Chop suey is an American-Chinese dish consisting of meat and vegetables such as bean sprouts, cabbage, and celery stir fried in a wok or fry pan. It can be made vegetarian by omitting the meat or using tofu or a meat substitute.
Chop suey is typically served with cooked rice, however, some Americans like to serve it over noodles. It has become one of the most popular Chinese dishes here in America.
Chop suey was supposedly invented by the cooks of Chinese ambassador Li Hung Chang who came to visit America on August 29, 1896. the story goes that the dish was created to satisfy both Chinese and American tastes and was composed of meat, bean sprouts, and celery in a stir fried sauce. Li Hung Chang believed that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. He felt that it would help convey good relations with the United States if they enjoyed their dinner together.
The American people were fascinated with the visit of Li Hung Chang. They decorated bicycles with yellow streamers to honor the ambassador, and they lined the streets hoping to see him and his famous yellow jacket. Li became an honored guest for many banquets. He would only eat meals prepared by his chefs, which were variations of their chop suey, and he would always use chop sticks with his meals.
This fascination with Li started a chop suey fad in New York and San Francisco, and Chinese restaurants along with chop sticks became very popular for the first time. The restaurants capitalized on his name and offered menus with Li Hung Chang’s chop suey, creating a new surge of American Chinese restaurants. Americans came in groves to try the ambassador’s dish, with or without chop sticks, and newspapers talked about the story of chop suey.
In the mood for chop suey (serves 4)
•4 cups of cooked rice, follow package directions or use a rice cooker
•4 frozen vegetable burgers, cooked in microwave and ground
•non stick vegetable cooking spray
•1 can of tomatoes (15 and 1/2 ounce can)
•1 medium onion, chopped
•3 large stalks of celery, sliced
•8 ounces of bean sprouts
•1/2 of a large green pepper, chopped
•soy sauce to taste
1.Coat a large fry pan with the non stick vegetable cooking spray.
2.Add vegetable burgers, tomatoes, onion, celery, bean sprouts, and green pepper and stir fry until the celery is tender crisp, about 15 minutes.
3.Remove from heat and serve over cooked rice.
4.Season with soy sauce to taste.