Bowls of lo mein
Chow Mein Vs Lo Mein: What's The Difference?

Chow mein and lo mein are staples of American Chinese restaurant takeout food, but the two distinct types of noodle dishes are often confused with each other.

Whereas the noodles, meat, and vegetables are all stir-fried in chow mein, lo mein uses boiled or steamed noodles mixed with a sauce and other ingredients afterward.

However, the lo mein label is mostly the purview of the East Coast. If you order chow mein on the West Coast, expect what would be classified as lo mein on the East Coast.

The fried, crunchy East Coast chow mein is "Hong Kong-style chow mein" in the West. This is also why chow mein is often served either "crispy" or "steamed."