Mei Fun vs Lo Mein – What’s The Difference?

As a chef who has had the pleasure of preparing both Mei Fun and Lo Mein, I can attest to the unique qualities each dish possesses. Mei Fun, with its delicate rice noodles and fresh ingredients, offers a light and refreshing dining experience. The flavors blend seamlessly, creating a dish that is both satisfying and satisfying.

On the other hand, Lo Mein’s heartier wheat noodles and bold flavors make it a comforting and indulgent choice. The chewy texture of the noodles paired with the savory sauce and diverse ingredients results in a dish that is sure to please even the hungriest diner.

Both Mei Fun and Lo Mein have their rightful place in the world of Chinese cuisine. Whether you prefer the lightness of Mei Fun or the heartiness of Lo Mein, these noodle dishes offer a delightful culinary adventure that is sure to satisfy your cravings.

Read on for more information on Mei Fun and Lo Mein, exploring their ingredients, cooking methods, and flavors, so you can make an informed decision the next time you are faced with these delicious choices.

Mei Fun: A Delicate Rice Noodle Dish

Vegetable chow mein.
Vegetable Mei Fun. Credit: Spruce Eats

Mei Fun is a type of noodle commonly used in Asian cuisine, particularly in Chinese and Southeast Asian dishes. It is a thin, translucent rice noodle that is often served in soups, stir-fries, and noodle salads.

Mei Fun noodles have a delicate texture and absorb flavors well, making them versatile and adaptable to various sauces and seasonings. They are a popular choice for those seeking gluten-free or lighter alternatives to wheat-based noodles.

Mein Fun adds a satisfying and distinct element to Asian dishes, contributing to their overall taste and texture.

Ingredients for Mei Fun

Mei Fun is primarily made using thin rice noodles. These delicate noodles are typically made from rice flour and hot water, giving them a soft and silky texture.

Unlike other Chinese noodles that contain wheat or eggs, Mei Fun is gluten-free, making it a great option for those with gluten intolerance.

Cooking Mei Fun

To prepare Mei Fun, the rice noodles are soaked in hot water until they soften.

Once they reach the desired consistency, they are quickly stir-fried with a medley of ingredients, such as crunchy vegetables, mushrooms, and sometimes meat or seafood.

Mei Fun is often seasoned with soy sauce or other savory sauces to enhance its flavors.

Mei Fun: Light and Fresh

Mei Fun is known for its light and fresh taste. The delicate rice noodles absorb flavors from the sauce and ingredients, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavors.

The use of vibrant vegetables and aromatic herbs further enhances the dish, providing a delightful contrast of textures and colors.

Mei Fun is best served immediately after cooking to preserve its freshness.

Lo Mein: A Heartier Wheat Noodle Dish

Lo Mein is a popular Chinese dish consisting of stir-fried noodles. It is a versatile and customizable dish that typically includes a combination of noodles, vegetables, and protein such as meat, poultry, or seafood.

Lo Mein noodles are soft, wheat-based noodles that absorb flavors from the stir-fry sauce and ingredients.

The dish is known for its savory and slightly sweet taste, with a satisfying texture that combines the softness of the noodles and the crunchiness of the vegetables.

Lo Mein is a staple in Chinese cuisine and enjoyed for its delicious blend of flavors and textures.

Ingredients for Lo Mein

Unlike Mei Fun, Lo Mein is made with thicker wheat noodles. These noodles are made from wheat flour and eggs, giving them a chewier and denser texture.

The addition of eggs provides a rich flavor and a yellow hue to the noodles.

Cooking Lo Mein

To cook Lo Mein, the wheat noodles are boiled until they become tender. Once cooked, they are stir-fried with a variety of ingredients such as vegetables, meat, and seafood.

A sauce, often made with soy sauce, adds a savory element to the dish. The result is a hearty and satisfying noodle dish.

Lo Mein: A Hearty Comfort Food

Lo Mein offers a heartier and more substantial dining experience compared to Mei Fun. The chewy wheat noodles and the combination of ingredients create a satisfying and comforting dish.

The flavors are bolder, and the robust texture of the noodles holds up well to the sauce and accompanying ingredients.

Lo Mein is a popular choice for those seeking a filling and satisfying meal.

Main Differences Between Mei Fun and Lo Mein

Despite their similarities as Chinese noodle dishes, Mei Fun and Lo Mein have distinct differences:

  1. Noodles: Mei Fun uses thin rice noodles, while Lo Mein features thicker wheat noodles.
  2. Texture: Mei Fun has a soft and silky texture, whereas Lo Mein offers a denser and chewier experience.
  3. Ingredients: Mei Fun often incorporates a wide range of vegetables, while Lo Mein may include a variety of meats, seafood, and vegetables.
  4. Flavors: Mei Fun focuses on light, fresh, and delicate flavors, while Lo Mein boasts bold and savory tastes.

The choice between Mei Fun and Lo Mein ultimately depends on your preferences. If you are craving a lighter and gluten-free option, Mei Fun is the way to go.

On the other hand, if you desire a more substantial and comforting meal, Lo Mein will hit the spot.


What Are The Main Ingredients Used In Mei Fun and Lo Mein?

Mei Fun and Lo Mein are both popular Chinese noodle dishes. The main ingredients used in Mei Fun typically include rice vermicelli noodles, stir-fried vegetables (such as bell peppers, carrots, and bean sprouts), and protein options like shrimp, chicken, or beef. On the other hand, Lo Mein features wheat-based egg noodles along with similar stir-fried vegetables and protein choices.

How Are Mei Fun and Lo Mein Cooked?

Both Mei Fun and Lo Mein are cooked by stir-frying the noodles and other ingredients in a hot wok or skillet. The process involves pre-cooking the noodles until they are al dente, then stir-frying them together with the vegetables, protein, and a sauce made from a combination of ingredients like soy sauce, oyster sauce, or other seasonings. The ingredients are cooked quickly over high heat, allowing for a flavorful and well-cooked dish.

Are Mei Fun and Lo Mein Gluten-Free?

Mei Fun and Lo Mein are not typically gluten-free. Mei Fun is made from rice vermicelli noodles, which are gluten-free, but it’s essential to check if any additional ingredients or sauces used in the dish contain gluten. Lo Mein, on the other hand, is made with wheat-based egg noodles, which contain gluten. If you have dietary restrictions or follow a gluten-free diet, it’s best to inquire about the specific ingredients and preparation methods when ordering these dishes.

Which Dish Is Lighter In Flavor, Mei Fun or Lo Mein?

In terms of flavor, Mei Fun and Lo Mein can vary depending on the specific recipe and seasoning choices. However, generally speaking, Mei Fun is often considered lighter in flavor compared to Lo Mein. Mei Fun tends to have a more delicate and subtle taste, allowing the natural flavors of the ingredients to shine through. On the other hand, Lo Mein can have a richer and bolder flavor profile due to the use of soy sauce and other savory seasonings.


So, the next time you find yourself pondering the Mei Fun vs Lo Mein dilemma at a restaurant, consider your preferences and appetite.

Whichever you choose, you’ll be treated to a scrumptious dish that highlights the diversity and deliciousness of Chinese noodles.

Bon appétit!

Did you find this guide helpful?
Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

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