Lo Mein and Pad See Ew are some of the most popular noodle dishes out of Asia. Both dishes come from different countries, but they do share one thing: when done right, these dishes are absolutely incredible and are easy to make at home that you'll make again and again.
Asian cuisine that are popular in the west often have flavorful noodles, veggies, and protein. In general, Asian noodles offer so much flavor and an exquisite texture that you don't get with other cuisines.
There are two dishes in particular that are extraordinary, but people often wonder what the differences are: lo mein and pad see ew.
What's the difference between Lo Mein and Pad See Ew?
Lo Mein is a Chinese noodle dish where the wheat noodles are parboiled, tossed in sesame oil with pre-cooked veggies and proteins that are then added into a wok with a light sauce. Pad See Ew is a Thai noodle dish made with wide vermicelli noodles that are stir-fried with a soy sauce that includes vegetables like Chinese broccoli and mushrooms.
Ingredient Comparison Between Lo Mein and Pad See Ew
Lo Mein is made with wheat egg noodles tossed with garlic, ginger, oyster sauce, and soy sauce. Vegetables that are tossed with it include bean sprouts, bell peppers, carrots, and bok choy. Protein like pork, chicken, shrimp, and/or beef are added to the noodles as well. The dish by comparison to Pad See Ew has a more distinct layer of oil as compared to Pad See Ew.
Pad See Ew is made with thicker rice noodles. During the cooking process, both light soy sauce and dark soy sauce are used along with oyster sauce to provide the deeper and richer sweetness that comes with Pad See Ew. Often, chicken, pork, and beef are used as a protein that is also stir fried with Chinese broccoli (Gai Lan) and mushrooms. The Chinese broccoli is what brings that crunchiness out from Pad See Ew and distinguishes it from Pad Thai.
How different do Lo Mein and Pad See Ew Taste?
Lo Mein uses spaghetti shaped noodles and provides a familiar taste due to the shape of the noodles. The sauce can be either mild or spicy depending on how it is prepared. Lo Mein often has more vegetables, but often the vegetables have been pan fried and are softer while eating.
With its wider and flatter noodles, Pad See Ew provides a chewier texture with the noodles, but offers a crunch with it's inclusion of Chinese broccoli. The sauce in Pad See Ew provides a sweet, yet light texture even with the amount of soy sauce that it is cooked in.
What are other similar noodle dishes to Lo Mein and Pad See Ew?
Similar Noodle Dishes to Lo Mein
Noodle dishes that are similar to Lo Mein that are from China include Chicken Chow Mein, Shanghai Stir-Fry, Sichuan Noodles, Pan-Fried Noodles, and Singapore-Style Noodles.
Similar Noodle Dishes to Pad See Ew
Noodle dishes that are similar to Pad See Ew that are from Thailand include Pad Thai, drunken noodles, and Pad Kee Mao.
What is healthier - Lo Mein or Pad See Ew?
Calories in Lo Mein vs Pad See Ew
Both Lo Mein and Pad See Ew are high in carbohydrates and calories. Lo Mein has 310 calories per cup whereas Pad See Ew has 255 calories for the same serving. These calorie comparisons are based on the traditional ingredients in these noodle dishes. The calorie count may vary depending on the vegetables used as well as the protein that is added.
Can you modify Lo Mein or Pad Thai to be vegan?
Lo Mein is generally made from egg noodles. You can substitute the egg noodles with vegan-approved noodles as well as omit the protein. Pad See Ew traditionally has scrambled eggs stir-fried into the dish. By having the cook omit the egg and the protein, this dish could be consumed as a vegan.
What tastes better - Lo Mein or Pad See Ew?
My personal preference is Pad See Ew. There's something to be said about the sweetness of the soy sauce along with the crunch of Chinese broccoli.
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Summary and Wrapping Up
Both these asian noodle dishes are absolutely delicious and easy to make right at home. I'm going to be adding the recipe for both Lo Mein and Pad See Ew in some upcoming posts, stay tuned for that.
For now, when you visit your next asian restaurant, you'll now know the difference between both of these exquisite dishes!
More Inspiration on Noodle Comparisons
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- Drunken Noodles vs Pad See Ew
- Pad Thai vs Pad See Ew
- Pad Thai vs Lo Mein
- Pad See Ew and Lo Mein