Chow Fun and Mei Fun are popular Chinese noodle dishes that often leave people wondering which is better. But which one should you choose? Chow Fun is a Cantonese dish made with wide rice noodles, while Mei Fun is a thinner version of the same dish.
Both are delicious, but which one will satisfy your cravings? Read on to discover the differences between Chow Fun and Mei Fun, and decide which is the ultimate noodle dish.
What is Mei Fun?
Mei fun is a type of noodle known as rice vermicelli or rice noodles. They are a staple in Chinese cuisine and are thin and delicate, made from rice flour and water. They are commonly used in stir-fry and soup dishes and have a chewy texture and a subtle, slightly sweet flavor.
Mei fun comes in different thicknesses and can be found in most Asian grocery stores and supermarkets. They are considered versatile ingredients that can be paired with various meats and vegetables and can be used as a substitution for other noodles.
What is Chow Fun?
Chow fun is a dish made from wide rice noodles, meat, vegetables, and a savory sauce. It's a popular Chinese dish from Southern China and Hong Kong and is also commonly found in some regions of Malaysia and Singapore. The dish is made by stir-frying wide rice noodles with meat, such as beef, chicken, or shrimp, and vegetables like bok choy, bell peppers, and carrots, giving it a delicious savory taste.
The rice noodles used in chow fun are wide and have a chewy texture that's slightly slippery, making it a perfect dish for those who love savory and sweet flavors.
Comparison table: Chow Fun vs Mei Fun
|Wide, flat Chinese rice noodles made from rice flour and water
|Thin, round Chinese rice noodles made from rice flour and water
|Wide, flat noodles with a yellowish color
|Thin, round noodles with a white color
|Chewier, slightly crispy
|Savory, slightly crispy
|Delicate, absorbs flavors of the broth or sauce it is cooked in
|Rolled out and cut into wide, flat shape, steamed, and dried
|Pushed through a sieve or press to create thin, round shape, steamed, and dried
|Stir-fry dishes, savory and slightly crispy
|Soups, stir-fries, and cold salads, delicate and absorbs flavors of the broth or sauce
|Rice noodles, udon noodles, wheat-based lo mein noodles
|Rice noodles, vermicelli, cellophane noodles
|Soaked in water to soften, then stir-fried with meats and vegetables
|Soaked in water to soften, then used in soups or stir-fried dishes with a variety of seasonings
Chow Fun vs Mei Fun: The Similarities
One of the main similarities between the two dishes is that they use rice noodles as the base ingredient. This gives them a chewy texture and a slightly sweet taste. They are both stir-fried with vegetables and meat, adding a variety of flavors and textures to the dish.
Chow Fun vs Mei Fun: The Differences
1 Size of the noodles
The main difference between the two dishes is the size of the noodle. Chow Fun is made with wide rice noodles, while Mei Fun is made with thinner rice noodles. The wider noodles in Chow Fun give it a more substantial texture, making it more filling. On the other hand, Mei Fun is more delicate and has a lighter texture, making it a great option for a lighter meal.
2 Ways of cooking
Another difference between the two dishes is the way they are traditionally cooked. Chow Fun is typically cooked with a dark soy sauce, giving it a stronger flavor, while Mei Fun is often cooked with a light soy sauce, making it a milder dish.
3 Comparison of texture and appearance
Chow Fun and Mei Fun are Chinese rice noodles with different textures and appearances. Chow Fun has a wider, flatter shape and a chewier texture. It is often stir-fried with meats and vegetables.
On the other hand, Mei Fun has a thinner, rounder shape and a softer texture. It is often used in soups or dishes like Singapore Mei Fun, which is stir-fried with curry powder. Both noodles are made from rice flour, but the texture and appearance differ due to the different manufacturing methods.
4 Comparison of cooking methods
To prepare Chow Fun, the noodles are first soaked in water to soften them, then stir-fried with meats and vegetables. This results in a savory, slightly crispy dish with a chewier texture.
To prepare Mei Fun, the noodles are also soaked in water to soften them, but then they are typically used in soups or stir-fried dishes with a variety of seasonings, like curry powder. This results in a more delicate dish with a softer texture. Both rice noodles can also be used in cold salads and are usually served as a side dish.
