Mei Fun vs. Chow Fun: Differences, Origins, Preparation, and More

Asian food is known for its delicious taste, textures, and ingredients. Many regions and cultures have influenced the recipes, making them more intriguing to the entire world.

Chinese cuisine has become a staple in almost every country, but many people can still get confused between the different nuances of every dish.

When you go to a restaurant to eat or cook a new dish at home, you need to learn the key distinctions that can get you the authentic meal you are looking for.

The two typical Asian rice noodles go well with most meats and vegetables and may be found in many meals like mei fun and chow fun.

There are several obvious distinctions between the two, even though the results on the plate could seem comparable.

So, let’s discuss the differences between chow fun vs. mei fun.


What is Mei Fun?

Thin, rice-based noodles are used for Mei Fun dishes. The recipe for the dish requires dried rice noodles that have been precooked and then dried throughout the assembly process.

When pan-searing them or tossing them into soups, all the chef needs to do is a little pre-splashing.


What are Chow Fun Noodles?

Rice noodles that are thin, broad, and flat are known as chow fun. The noodles may break if improperly cooked. Chow fun is used in several traditional Chinese dishes.

Thin slices of beef steak, oyster sauce, soy sauce, oil, hoisin sauce, and ginger, for instance, are ingredients in the beef chow fun dish. Wide noodles and succulent beef pieces make it clear that it is chow fun.

The Chinese have different chow fun meals that change the kinds of meats fried in a wok with the rice noodles.

These come in shrimp, roast chicken, and pork variants. The meat is often fried with crisp vegetables, including onions, carrots, and cabbage.

There are rumors that this well-known meal was created in Guangzhou during World War II.

Chow fun is a common dish in Chinese eateries that serve dim sum these days.


Mei Fun vs. Chow Fun

Unlike Chow Fun, which may be prepared from wide, flat noodles that are stir-fried and eaten with a variety of veggies and animal proteins, Mei Fun is composed of thin rice noodles that are stir-fried or boiled in broth.

Mei Fun and Chow Fun noodles are particularly well-liked all around the world. In theory, the two foods seem identical, but in reality, they taste and look quite different.

While many people are familiar with the well-known noodle dish Chow Mein, some individuals may not be familiar with Chow Fun and Mei Fun.

The most intriguing aspect is that all of these recipes share pasta, which can change what is considered the full menu.

Discover how to make these mouthwatering dishes at home while learning more about the differences and similarities between Chow Fun and Mei Fun.

Chinese noodle varieties are so widely available that confusion is very understandable.

Consider the number of noodles, such as Mei Fun, Chow Fun, Lo Mein, and many more; here, you believe Chow Mein was the heart of the universe.

In actuality, the bulk of such meals is prepared in a quite uniform manner.

They are prepared in a wok with veggies, meat, and a vegetable sauce.

The manner they are prepared is where their distinctions start, however.

You see, Mei Fun and Chow Mein may be prepared the same way, but because Mei Fun uses different noodles, there may be minor tastes and texture variations despite the basic components in both dishes being the same.

Vermicelli, the little rice noodles used to make Mei Fun, are available at many genuine Chinese restaurants. They are also quite well-liked in countries like Australia and the USA.

What makes this meal so enticing are the thin rice noodles.

Having thin, flavorful noodles with loads of veggies adds a certain satisfaction. Chopsticks are a terrific way to eat them since you can consume a whole dish with one bite.

Wide, silky noodles are used in Chow Fun. Although they are delicate, they are bigger and flatter than other varieties of noodles.

Chow Fun noodles go well with a range of meats and vegetables but may be fairly delicate if not prepped and cooked correctly. They are cooked either in a stir-fry or boiled in a broth.

Here is a simple overview of these two noodle meals:

  • Country of Origin: Chow Fun and Mei fun are Chinese dishes.
  • Ingredient: Both noodles are made with rice.
  • Cooking technique: Mei fun is often purchased dry. Therefore, it must be regenerated before use by soaking it in water. Mei fun requires little cooking since it has already been fried before being dried. However, dry chow fun noodles must be cooked for a short while.
  • Texture: Mei fun lacks gluten, making it delicate and fragile. While the components in chow fun give it a stiffer, chewier texture. When chow fun is fried, it becomes crispier.
  • Appearance: When dried, Mei fun has a semi-translucent appearance with a tinge of white. The cooked noodles get completely white. Chow Fun noodles are also white, but they are wider and flatter.
  • Flavor: Mei fun uses rice as its primary component and has a fairly mild flavor. Chow fun is also made with rice, so they have a similar taste, which can only differ after cooking.
  • Dietary Restrictions: Mei fun and chow fun are gluten-free since they are made from rice.
  • Uses in cuisine: Mei fun is adaptable and may be included in various cuisines, including spring rolls, stir-fries, soups, etc. Noodles called chow fun are often used in stir-fried foods since they are wider.

Although the noodles in both recipes have different appearances, they are prepared similarly. For example, Mei Fun noodles are commonly softened in 3- to 4-minute increments in boiling water.

Similarly, Chow Fun noodles may be washed as directed in a recipe or warm or boiling water for 3–4 minutes.

Such noodles contrast sharply with spaghetti and other typical pasta made of wheat. They require extra time for cooking and preparing.

Chow Fun noodles are prone to breaking while cooking if you cook them for longer than necessary.

Similar to how Mei Fun noodles should not be boiled or rehydrated for more than the recommended period since they are extremely simple to break.

To generate proportionately sized noodles, you may also get Chow Fun noodles in a single folded strip that you’ll need to carefully break apart before cooking.

Likewise, Mei Fun also includes vermicelli noodles.


Flavor and Nutrition

These two meals offer about the same amount of nutrients per day.

When comparing portions of noodles, the Mei Fun can supply up to 25 grams of carbs in a 100-gram serving, while the Chow Fun can offer up to 26 grams (1).

Additionally, there are 5-6 grams of fiber in the noodles. Additionally, they have almost little fat (0.1 grams a serving in 100 grams).

However, these two meals have quite different nutritional profiles as a whole.

The two noodle meals may have a high-calorie content depending on the vegetables, type of protein, and sauce used.



Another intriguing element is that vermicelli noodles have more to do with human minds than sustenance. Broad noodles are far less delightful to eat than vermicelli noodles.

They are simple to grip, and you can consume a lot in one mouthful. No matter how big a portion you eat, they are much denser and easy to digest.

Noodles from Chow Fun are broad and flat. Most individuals won’t like them as much as vermicelli noodles, even though they taste similar.


Condiments and Protein

In the end, both rice noodles have comparable flavors, but the introduction of sauces distinguishes them from one another. Most restaurants saturate Chow Fun and Mei Fun with copious amounts of soy sauce and veggies like cabbage.

Both Mei Fun and Chow Fun are quite straightforward to make. You may blend and match items to make the recipes your own if you prepare them properly.

Vermicelli, or wide noodles, may be used to produce a typical Chow Mein dish instead of conventional rice noodles. The name of the dish may also be changed.


In Conclusion

Now you know a lot about Mei Fun vs. Chow Fun debate. There are many Chinese noodles that you have come across before and dismissed as a basic Chow Mein dish.

But, there are such wide varieties of Chinese noodles that we should all strive to expand our palates to the subtle differences between each.

When creating new Chinese noodle dishes at home, learn more about every noodle form to create a spectacular dish that is true to the authentic meal to enjoy it better.

Then, start to experiment.

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