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Difference Between Chop Suey and Chow Mein

Chop Suey vs Chow Mein

Chop suey and chow mien are two classical Chinese dish that are still in existence and still the common favorite dish of Chinese and other Asian countries. Due to its unique and distinct flavor caused by the various ingredients, it’s not a surprise that even Americans love these two dishes.

Chop Suey

Chop suey is a dish wherein it’s a mixture of various ingredients like meat coming from beef, chicken, shrimps, and even fish and adding some vegetables such as cabbage, bean sprouts, carrots, and celery. A sauce made from starches that are thickened is what encompasses all the flavors together. Others says that this dish comes from Chinese immigrants in USA while others says that it directly came from Li Hongzhang during the Qing Dynasty.

Chow Mien

Chow mien comes from the Taishan word “chau mieng”, mieng means noodles. The Taishans are the first of all the Chinese immigrants in United States. When Americans adopted this dish, the letter “g” is dropped to make it more westernized thus it is known today as Chow mien. In ingredients of this dish includes noodles stir-fried with chicken meat and sometimes shrimps can be used as an alternative.

Difference between Chop Suey and Chow Mein

Unlike chop suey which has a rich culinary mythology about where it originated, Chow mien has a concrete history that it comes from Taishans when they first immigrated to USA. Chop suey is a dish made from many ingredients like meat, vegetables and a sauce made from thickened starch. Chow mien, on the other hand, is a dish that also contains meat and vegetables but only with the addition of noodles and the absence of sauce. The term Chop suey comes from Cantonese word Shap Sui, meaning mixed entrails, while chow mien comes from Taishan word chau mieng, meaning noodles.

These two dishes have very excellent taste making them to be known and used widely in the Philippines, India, Canada, and other countries where there are Chinese immigrants. If you have a chance to stop by a Chinese restaurant, don’t forget to order either Chop suey or Chow mien and you’ll surely be back for more.

In brief:

• Chop suey comes from a Cantonese word Shap Sui which means cooked mixed entrails while Chow mien comes from the Taishan word Chau Mieng which means noodles.

• Chop suey has many stories revolving the real score about where it originally came from. Chow mien on the other hand comes from the Taishan immigrants in United States.

• Chop suey consists of various ingredients like meat (chicken is the popular one but shrimps can also be used), vegetables, and sauce made from starch. Chow mien has similar ingredients with chop suey only with the additional of noodles and without the sauce.


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