Lo mein vs pad thai. Which of these popular noodle dishes comes out on top? Both lo mein and pad thai are some of the world’s best-known Asian noodles. There are many parallels between these two recipes, as well as many important variances. I hope you find it interesting to learn about the differences.
Are Pad Thai and Lo Mein Same Dish?
In a sweet tamarind sauce, vermicelli noodles are softened and stir-fried till cooked through, with scrambled eggs, protein, and crushed peanuts sprinkled on top. Following the completion of the cooking of the vegetables and protein, the wheat noodles are pre-cooked and then put in the pan. Lo Mein is a noodle meal that originates in China.
The noodles in Chicken Lo Mein are moistened with a base of oil before being combined with the other components; no similar oil basis is used in Pad Thai.
With the help of the sweet tamarind sauce and vermicelli noodles, Pad Thai is able to deliver a savory and sour sensation all in a single mouthful.
The Flavor of Pad Thai
The fish sauce, tamarind pulp, garlic, palm sugar, and red chili peppers that the Pad Thai contains give it a sweet-salty flavor balance.
Fried rice noodles, eggs, and firm tofu are the main ingredients of Pad Thai. The dish is seasoned using tamarind pulp and fish sauce and garnished with sliced limes and toasted peanuts. It is popular in Thailand.
The Flavor of Lo Mein
Garlic and ginger are briefly sautéed in sesame oil throughout the preparation process to give the Lo Mein a somewhat sweet and salty flavor.
Pad Thai vs. Lo Mein Authenticity
Pad Thai: A Thai Delicacy
Pad Thai is an authentic Thai meal that has been adapted from Chinese noodle foods.
A Chinese Cultural Dish, Lo Mein
The inclusion of mushrooms, bok choy, and cabbage in a meal like chicken lo mein is common in Chinese style cuisine. The soy sauce in China has fewer ingredients and a milder taste than the sauce in the west.
Comparative Translations of Pad Thai and Lo Mein
“Pad” refers to “fried” in Thai, and “Thai” means the country where the dish is prepared, thus the name Pad Thai.
Lo Mein is a Cantonese dish that basically refers to, “stirred noodles.”
Nutrient Comparison of Pad Thai and Lo Mein
As a comparison, Pad Thai contains 357 calories while Lo Mein contains 310 calories. With the use of common recipes, we determined the number of calories in each of these noodle meals. The number of calories in a dish can be influenced by the number of vegetables used and the amount of protein incorporated.
Dishes That Resemble Pad Thai and Lo Mein
Cooked in the same way as Chicken Lo Mein
In addition to Chicken Chow Mein, other Chinese dishes that are comparable to Lo Mein include Pan-Fried Noodles, Sichuan Noodles, Singapore-Style Noodles, and Shanghai Stir-Fry.
Cooked in the same way as Pad Thai
Drunken noodles, Pad See Ew, and Pad Kee Mao are Thai noodle meals that are comparable to Pad Thai.
Is Pad Thai or Lo Mein Vegan-Friendly Dishes?
Both of these well-known noodle dishes feature fish sauce. You can, however, choose to leave them out of your dish or suggest that your cook leave them out. To make it vegan, you may simply use firm tofu for the protein as needed. Adding Chinese broccoli or other vegetables to the recipe can also be substituted to bring health benefits as well as flavor.
Which is More Difficult to Prepare Between the Two Dishes?
It is possible to stir-fry the noodles in a wok or toss them in a pan, as in both of the techniques shown below. A sesame oil foundation is necessary for the Lo Mein, while a tamarind sauce is required for the noodles to be tossed in once they have been cooked.
Summary of the Differences Between Pad Thai and Lo Mein
Both of these Asian cuisines, as well as their associated noodles, are enormously popular worldwide. Lo Mein and Pad Thai are two of Asia’s most popular noodle dishes and can be found at many Chinese restaurants in the United States. Try one or the other of these delicacies; you’ll be glad you did.
Battle of the Asian Noodles FAQ
Pad Thai and lo mein dishes vary based on several factors: the type of noodles, the amount sauce used, and the other ingredients. However, they’re both stir fried rice noodles with vegetables, meat (or meat alternative) and seasonings, so they have the same basic flavor profiles. As with most stir-fried dishes, lo mein and pad thai are interchangeable in terms of ingredients. The only major difference lies in the type of noodles used. While lo mein uses soft wheat flour noodles that are boiled before being added to the dish, pad thai uses thin rice noodles that are soaked in hot water to soften them before cooking. These noodles are almost exclusively available fresh at Asian supermarkets but can be replaced with spaghetti if necessary.
Pad Thai noodles are made from rice flour and cassava starch. The rice flour gives them a slightly firmer texture, closer to that of spaghetti noodles, while the cassava starch helps hold those rice noodles together. If you can’t find rice or whole wheat spaghetti at your local supermarket or health food store, feel free to use linguine as a replacement for pad thai.
Lo mein noodles are made from wheat flour and can be found in most supermarkets. They’re wider, thicker and more doughy than rice noodles, and while they’re soft enough to absorb some of the sauce without getting mushy, they retain a bit of bite even after being stir-fried. Lo mein noodles can usually be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets, but if you have trouble finding them, spaghetti noodles are a decent substitute.
Rice noodles are low in calories, high in fiber and provide vitamin A, calcium, iron and other nutrients that keep the body healthy. Lo mein is also made from wheat flour, which provides a nearly identical nutritional profile to rice noodles.
Pad thai is sweet, salty and spicy. It has the flavor profile of tamarind, an ingredient popular in Thai cuisine that can be used to impart a sour or tart taste into dishes. Along with tamarind paste, pad thai features fish sauce (a pungent seasoning made from fermented anchovies) and chili sauce for a spicy kick. To balance the flavors, pad thai also includes brown sugar and lime juice for sweetness, soy sauce for saltiness and peanuts for added texture.
Lo mein is similar to pad thai in terms of overall flavor profile but with a couple exceptions. This famous Chinese dish typically uses wheat flour noodles instead of rice noodles, lo mein has a bit more chew to it than pad thai. It also includes the addition of ginger and sesame oil (which provides an earthy aroma) for added flavor. The end results is a sweet and sour experience that makes this a popular dish.
Yes, you can use pad thai noodles to make chow mein. Chow Mein (which is actually Cantonese in origin) features thick wheat flour based noodles that are fried after boiling and then stir-fried with vegetables and meat or other ingredients. Chow Mein noodles also have less of the characteristic chewiness of lo mein noodles, so if you can’t find them at your local supermarket you can easily use spaghetti.
Lo mein noodles provide more of the mild wheatiness that’s common in Cantonese dishes, while chow mein noodles have a bit more of a rustic taste. Lo mein is typically made with soft wheat flour noodles that absorb sauce well and have a nice chew to them. Chow mein, on the other hand, uses thick noodles flavored with sesame oil and ginger. The slight crispiness of the noodles can be a nice textural contrast to other ingredients in the dish, but if you make chow mein with spaghetti instead of chow mein noodles it’ll have a similar consistency to lo mein dishes.
Pad Thai and stir fry are two very different dishes. Stir fried dishes feature ingredients that are cut into smaller pieces for faster cooking, while pad thai is made with long noodles that require boiling before stir frying. Because of its longer cooking time, pad thai has a larger variety of textures than the relatively uniform texture of stir fry.
Lo mein dishes relying on soy sauce for flavor usually contain a decent amount of sodium, but lo mein made with oyster sauce (which is slightly more viscous and sweeter than soy sauce) can be healthier because it uses less of the salty seasoning.