What is the difference between “lo mein” and “chow mein?” Chinese restaurants seem to use the terms interchangeably for the same thing which always confused me. So last week I finally bit the bullet and typed my question in Google’s search engine.
Turns out chow mein is deep-fried, crunchy noodles and lo mein is boiled. Ta da! Glad I got that extensive research out of my way. So on to making lo mein – What actually is that flavor? It’s hard to put your finger on. So I just began with soy sauce, which gives us salt and umami, and to that, I added sugar. To round out the flavor I added a minced clove of garlic as well.
The secret after collecting these three ingredients? Boil them till the mixture is reduced by half. This will thicken the sauce and intensify the flavors, making it the perfect sauce for lo mein. Then all you need to do is select a cabbage from the grocery store, accidentally drop it on the floor because you didn’t get a cart, assuring yourself that you were only getting a few things, and realize at checkout that you got (and dropped) the expensive kind of cabbage and could have had a ribeye for the same price… oh well… chop it up and move on with life. And trust me this lo mein is worthy of a ten dollar, floor cabbage.