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Old 02-02-2008, 04:40 AM   #11
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Hey, chop suey is also a common Chinese dish in the Philippines. It refers to the same thing: mixed vegetables with some meat/seafood. Not sure if there's chop suey in other Asian countries.

Don't know about chopsuey having been invented to cater to bland tastes. It makes more sense that it was invented to use up the various leftovers and meat scraps in the kitchen :-)
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Old 02-02-2008, 04:48 AM   #12
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It was my understanding it was invented in San Fransisco to use up the leftovers in the restaurant. The legend says the leftovers were mixed together and fed to the kitchen help at the end of the night.
I can't remember how it was they said it went from the kitchen help to the menu, but it wasn't from blandness. It was made from the leftovers, so it had the same spices and flavoring as the other dishes had.
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:46 PM   #13
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It may originally have contained the "spices and flavorings" from restaurant kitchen leftovers, but if you order it in a Chinese restaurant today - whether Chow Mein or Chop Suey - it is definitely BLAND - lol!!
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Old 02-02-2008, 03:39 PM   #14
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When younger I would eat seven dinners a week in NYC's Chinatown.

Knew waiters and owners. One owner would open his shop jsut for us and cook a meal - taking himself from his card game and drinking Johnny Walker Black on a taqble next to us. He did not seem to be a very good card player we noted.

Could read the Chinese menu then, but it was too many years ago and now no longer have that ability, sigh.

One would never find chow mein or chop suey on those menus. You could get fresh fish out of the tank they had, wonderful pork chops, all sorts of food. The Chinese cuisine is expansive. Most Americans just don't know about it.

But I do not shun the Europeanized version of Chinese food. I like some of it. Every once in a while we do a run to the local take out. They make very decent peanut butter noodles and egg foo yung. Is any of it authentic? Probably not, but it is tasty.

As an aside, someone should start a thread dealing with peanut butter noodles. If you have not had them you are bereft of one of the true wonderful foods the world has to offer. And they are easy to make. Yeah they are better with some Asian noodles but are terrific with just the spaghetti you find in the supermarket. You do not need an
Asian market.

Be warned, they are addictive.

Anyway, well off topic, have not seen any difference between what is called chop suey and chow mein. It is an olio of onions and peppers with cornstarch served over fried noodles or rice. I kinda like the fried noodles. And you can toss in chicken peices, shrimp, or something else.

Find a recipe you like, there are tons on the web, and enjoy.

And call it whatever you wish.
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Old 02-02-2008, 04:43 PM   #15
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Are you talking about "Cold Sesame Noodles", which are made - basically - with noodles (usually flat, like linguini), peanut butter, soy, a little chili-garlic paste, sesame seeds, & are usually topped with julienne of cucumber?

I make them frequently, & even tho the restaurants around here serve them chilled, I also find them just - if not more - tasty hot or at room temp.
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Old 02-02-2008, 11:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
It may originally have contained the "spices and flavorings" from restaurant kitchen leftovers, but if you order it in a Chinese restaurant today - whether Chow Mein or Chop Suey - it is definitely BLAND - lol!!
No doubt! The only ones that even carry it around here are the cheap take out ones, and I never order it. I just wonder how much of the legend is true, and how much is just legend...
My first choice is to head to Chinatown ;)
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Old 07-13-2010, 12:41 PM   #17
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I just want to say to people saying Chop Suey is bland, do you really mean not spicy? Because the dish on Long Island is def. not bland. I have it when I want something light and it hits the spot. It is usually made with a white sauce that is garlicky with onions, celery, and sometimes chinese cabbage. I usually add hot pepper oil but it is a dish I like to have once in awhile. It has plenty of flavor where I am just not a lot of heat.
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Old 07-13-2010, 01:41 PM   #18
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Since I'm originally from Long Island, where exactly do you enjoy it where "Chop Suey" is so enticing?

Because while I obviously never hit every Chinese eatery there, I never found one that made a "Chop Suey" any way but bland. Frankly, "Chop Suey" was never meant to be & isn't a "spicy" dish by nature, no matter who is making it. Bland - or "mild", if you prefer - dishes are just as much a part of the Chinese plate as the spicy stuff. If you enjoy them - that's what's important.

Take "Shrimp with Lobster Sauce" - something I enjoy making myself as well as enjoy in a restaurant. Definitely not spicy at all, but still delicious.
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Old 07-13-2010, 03:19 PM   #19
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When immigrants came to America, be they from Italy or China, they had to adapt their recipes to what was available here...using different meats, fish, fruits or vegetables. Bok Choy wasn't originally available but celery was. Chinese broccoli wasn't, but American hybrid broccoli was, etc... So some of these "Americanized" Chinese recipes are adapted cuisine and have become somewhat standard, as have many Italian-American recipes.
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:20 PM   #20
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I once asked a local Chinese restaurant what the difference was between chow mein and chop suey and they told me it was that one had bigger pieces of vegetables than the other!
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