Chinese food, including food that is very popular throughout the world, we can find in many restaurants, places to eat, even simple restaurants around the world.
There are so many delicious Chinese foods, sometimes it’s hard for us to choose which one is the best. Chow mein and chop suey are two of the most popular Chinese dishes in restaurants around the world. Both are processed from instant noodles, meat and vegetables.
Sometimes chop suey and chow mein are hard to tell apart from each other. If you’re looking to order take-away, but you can’t tell the difference between chow mein vs chop suey, then you’re lucky to find this article because we’re going to explain what this dish is all about, where it comes from and how it’s made. Continue reading this article to the end.
Chow Mein Vs Chop Suey
What is Chow Mein?
Chow mein is a food made from stir fried noodles, even the term chow mein itself means “fried noodles”. But not only fried noodles, but this food consists of meat and vegetables as well so it tastes better and is more nutritious to eat.
There are different types of chow mein dishes, and the difference between the two lies in the type of noodles used. Chow mein is a noodle that is sometimes not only fried but also steamed and wrapped, it can also be served crunchy which is famous for the Hong Kong style.
Chow Mein is also served differently from one place to another, this depends on the area where you enjoy it. If you order chow mein in the US on the east coast you will find chow mein in Hong Kong style. Meanwhile if you enjoy it on the west coast, they serve steamed chow mein.
This noodle dish of meat plus vegetables is widely enjoyed around the world, including in Asia, Australia, the United States, and even England. The recipe used is from China, but because it is made in the western world, the result is chow mein with a western touch.
When you talk about chow mein, you definitely want to serve it yourself with your family at home. Chow mein recipes involve ingredients such as sauce, vegetables, meat, or sometimes tofu. For clarity, let’s look at the ingredients for making Chow Mein and how it’s made.
- Noodle dumplings, fried or steamed
- The meat used, can be shrimp, beef, pork or chicken
- Bean sprouts
- bell pepper
- Oyster sauce
- Shiitake Mushroom
- starch from corn flour
- Oil sometimes kerosene
How to Cook:
- To serve chow mein traditionally and authentically, you have to use ingredients, but among the most important ingredients are instant noodles. So, first is to cook the noodles in boiling water for 5 minutes. These noodles are sprinkled with a little sesame oil to prevent them from sticking together.
- In addition, you should choose protein sources such as shrimp and pork or beef. But the use of chicken is very popular, the protein content is also quite good.
- To be able to produce delicious Chow mein, of course you have to prepare the chicken well, season the chicken with soy sauce and Chinese spice powder, coat the meat well. Also sprinkle on the chicken a little cornstarch.
- Heat a frying pan on high heat, add peanut oil, wait until it boils and slightly smoky. Then add the chicken, beef and stir-fry for a few minutes until the chicken or other meat (if you are using another meat) is cooked through.
- Then you can add spices such as paprika, and stir evenly for a minute. Before you add the onions, bean sprouts, celery, and other vegetables, mix well and fry this mixture.
- Then you can add fried noodles, add soy sauce and sesame oil, you can use catsup or Ketchup, stir the food and serve.
So the ingredients used in making Chow Mien are similar to the ingredients for making chop suey. However, the cooking method is different. Fried chow mein and chop suey sprinkle the ingredients or seasonings on top of the noodles. Let’s take a closer look with Chop Suey below.
What is Chop Suey?
Chop suey is also a Chinese dish that is famous all over the world and is a favorite of those who like Chinese style. It’s actually a Chinese American crossbreed dish. Chop suey is considered to be a dish that was born in the 1800s in the hands of one of China’s ambassadorial chefs Li hu Chang. This dish is made by the chef to entertain his guests from America.
This dish consists of ingredients such as meat, celery, bean sprouts, and is mixed with sauce and served with instant noodles. The story goes that this dish was made in a California mining camp by a famous and popular chef of his time.
