When it comes to Asian cuisine, there are two dishes that often come to mind: Lo Mein and Ramen. Both dishes are delicious and have similar ingredients, such as noodles, vegetables, and broth. However, there are some key differences between Lo Mein and Ramen that set them apart.
What is the difference between Lo Mein and Ramen?
The main difference between Lo Mein and Ramen is that Lo Mein is a Chinese stir-fried noodle dish that is served soft, whereas Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup that is served with a variety of garnishes and toppings in a flavorful broth. Lo Mein is typically made with wheat noodles, while Ramen is made with thinner, alkaline noodles. Lo Mein is also sauced with a mixture of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil, whereas Ramen has a lighter broth base.
If you’re wondering what’s the hype about these noodles and well, which noodle dish you can try at home, this is the article for you. Also, If you’re here to settle the Lo Mein vs Ramen grudge match once and for all, again, you’re at the right place.
By the end of this article, you would have explored the popularity, versatility, recipes, and nutrition comparison of Lo Mein and Ramen. You might also nail it down to one of the two noodles for yourself. Ready? Off we go…
Lo Mein Vs Ramen
Let’s have a quick glance over Lo Mein vs Ramen table below:
|Origin||Lo Mein is a Chinese Dish||Ramen is popular in Japan|
|Broth||Lo Mein is usually cooked with stir-fried veggies and sauces||Ramen is typically served in a broth made of soy sauce, pork, miso, etc|
|Noodles Texture||Thick and Chewy||Thin and firm|
|Flavor||Lo Mein has an Umami flavor||Mostly, Ramen has a savory and sweet flavor|
|Toppings||Its toppings include mostly veggies like broccoli, carrots, and mushrooms||Its toppings typically comprise of sliced pork, soft-boiled eggs, green onion, etc|
|Cooking Method||Noodles are stir-fried in a wok with vegetables||Here, noodles are boiled separately and then added to the broth|
Nutrition Comparison of Lo Mein and Ramen
Even though Lo Mein and Ramen may seem like twins, they have some major differences in nutritional values. Let’s have a look
|Polyunsaturated Fat||1.291 g||2.198 g|
|Potassium||105 mg||181 mg|
|Magnesium||14 mg||25 mg|
|Selenium||11.7 μg||23.1 μg|
|Fiber||1.3 g||2.9 g|
|Phosphorus||45 mg||115 mg|
|Iron||1.07 mg||4.11 mg|
|Folate||28 μg||116 μg|
|Sodium||430 mg||1855 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.81 mg||5.401 mg|
What is Lo Mein?
The Chinese word Lo Mein means “Tossed Noodles” in English. Lo Mein is wheat flour and egg-based noodles that are first parboiled (Partially boiled) and then tossed together with the other ingredients.
Since Lo Mein is egg noodles made with egg and wheat flour, its texture is chewy and thick with about a quarter of an inch in thickness.
Typically, the other ingredients in Lo Mein are separately stir-fried vegetables, meats, wontons, and seafood.
How to Prepare Lo Mein?
You can find tons of Lo Mein noodles recipes on the internet and yet create a one-of-a kind-recipe yourself. There is no limit to experimenting with Lo Mein Noodles but there is a standard recipe that you can try:
Lo Mein Noodles (8 ounces)
Minced Garlic (2 cloves)
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 red bell pepper
half cup peas
Baby Spinach (3 cups)
Soy Sauce (2 tablespoons)
Sugar (2 teaspoons)
Sesame Oil (1 teaspoon)
Ground Ginger (1/2 teaspoon)
Siracha (1/2 teaspoon)
- Start with quickly creating noodles sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Keep that aside.
- Put egg noodles in a pot of boiling water to soften them.
- On a wok, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on a medium-high.
- Add the veggies — garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper, and carrot to the wok.
- Stir fry them frequently for 3–4 minutes.
- Add Spinach and peas to the wok and stir fry for 2–3 minutes until spinach droops.
- Stir in egg noodles and sauce in the wok, toss gently.
- Serve hot.
There, your delicious, thick, and chewy Lo Mein noodles are ready!
Now, let’s see if Ramen is better for you.
What is Ramen?
Even though Ramen originated in China, It is insanely popular in Japan and is even known as Japanese noodle soup. Japanese anime and manga fan knows the big deal about Ramen. Referring to pop culture, Ramen has gained significant fame given its frequent mention in popular TV series like Master of none and movies & documentaries like Ramen Heads.
Ramen noodle is made of wheat flour, egg, and water and has mainly three components including wheat noodles, broth, and toppings. The alkaline mineral Kansui is used to make these noodles, resulting in their yellow color. Kansui prevents food from dissolving into water or liquid.
When it comes to Ramen, there is a lot of playing around with ingredients. You can use a variety of broths like meat, fish, or pork. You may mix and match the toppings according to your preference. Generally, eggs, soy sauce, scallions, etc are topped on Ramen.
How to Prepare Ramen?
See I know packaged instant noodles are frowned upon but Ramen is an exception. It is delicious! Hello? But you are at this section to know its recipe, so I am going to give you one and not just mixing noodles and tastemakers but a real recipe. So let’s hit it…
Maruchan package of Ramen Noodles
Ginger & Garlic
Chicken or Veg Broth
Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
Vegetables of your choice — carrot, Kale, bell pepper, etc
Toppings of your choice — egg, chili oil, pesto, siracha, etc
- Let’s start with turning your kitchen aromatic with the sizzling stir-frying of Garlic and ginger. What a combo!
- Add your favorite broth and Shiitake mushroom to the wok or pot.
- Put your noodles in the broth and let them cook. Put in some scallions as well.
- Now add veggies. Carrots, kale, spinach, bell peppers, whatever you like.
- Top it off with the toppings of your choice.
A bowl of Ramen can never let you down. It’s easy, It’s flavourful, It’s delicious!
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, your choice between Lo Mein and Ramen depends on your willingness to play around with the ingredients. If you like broth-soaked thin and firm wheat noodles with toppings like eggs and sliced porks, you go for Ramen. However, If stir-fried vegetables tossed with parboiled egg noodles are your thing, Lo Mein is the noodle you go for.
Both noodles are extremely easy to make and it’s a tie with regard to their taste. The umami taste of Lo Mein is more meaty and complex. However, Ramen tastes more sweet and savory.
Talking about their nutritional value- Ramen has a higher level of Iron, Vitamins (B1, B3, B12, and E), Manganese, Folate, and Selenium. Ramen covers more of your daily sodium needs than Lo Mein.