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Difference Between Lo Mein vs. Drunken Noodles

Are you wondering what the difference is between Lo Mein vs Drunken Noodles (also known as Pad Kee Mao)? In this post, we compare the ingredients, the preparation, and nutritional comparison between these two popular Asian dishes.

Both are delicious Asian noodle dishes that are generally stir fried a medley of vegetables and noodles. In this post, we’re going to do a comparison between both Lo Mein and Drunken Noodles so that you can see the similarities and differences between both of these delicious plates!

The Difference Between Lo Mein vs Drunken Noodles

Lo Mein is a popular Chinese noodle recipe that stir fries veggies and protein that is then tossed with parboiled wheat noodles in a light sauce that provides a slightly sweet, savory flavor to the egg noodles used in the dish. Drunken Noodles is a Thai noodle dish, known formally is as Pad Kee Mao, that is a stir fry that also includes vegetables, but has a slightly thicker and spicier sauce fried with large, prepared rice sheets.

drunken noodle vs chicken lo mein

Everything You Wanted to Know About These Two Popular Asian Noodle Dishes

All About Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)

drunken noodle pad kee mao

Pad Kee Mao, also known by it’s trade name Drunken Noodles, is a delicious, spicy stirfrty that generally includes red bellpepper, broccoli, Chinese kale and can often include other vegetables like snow peas, baby corn, and Thai basil. The sauce on drunken noodles is generally thicker than Lo Mein, with the base made from oyster sauce, soy sauce, and fish sauce. The noodles are large rice paper that is cut into chunks, or rice sticks can also be used as part of this dish. The large rice paper sheets provide a chewy texture to the dish.

The name Drunken Noodle was derived from the rumor that the noodles were a great hangover dish as opposed to being actually made from alcohol.

All About Lo Mein

lo mein

Lo Mein is a Chinese dish that has a sweeter flavor profile than it’s counterpart Pad Kee Mao becaues it’s use of sugar. The sauce is made of sesame oil, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and light oyster sauce. It’s often stir fried with vegetables like water chestnuts, baby corn, and shredded carrots. Generally, wheat spaghetti noodles are used.

Frequently Asked Questions About Chinese Lo Mein and Thai Drunken Noodles

What’s healthier – Lo Mein vs Drunken Noodles?

In a single restaurant serving, Lo Mein is the healthier option, coming in at 534 calories per serving wheras Drunken Noodles has 645 calories per restaurant serving.

Is drunken noodles a Chinese Dish?

Drunken Noodles, also known as Pad Kee Mao, is a Thai Dish.


As you can see, Lo Mein and Drunken Noodles do share very common preparation techniques as they both are stir-fried dishes. However, the sauces in Drunken Noodles tend to be a little thicker and sweeter. Generally, you’re able to taste more of the oyster sauce in Drunken Noodles whereas the sesame oil flavoring of Lo Mein is more prominent. Drunken Noodles is often served spicy whereas Lo Mein generally has a very mild spice.

I hope you’ve learned the difference between these two delicious dishes from Southeast Asian.

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Lo mein vs drunken noodle

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