5 Comparison of flavor and taste
|Has a subtle flavor that takes on the taste of whatever ingredients it is cooked with.
|Has a more delicate flavor than chow fun, which is slightly sweet and nutty.
Chow Fun has a savory, slightly crispy taste and a chewier texture. The wide, flat shape of the noodles allows them to absorb the flavors of the meats and vegetables they are stir-fried with. The chewier texture is achieved by soaking the noodles for sufficient time to soften them and then stir-frying them quickly over high heat.
Mei Fun has a delicate, more subtle taste and a softer texture. The thin, round shape of the noodles allows them to absorb the flavors of the broth or sauce they are cooked in. The delicate texture is achieved by soaking the noodles for sufficient time to soften them and then stir-frying them quickly over high heat with various sauces and spices like curry powder.
Mei fun noodles are made of what?
Make Mei Fun noodles, also known as rice vermicelli, by mixing rice flour with water to form a dough, pushing the dough through a sieve, or pressing to create thin, round noodles. Steam and dry the noodles before packaging and selling them. Know these noodles, a staple in Cantonese and Southeast Asian cuisine, for their delicate texture and use them in soups, stir-fries, and cold salads.
Chow fun noodles are made of what?
Make Chow Fun noodles by mixing rice flour with water to form a dough, roll it out and cut it into a wide, flat shape. Steam and dry the noodles before packaging and selling them. Use these noodles, a staple in Cantonese cuisine, in stir-fried dishes for their chewier texture and ability to absorb the flavors of meats and vegetables.
Compare and contrast the ingredients used in chow fun and mei fun.
Chow Fun and Mei Fun dishes use some common ingredients, but the specific ingredients may vary depending on the recipe.
- Rice noodles
- Meat (such as chicken, beef, pork, and shrimp)
- Vegetables (such as broccoli, bok choy, bell peppers, and carrots)
- Sauces (such as oyster sauce, soy sauce, and hoisin sauce)
- Spices (such as garlic, ginger, and green onions)
- Rice noodles
- Meat (such as chicken, shrimp, and beef)
- Vegetables (such as bean sprouts, carrots, bell peppers, and cabbage)
- Sauces (such as soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, and curry powder)
- Spices (such as garlic, ginger, and green onions)
The main ingredient difference is using different sauces and spices, which give each dish its unique flavor. Chow Fun typically uses savory sauces like oyster sauce and soy sauce, while Mei Fun often uses savory sauces like oyster sauce and soy sauce, as well as curry powder, which gives it a distinct flavor.
What common mistakes do people make when cooking chow fun noodles?
- Not soaking the noodles long enough: Soak Chow Fun noodles in water for sufficient time to soften them before cooking to avoid tough and chewy noodles.
- Overcooking the noodles: Cook Chow Fun noodles quickly and over high heat to achieve the desired texture. Overcooking them can cause them to become mushy and lose their shape.
- Using too much oil: Use just enough oil when stir-frying Chow Fun noodles to prevent them from sticking to the pan. Excessive oil can also affect the texture and flavor of the dish.
- Not seasoning the noodles properly: Chow Fun noodles absorb flavors well, so it's essential to season them properly with the right combination of sauces and spices.
- Not cutting the ingredients in the right size: Cut ingredients, such as meat or vegetables, into small bite-sized pieces for quick and even cooking and easy eating.
- Not using the right pan: Use a pan large enough when stir-frying Chow Fun noodles to allow for even cooking and prevent overcrowding.
- Not stirring the noodles constantly: Keep stirring Chow Fun noodles constantly when stir-frying to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.
How to cook Chow Mei fun
I recently made a delicious Mei Fun recipe and highly recommended it! The recipe includes the perfect balance of flavors and textures that make this dish irresistible.
The thin, round rice noodles are cooked to perfection, and the combination of the meat, vegetables, and spices in the recipe makes it a perfect dish for any meal. I suggest visiting the recipe and giving it a try. You will not regret it! It is easy to follow, and you can make it at home.