American Chopsuey is a Chinese dish

Chop Suey: This is how you prepare the dish very easily | recipe

You have to chop up a lot for this dish. Because Chop Suey consists of pieces of meat and chopped vegetables. There are also rice or noodles.

Bamboo shoots, mushrooms, various types of vegetables, meat and rice - these are typical ingredients for Chop Suey. They are all chopped up and cooked together in a wok. Translated, Chop Suey means something like "small pieces" or "small pieces of leftovers". It is considered a typical Chinese dish. But does it really come from China?

Chop Suey: American or Chinese Dish?

Chop Suey is part of the Chinese cuisine. At the same time, the dish is rather unknown in China. Rather, it is said to have been invented in America - by a Chinese living there. One theory says that there in the 19th century a Chinese cook created a diet meal for a diplomat at his request. For this he is said to have chopped various ingredients and prepared them in a wok. Another theory suggests that a customer in a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco ordered food after the store closed. The cook then threw all the leftovers from the day into the wok and created Chop Suey.

For the cultural historians Alan Davidson and Eugene N. Anderson, on the other hand, it is "culinary mythology" that Chop Suey comes from America. According to them, the dish is mentioned in a Chinese book from 1964. According to this, Chop Suey comes from the Toisan region, south of the city of Guangzhou. This thesis is supported by the fact that the early Chinese immigrants to the USA come from this region. You could have brought the court to the US.

Chop Suey: The dish is a classic in Chinese restaurants and fast food shops. (Source: Schöning / imago images)

These ingredients are typical of Chop Suey

So where the origin of Chop Suey lies has not been conclusively clarified. The ingredients of the dish are also not clearly defined. Chop Suey, however, typically consists of meat, several types of vegetables and pasta or rice. Most often beef, pork, chicken or duck are used. Suitable vegetables are, for example:

  • leek
  • Carrots
  • paprika
  • Celery
  • Mung beans
  • Baby sprouts
  • Bean sprouts
  • Pak choi
  • White cabbage
  • Bamboo slices
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Oyster mushrooms
  • Mushrooms
  • broccoli
  • onion

Recipe: How to Prepare Chop Suey


  • 400 g meat (beef, pork, chicken or duck)
  • 400 g vegetables (make a mix of the vegetables mentioned above as desired)
  • 250 g rice or Chinese noodles
  • 130 ml soy sauce
  • 20 ml of oyster sauce
  • 10 ml rice vinegar
  • some ginger or chilli (if you like it spicy)


  1. Wash the meat and cut it into strips or pieces.
  2. Make a marinade from 80 ml of soy sauce and 80 ml of water. Add a little salt and sugar. Mix the pieces of meat with it.
  3. Wash the vegetables, peel them if necessary and cut them into small pieces as well.
  4. Cook the rice or noodles.
  5. Fry the marinated meat with a little oil in the wok or pan, then set it aside.
  6. Fry the vegetables. It should still be a bit firm to the bite.
  7. Now make a sauce from 50 ml soy sauce, 20 ml oyster sauce and 10 ml rice vinegar.
  8. Add the meat to the vegetables and mix the whole thing with the sauce. Let the mixture boil.
  9. For a little more flavor you can add a little ginger or chilli.
  10. As soon as the rice or noodles are ready, serve them with the vegetable-meat mix.

For a vegetarian version of chop suey, you can use tofu instead of meat. Depending on the ingredients, there are around 150 calories in 100 grams of Chop Suey.