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Was chop suey really invented in America?

Yes, chop suey is unheard of in China just like fortune cookies (read related story)! This dish of meats (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, became popular in the 1800's while the great Pacific railroad was just being built.

The dish was said to be the invention of Chinese immigrant cooks working on the railroad. To feed the hungry workers, the Chinese cooks used whatever was handy in the kitchen and throw it into a big cauldron of broth.

They called the dish "chop suey" which literally means "assorted pieces." Some even claim it stood for "Chopped Sewage."

Despite not being Chinese at all,  chop suey has become a staple in Chinese restaurants all over the world.

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