They are made from flour dough that is shaped into different styles like strips or strings. Then the shaped noodle is cooked until it becomes soft. Then let the softened noodle cool down. The cooled noodle is used to prepare various dishes.

What is noddles?

Pasta dough can be made with various ingredients such as wheat, potatoes, rice, beans, etc. Therefore, they come in different flavors. There are different ways to cook noodles: boiling, deep-frying, sautéing, blanching, etc. When you go to a Chinese restaurant it will be strange to ask for "noodles" as there are just too many variations including vegetables, mushrooms , Fish, beef, egg, pork, chicken or any other protein.

What is chow mein

Chow mein refers to a Chinese fried noodle dish that is often served with vegetables and sometimes with tofu or meat. Chow Men is a popular noodle dish not only in China but also in Chinese restaurants around the world.

Since the chow mein dish is fried in the pan, the noodles will be nice and crispy. Noodle lovers often love to try these noodles in a thick, dark, homemade tasty sauce. This sweet and sour sauce is usually made from soy sauce, oyster sauce, light sesame oil, corn starch, granulated sugar, and chicken broth. Chow mein soaked in the sauce has the perfect balance of sweet and salty and may not give you a chance to put your chopsticks down until you've finished eating the whole dish.

What is chow mein

When making chow mein, you can use either a combination of traditional vegetables like carrots, cabbage, green bean sprouts, and onions, or even any other vegetable that you can easily find in your fridge - spinach, baby corn, celery, broccoli, or kale.

Relationship between noodles and chow mein

  1. Chow mein is a type of pasta dish.
  2. Noodles and chow mein come from the Chinese communities.
  3. Both noodles and chow mein come in different flavors and can be mixed with vegetables, seafood or other proteins such as beef, pork or chicken.
  4. Both are popular dishes among Chinese and non-Chinese communities around the world.
  5. They can be served dipped in a delicious sauce.

Difference Between Noodle and Chow Mein


Noodles are thin and long strips of flour dough, while chow mein is a type of fried noodle dish.


When making chow mein, they are usually fried while stirring. Hence, they have a crispier texture compared to soft-boiled pasta.

Type of preparation

When making noodles, the cooked noodle is mixed with vegetables, fish or meat and then simply served or soaked in a broth, while when making chow my boiled noodles are tossed and then deep-fried until they have a crispier consistency and then a Different sauces and vegetables are mixed together to make the final dish.


The main difference between noodle and chow mein is that noodles are made from flour batter and then cooked until soft, while chow mein is what you get when these noodles are fried. When you visit a Chinese food court, both noodle and chow mein dishes will look alike to you. However, if you're a die-hard food fanatic of Chinese cuisine, it won't be hard for you to tell the difference between the two dishes just by looking at them.


1. " Stir Fry Chicken NoodlesChow Mein ." Cooking with Morgane. 2. " Chow Mein ." Eats recipe jar.

Image courtesy:

1. " Ramen Cooking Hot Noodle Japanese Food " (CC0) via Max Pixel2. " Vietnamese Chow Mein " by Herman Saksono (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) via Flickr

About the author: Anuradha

Anuradha holds a BA in English, French and Translation Studies. She is currently studying English literature in a second language context in the master’s course. Her areas of interest include arts and literature, language and education, nature and animals, cultures and civilizations, food and fashion.