They can be sold fresh, or dried. When dried, they are packed in bundles.
They are sometimes fried (wok-fried.) They are not always fried till they are crispy, as in the North American product “Fried Chow Mein Noodles”, but they certainly can be, depending on the dish.
There are hundreds of different Chinese dishes that call for chow mein noodles.
Not the same as Fried Chow Mein Noodles.
Before cooking with the dried ones, boil them first for 5 to 6 minutes, then drain. The noodles are then fried up, then incorporated in a dish at the end of cooking.
These are never stir fried, though, to get as crunchy as North American “Fried Chow Mein Noodles.”
“Chow mein” in Chinese means “fried noodles.”
“Mein” means “noodles.”