Friday, February 1, 2019

Filipino Chop Suey

Thank you Andrea of Scraptastic Saturday for the feature of my Kare-Kareng Pata
Chop suey (/ˈtʃɒpˈsuːi/) is a dish in American Chinese cuisine and other forms of overseas Chinese cuisine, consisting of meat (often chicken, fish, beef, shrimp, or pork) and eggs, cooked quickly with vegetables such as bean sprouts, cabbage, and celery and bound in a starch-thickened sauce. It is typically served with rice but can become the Chinese-American form of chow mein with the addition of stir-fried noodles. Chop suey has become a prominent part of American Chinese cuisine, Filipino cuisine, Canadian Chinese cuisine, German Chinese cuisine, Indian Chinese cuisine, and Polynesian cuisine. In Chinese Indonesian cuisine it is known as cap cai  ("mixed vegetables") and mainly consists of vegetables.

Chop suey is widely believed to have been invented in America by Chinese Americans, but anthropologist E. N. Anderson, a scholar of Chinese food, traces the dish to tsap seui ( "miscellaneous leftovers"), common in Taishan (Toisan), a county in Guangdong province, the home of many early Chinese immigrants to the United States. Hong Kong doctor Li Shu-fan likewise reported that he knew it in Toisan in the 1890s. The long list of conflicting stories about the origin of chop suey is, in the words of food historian Alan Davidson, "a prime example of culinary mythology" and typical of popular foods.

One account claims that it was invented by Chinese American cooks working on the transcontinental railroad in the 19th century. Another tale is that it was created during Qing Dynasty premier Li Hongzhang's visit to the United States in 1896 by his chef, who tried to create a meal suitable for both Chinese and American palates. Another story is that Li wandered to a local Chinese restaurant after the hotel kitchen had closed, where the chef, embarrassed that he had nothing ready to offer, came up with the new dish using scraps of leftovers. Yet recent research by the scholar Renqui Yu led him to conclude that "no evidence can be found in available historical records to support the story that Li Hung Chang ate chop suey in the United States." Li brought three Chinese chefs with him, and would not have needed to eat in local restaurants or invent new dishes in any case. Yu speculates that shrewd Chinese American restaurant owners took advantage of the publicity surrounding his visit to promote chop suey as Li's favorite.

Another myth is that, in the 1860s, a Chinese restaurant cook in San Francisco was forced to serve something to drunken miners after hours, when he had no fresh food. To avoid a beating, the cook threw leftovers in a wok and served the miners who loved it and asked what dish is this—he replied "chopped sui". There is no good evidence for any of these stories.
Chop suey appears in an 1884 article in the Brooklyn Eagle, by Wong Chin Foo, "Chinese Cooking", which he says "may justly be so-called the 'national dish of China'." An 1888 description states it was a "staple dish for the Chinese gourmand is chow chop svey , a mixture of chickens' livers and gizzards, fungi, bamboo buds, pigs' tripe, and bean sprouts stewed with spices." In 1898, it is described as "A Hash of Pork, with Celery, Onions, Bean Sprouts, etc."
During his travels in the United States, Liang Qichao, a Guangdong (Canton) native, wrote in 1903 that there existed in the United States a food item called chop suey which was popularly served by Chinese restaurateurs, but which local Chinese people do not eat, because the cooking technique is "really awful".
In earlier periods of Chinese history, "chop suey" or "chap sui" in Cantonese, and "za sui", in Mandarin, has the different meaning of cooked animal offal or entrails. For example, in the classic novel Journey to the West (circa 1590), Sun Wukong tells a lion-monster in chapter 75: "When I passed through Guangzhou, I bought a pot for cooking za sui – so I'll savour your liver, entrails, and lungs." This may be the same as the "Chop Suey Kiang" found in 1898 New York. The term "za sui"  is found in newer Chinese-English dictionaries with both meanings listed: cooked entrails, and chop suey in the Western sense. ( Note: Thank you Wiki )

I hope the history didn't bore you at all and in case you are bored which is understandable, I am so sorry about it. Anyway, Chop suey is so delish and fresh, I remember when I dont feel well, I will crave  for it. The colors and combination of veggies is kinda therapeutic for me and upon eating, the smell and the freshness of ingredients makes me feel better. Well, I just presumed that Chop Suey was brought to us during the American Occupation in our country.

Printable Recipe
Chop Suey
Ingredients :
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 large onion cut into 4 slices (quarter cut)
5 cloves sliced garlic
200 grams cooked and sliced pork belly
200 grams cooked and sliced chicken breast
1 cup cut carrots
1 cup sliced young corn
1 cup cut green bean, about 2 inch
1 cup cabbage, sliced
1/2 cup green bell pepper, sliced or squared
1/2 cup red bell pepper, sliced or squared
2-3 cups broth
12-20 medium to large prawn
20 pcs boiled and peeled quail eggs
1/2 cup baked cashew nuts
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp oyster sauce 
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp cornstarch with 3 tbsp water, mixed
In a pan or wok, add the oil and saute garlic and onion until the smell comes out.
Add the sliced cooked pork belly and cooked chicken breast, followed by carrots and young corn
Stir fry and cook for 1 minute, then add green bean and cabbage, stir fry for 1 minute.
Next add all the remaining veggies, stir fry for 1 minute.
Add the broth, 2 cups first followed by quail eggs, prawn and cashew. Let it boil, mix properly.
Add in all the seasonings, followed by the 3 tbsp cornstarch in 3 tbsp water.
The sauce should be nice and according to your preference. 
Serve immediately.

Yes, this dish is healthy and fresh and very easy to make because in a matter of 15 to 2o minutes, it is done and you can enjoy. You can play around with the veggies too, add anything you like, at least 3 to 5 kinds of veggies.
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  1. Mareliz you bring such succulent looking food! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party. Have a great week.

  2. This looks and sounds so good. Thanks for sharing at cooking and crafting with J & J!!!

    1. Thank you for coming over.Have a great week.

  3. This looks so tasty. I could just reach out and grab some :)

    Thanks so much for sharing your post with us at Creative Mondays. Have a great weekend and we hope to see you soon.

    1. Thank you Claire, its my pleasure. Have a great week.

  4. Your Chop Suey looks fantastic! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing your post with us at Full Plate Thursday.
    Miz Helen

    1. Hello Miz Helen, its so nice of you to drop by and make a comment. Have a great week.

  5. Yum! This looks like such a delish and fancy version! I love the history behind food! I remember back in the 1970s when I learned how to cook Chop Suey I read that it came from South America, so "history" is evolving all the time, lol! What a world we live in!

    1. But still it comes comes America..LOL! due to some American Chinese who introduced it. Thank you, Im happy to know someone from far away who also enjoy Chop suey. Have a great week.

  6. Sounds delicious! We love dishes like this around our house. And I love the history that you shared. Definitely not boring! Thanks for linking up with Sweet Inspiration!

    1. Hello Amy, thank you so much. You are such a dear. I appreciate you coming over and leaving kind words.Have a great week.


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