National Chop Suey Day Date in the current year: August 29, 2024

National Chop Suey Day August 29 is the perfect day to order some delicious takeout from your nearby American Chinese restaurant since it is National Chop Suey Day. This food holiday celebrates a stir-fry what was inspired by Chinese cuisine but developed in the United States.

Many popular dishes that are thought to be Chinese are in fact American Chinese. American Chinese cuisine was developed by Chinese immigrants to North America who opened restaurants and had to change recipes because some ingredients they would normally use were not available, as well as to adapt them to American tastes.

As a result, many dishes of American Chinese cuisine differ significantly from their Chinese prototypes and are not found in China. They include Chinese chicken salad, crab rangoon, egg rolls, General Tso’s chicken, orange chicken, pepper steak, and others. Some dishes aren’t even Chinese in origin! Fortune cookies, for example, are ubiquitous in Chinese restaurants across the United States but they actually originated in Japan.

Chop suey is one of the most popular American Chinese dishes because it is filling and easy to make. It is a stir-fried dish that consists of meat, boiled eggs, assorted vegetables (baby corn, bean sprouts, bell pepper, cabbage, carrots, celery), and thick sauce made with starch. Chop suey can be made with different kinds of meat (beef, chicken, pork), fish, or shrimp. It is typically served with rice or stir-fried noodles.

There are many conflicting accounts of the origin of chop suey. It is generally believed to have originated in southern China where it is called tsap seui, which means “miscellaneous leftovers”. According to one of the stories about the origin of chop suey, the dish was invented in the mid-19th century by Chinese cooks who worked on the transcontinental railroad.

Another account claims chop suey was created by a Chinese or Chinese American chef for Li Hongzhang, a Chinese general, politician and diplomat, during his visit to the United States in 1896. However, there is a reference to chop suey in an 1884 issue of the Brooklyn Eagle, so the Li Hongzhang version is most probably erroneous.

Be that as it may, chop suey is one of the most beloved dishes of Chinese American cuisine, from where it has been borrowed by other cuisines, including Canadian Chinese, Filipino, German Chinese, Indian Chinese, Indonesian Chinese, and Polynesian.

Chop suey served in Chinese restaurants should not be confused with the so-called American chop suey. Despite its name, American chop suey was mostly influenced by Italian-American cuisine. It is a pasta casserole consisting of macaroni, ground beef, various vegetables, and a tomato-based sauce.

The origin of National Chop Suey Day is unclear, but don’t let it stop you from celebrating! You can observe the holiday by going out to your favorite restaurant that has chop suey on the menu, ordering takeout, or making chop suey at home (one of the biggest perks of this dish is that it is very easy to make).

National Chop Suey Day is also a great occasion to try chop suey variations from different cuisines, for example, Filipino or Polynesian. And don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday on social media using the hashtag #NationalChopSueyDay.

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National Chop Suey Day, observances in the US, unofficial holidays, food days, chop suey, American Chinese cuisine