Chop Suey – Not Hong Kong Phooey
Quote for Today: Schlitz, No Schlitz, Blatz, No Blatz? Improvise! Scent of a Woman Movie
On this date in 1896, the Chinese American dish Chop Suey was invented in New York according to some sources. Chinese Ambassador Li-Hung Chang was practicing politics in Manhattan and his Cantonese Chef came up with a dish to suit both Chinese and American palates. That is just one story of how this dish was created.
Another version says Li ventured out on the city streets because the hotel kitchen was closed. He eventually ended up at a Chinese restaurant. The chef there was embarrassed at not being prepared for Li and threw together what he had on hand.
One more myth involves a San Francisco chef facing an onslaught of drunk miners at closing time. To avoid a riot, he threw the left-overs and scraps in a wok and ad libbed. Thankfully, the mob turned into a happy and gracious audience.
While none of these may be true, they do sound entertaining if not convincing. Chop Suey and Chinese food became very popular during the heyday of the railroads and peaked in the 1950’s. Chop Suey is just one of many Chinese dishes actually created or made famous in America.
Chop Soo-ey Food Truck
If you are ever in San Diego, Trucked Up Productions has a mobile food truck named “Chop Soo-ey.” Their menu will make you drool. Besides their namesake Chop Soo-ey, they also serve Vietnamese Dumplings, Banh Mi, rice paper wrapped Prawns and even a Coconut red curry. If we were in San Diego today, I guarantee you we would find this food truck.
Thinking about the history of Chop Suey today brought back memories of the cartoon Hong Kong Phooey. If it did the same for you, here is a Flashback to the year 1974-75. Hope you enjoy a trip down memory lane.
TJ & CJ
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