What is Lo Mein?


There are so many different types of Chinese food that have spread through out American culture thanks to several of Chinese food restaurants all over the continent. Dishes like General Tso's and the basic Stir Fry has become an common food in our diets and even have become hybrid in other everyday food. One of the most common dishes is Lo Mein. But what is Lo Mein and how did it become the famous dish it is? 

 Lo Mein in so many places, it actually originated in China, as a wheat flour noodle dish. It is unclear exactly who invented the process of mixing water and flour to make noodles, but the Chinese have been eating them for over 2,000 years! This takes us back to the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. – 220 A.D.). Noodles have become a large part of Chinese culture. They are almost always served long and uncut because they symbolize a long and prosperous life. They are even part of big celebrations like birthdays and sometimes placed on grave sites for good luck.

The word itself comes from the Cantonese “lōu mihn” meaning “stirred noodles” and is actually traditionally made from elastic thin flour or egg noodles. Many people intertwine Chow Mein and Lo Mein, but they are two different dishes. Chow Mein is made from the same noodles as Lo Mein, but instead of keeping the noodles soft, Chow Mein contains fried noodles, which may sometimes be very crispy.

The two types of noodles you most commonly see are wheat noodles and rice noodles. Now, wheat noodles can be found all over China, but they originated in the Northern parts of China where wheat was a staple crop. Making these noodles is considered an art and you can sometimes see street noodle vendors “pulling” the dough to make the noodles.


Lo Mein has a history and has even become so popular that there are several ways you can now make it. There are even recipes online. Try to make Lo Mein for yourself but if you want to avoid the hassle just come in and get some from us!