"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > International Cuisines and Ethnic Cookery
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 07-15-2010, 12:30 PM   #41
Master Chef
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 9,229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
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!
Chow mein refers to the fried noodles topping the chop suey. Lo mein refers to soft, cooked noodles serve with chop suey or other dishes.

Chop suey is simply the meat and veggie dish served without noodles. At least, this is what I have been told by two Chinese restaurant owners/chefs that I know. And at my favorite Chinese Restaurant, chop suey and chowmein are made with velvetized chicken, with bias sliced celery, chunks of onion, Bias sliced carrot, all stir-fried unti tender-crisp, and seasoned lightly with soy sauce, and garlic, swimming in a light, cornstarch thickened gravy made from chicken stock and chives. It is delescious, full of flavor with a subtle sweetness from the onion and celery. Again, without the fried noodles, it's chop suey. With the noodles, it's chow mein. And it's never bland. I make it at home every now and again. When I make it, I add just a hint of Chinese 5-spice powder to the mix as well, and sometimes, a bit of ginger.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
__________________

__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2010, 12:36 PM   #42
Master Chef
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 9,229
Oh, I forgot. A prime componant in chop suey and chow mein both, as I know it, is steamed beansprouts. Sorry about leaving that ingredient out.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
__________________

__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-15-2010, 01:20 PM   #43
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 298
Chop Suey means 'this and that' and is a scrap/recycle dish perhaps concocted for the American market early in the Chinese restaurant business. Many sources place the origin in the railroad construction camps of the later 1800s where the chinese workers cooked from what was available. It has no set ingredients.

Chow Mein means fry noodle but may or may not be fried crisp, and should never be those short, fried, dried horrors in the carboard can. It's usually a long wheat flour noodle. Ingredients and saucing vary widely by region and cook.

Wikipedia says the discrepancy between fried or steamed noodles in USA usage is a coastal thing between east and west.
__________________
thymeless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2010, 09:19 PM   #44
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Galena, IL
Posts: 7,973
It is funny how things are different from place to place in this country. When I lived in Hawaii, chow mein was what many call lo mein in other parts of the country. My understanding is chow is to stir-fry, mein is definitely noodles. They were stir-fried noodles with vegetables and/or meat, much like fried rice but with thin, wheat-based noodles. (understand, this was 20 years ago and in Chinese restaurants frequented by local Chinese immigrants and Chinese-Hawaiian-Americans along with a few of us Haoles, so I don't know how much was "authentic" and what was translated for me).

American chop suey -- Mom is originally from New England, and this was macaroni with a sort of ground-beef-based tomato sauce.
__________________
Claire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2010, 09:48 PM   #45
Executive Chef
 
Selkie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 3,796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire View Post
...American chop suey -- Mom is originally from New England, and this was macaroni with a sort of ground-beef-based tomato sauce.
My understanding (and is only hearsay) is that American Chop Suey originated in San Francisco, and macaroni with a sort of ground-beef-based tomato sauce is a "goulash" dish associated with eastern Europe. But honestly, who really knows?

It's interesting how convoluted food history can get! I often think there is more misinformation than truth floating around.
__________________
"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard
Selkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2010, 10:15 AM   #46
Master Chef
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 9,229
Chow Mein literally means fried noodle. Typically, Noodles are boiled, drained, chilled, then deep fried to produce a noodle with a crispy outside and tender inside. This is then added to a stewed, or stir-fried mix of vegetables and strips of meat, often with a light sauce. For more info, check the following site: The Food Timeline: history notes--Asian-American cuisine

The link also explains a host of other Asian dishes such as dim sum, fried rice, egg rolls/spring rolls, and others. It lists several reputable sources for each definition.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2010, 10:19 AM   #47
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,349
We can discuss the origins forever. Bottom line appears to be that one is served over crispy noodles and the other is not. I'd bet the actual veggie and sauce part of the dish is the same for both.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2010, 10:31 AM   #48
Master Chef
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 9,229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
We can discuss the origins forever. Bottom line appears to be that one is served over crispy noodles and the other is not. I'd bet the actual veggie and sauce part of the dish is the same for both.
You are correct, my friend.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2010, 01:26 PM   #49
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Studio City, Calif.
Posts: 2,459
Just to toss this in, Wikipedia does a pretty good job of exploring all the various possible origins of 'chop suey' at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chop_suey
__________________

__________________
MSC is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
None

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:19 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.