It is said that these chefs collect food from ingredients that are lied to and he calls it tsa sui, this means pieces. So the term tsa sui in everyday life is called Chop Suey. Notice the two dialects are similar and almost the same.
But in fact no one knows how to actually make Chop Suey. But until now this dish is still there and is often the favorite food of many people. Chop suey food is made from noodles, vegetables, meat, and some use cooked rice.
This means that chop suey is mixing pieces of vegetables and other ingredients to stir in the noodles, let’s see further why chop suey food so good and unique.
- Rice or noodles
- Choice of meat: shrimp, beef, chicken or pork
- Bean sprouts
- Soy sauce
- Vegetable oil
- Oyster sauce
How to Cook:
- Making your chop suey needs a lot of ingredients as presented above, you can sprinkle it on top of noodles or rice.
- Chop suey has sauce, so in making this dish you have to prepare the sauce. The sauce is made from a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/2 cup ketchup, one tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sauce, and two tablespoons water. All of these ingredients are stirred to get the chop suey sauce that will accompany the Chop Suey dish.
- If the mixture is complete, now you prepare the oil and heat it in a frying pan. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat until brown. Next you can add cabbage, celery, bean sprouts, broccoli, carrots, and saute for about 4 minutes until cooked.
- Take the sauce that has been made, mix the vegetables with the sauce and mix well and serve immediately on top of the fried noodles and rice. Until here it is finished and ready to be served, enjoy it immediately.
What is the difference between Chow Mein and Chop Suey?
So, after reading the article above, what is the difference between the two (Chow mien vs Chop suey). The very obvious difference between the two is the authenticity of the dishes. Chow mein is an authentic traditional Chinese dish, while chop suey is considered an American version of Chinese cuisine or a Chinese dish made by Chinese chefs to entertain American guests.
The origin of chow mein goes back centuries. In Mandarin, chow mein or ch’ao mien is fried noodles, this is a term from the North Chinese language. It is now one of the most famous dishes, not only in China but also all over the world and this can be changed by some western restaurants, but the main recipe that must be there remains the same. Chow mein is always served with boiled noodles and vegetables.
While Chop suey is often made from noodles or rice. Chow mein has always been a dish served with noodles. Therefore if you see any rice then most likely what you see is chop suey.
Chow mein vs chop suey there is a striking difference between the two. Where chow mein uses a recipe that is already popular and is an authentic Chinese dish. While Chop suey is a dish that tends to use existing ingredients and can vary from one place to another or according to each chef.
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Talking about nutrition, of course these two ingredients use vegetables, chicken or beef, this is certainly a dish that is rich in nutrients and good for health.
Chow Mein Nutritional Value
Choew mein is a low-calorie food, especially if it is prepared without using meat, so it is a dish full of vegetables.
In 56 grams a cup of vegetable chow mein contains 240 calories with 14 grams of fat and 26 grams of kabo which comes from instant noodles. In addition, chow mein is a great food for you to eat if you want to lose weight or want to reduce your waist circle.
If you add protein and meat in your dish, then chow mein is definitely a rather high-calorie food.
Chop Suey Nutritional Value
How about chop suey, is this a nutrient-dense dish too? This food is somewhat higher in calories when compared to chow mein and richer in fat. 56 grams cup of chop suey contains 290 calories.
In addition, chop suey sometimes also contains 16 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates and 24 protein. For a lighter, you can ask the chef to cook chop suey with vegetables and without instant noodles, this is healthier than you use noodles. Instead of noodles you can use only rice.
Likewise, Chop suey prepared without shrimp, meat will be a healthier food for consumption. It will also cut a lot of calories making it healthier to enjoy. So, chow mein and chop suey are delicacies that are quite popular all over the world. But the comparison between the two (chow mein vs chop suey), then by looking at the above explanation we know that chow mein is healthier than chop suey.
Hopefully this article is useful and adds to your information about these two types of Chinese cuisine, even if one is a cross between Chinese and American.