Chicken Chop Suey with Fried Rice and Dumplings -Photographed on Hasselblad H1-22mb Camera
What's The Difference Between Chop Suey And Chow Mein?
By Jason Cruzan
The popularity of Chinese cuisine in the U.S. took off in the 1960s and remains popular today. However, many popular Chinese dishes have been Americanized, becoming something different in the West, including chop suey and chow mein.
Chop suey translates loosely to "miscellaneous leftovers", which references that the dish was made from leftover vegetables. However, today it has become an intentional mix of quality meat and stir-fried veggies served over rice or noodles with sauce which grew to be very popular in the U.S.
In China, noodles for chow mein are traditionally boiled and then stir-fried with veggies, while the American version is comprised of noodles that have been deep-fried and topped with meat and veggies in a stew-like sauce. Unlike chop suey, chow mein's deep-fried noodles are purely an American convention, making the two dishes very different in origin.