National Chop Suey Day on August 29 is dedicated to this delicious and amazing American-Chinese dish. Made with an assortment of ingredients like vegetables, meat, and eggs, chop suey is served with rice or noodles. Many Americans have grown up eating it and enjoy it well into their adulthood too. Because of globalization, chop suey is now enjoyed all over the world. There may be variations in the recipe here and there, but the element of scrumptiousness remains constant. Much like the hundreds of various chop suey recipes out there, there are several origin stories about it too. From transcontinental roads to immigrants in a new country to royal courthouses, chop suey’s origin stories do take one on quite the ride.
History of National Chop Suey Day
National Chop Suey Day celebrates the iconic dish that has several origin stories to its name. E. N. Anderson, a historical scholar on Chinese food, states that chop suey may have its origins in the county of Taishan in the Guangdong province of China. Known as ‘tsap seui,’ which translates to ‘miscellaneous pieces,’ chop suey may have come to America through the earliest Chinese immigrants. It was in the 1840s when gold was discovered in California, that many immigrants, a large number of which consisted of Chinese people, came to the United States to seek their fortunes. After a hard day’s work of digging for gold, the Chinese immigrants, mostly men who had come to the country with little to their names, chose chop suey to satisfy their hunger as the dish was cheap and filling. From there on, the dish became popular with the rest of the public.
Other scholars speculate that the dish may have been invented at the house of Li Hongzhang, a Chinese diplomat based in New York. Hongzhang had some American friends coming over, and in order to provide a hearty and good meal, he instructed his chef to create something that would be suitable for both the Chinese as well as Americans. The result is said to have been the American-Chinese fusion dish called chop suey. Yet another story tells that the dish was the invention of a tired and scared chef. The chef in question had a restaurant on the transcontinental railroad. As he was closing his eatery for the day, a group of drunk sailors entered the place instructing the chef to whip up something delicious. Fearing a beating, the chef brought together the day’s leftover scraps, which consisted of some meat, shrimps, vegetables, and eggs. He cooked these ingredients on high heat, serving them to his customers. The dish became an instant hit and really took off, prompting the chef to include the item on his menu. Whichever story you choose to believe, one thing is clear: chop suey rules the food scene all over the world.
National Chop Suey Day timeline
After the discovery of gold in California, Chinese immigrants flock to the city to earn money.
A chef in San Francisco is believed to have created the dish after drunk sailors made their way into his restaurant and demanded a hot meal.
Wong Chin Foo, a Chinese-American activist, describes chop suey as the national dish of China in the “Brooklyn Eagle.”
Li Hongzhang’s chef invents chop suey as a way to satisfy both Chinese and American tastes
National Chop Suey Day FAQs
What does chop suey literally mean?
Chop suey comes from ‘tsap seui,’ which means miscellaneous pieces or odds and ends.
Is chop suey Japanese or Chinese?
Chop suey is American-Chinese. It is made with meat, eggs, and vegetables in thickened sauce.
What is the difference between chow mein and chop suey?
Chop suey is a stir-fry meal made with a thick sauce and an assortment of meats and vegetables. It is also often served with rice. On the other hand, chow mein is made with a mixture of soy sauce and is served with noodles.
National Chop Suey Day Activities
Order chop suey
Make a day out of August 29 by ordering some chop suey from an authentic Chinese restaurant. Don’t miss the chance of making use of the awesome offers restaurants might have on National Chop Suey Day. Save money and savor the flavors that you so enjoyed during all the previous times you had it.
Make chop suey
One of the great things about chop suey is how easy it is to make. Whether you are a college student or a busy professional, chop suey is your go-to answer for all those hunger cravings. Its quick and easy method means you will have the chance to fill your tummy in no time
Try other chop sueys
Chop suey is so famous worldwide that each country has its own take on the dish. You may have tried the classic American-Chinese version, but do give the Indian, Canadian, and Polynesian chop suey a try. While you are at it, try some other Chinese dishes too.
5 Facts About Chinese Cuisine That Will Blow Your Mind
Chinese food is healthy
If you love eating Chinese, there’s good news for you because traditional Chinese cuisine is healthy as it is made with lots of fresh ingredients, most of which are selected for their medicinal purposes.
Never-ending assortment of flavors
You will never eat the same type of dish in China because not only are there so many different cuisines in the country, but the various cooking techniques of cooking a single ingredient also varies, lending unique and delicious tastes to the food.
Presentation is key
Chinese cuisine, even at home, is served with intricately designed presentations to appeal to the eaters’ eyes.
Nothing goes to waste
Chinese cuisine is famous for using almost all parts of its ingredients, and this is why it is common to see a whole gutted fish being served.
Rice and noodles are a staple
Authentic Chinese cuisine is always served with rice and/or noodles, without which the meal would be considered incomplete.
Why We Love National Chop Suey Day
It’s a celebration of chop suey
Chop suey takes us on quite the journey of taste and history. Historians have labeled the dish as having one of the most elusive and mythological origins. Many disagree on the true events surrounding the origins and popularity of the dish, but at the same time, all are in unison acknowledging its greatness through the decades.
It’s a celebration of wholesome meals
Whatever you are craving, chop suey has it all, from vegetables to eggs to meat. This meal will never disappoint you. You can also get inspired by it and throw the day’s leftovers into a pot to heat and cook it. But do be careful about the flavors and the expiry dates of food. Experiment, but be safe.
It’s a celebration of Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine has been developed with centuries of experience and science. Its medicinal purposes nourish the body while making sure that you enjoy your tasty meal. Moreover, the cuisine’s eco-friendly techniques of using every part of an ingredient make it ideal for today’s environmental needs.
National Chop Suey Day dates