Chop Suey Day is celebrated on August 29 by all lovers of Chinese cuisine with an American twist! Chop suey is a combination of ingredients (meat, eggs, vegetables) that is traditionally served with noodles or rice. Many people in the United States fell in love with this tasty, nutritious, and inexpensive dish in childhood and have kept their love for it into adulthood. Globalization has led to the popularity of this simple yet flavorful dish all over the world.
It is not known who realized the idea to celebrate Chop Suey Day on August 29, but by this time the dish had managed to confuse culinary historians about its origin! According to E.N. Anderson, a historian of Chinese cuisine, chop sui may have originated in Taishan County in China’s Guangdong Province. In the US, it could have been introduced by the first immigrants from China.
When the discovery of gold in California set off the Gold Rush in 1848, many immigrants, including Chinese, poured into America in search of fortune and prosperity. After the hard work associated with the search for gold veins, the Chinese satisfied their hunger with the help of chop sui, which was both cheap and satisfying. But Americans and other foreigners worked alongside them, which is how they learned about the dish.
The second version is related to a diner on the transcontinental railroad. Its owner and part-time cook was already preparing to close the establishment when a group of sailors burst in. They were very drunk and very hungry! They demanded to be fed. The chef did not want to quarrel with the violent company, so to avoid a fight, he gathered all the leftovers – vegetables, meat, shrimp, and added eggs – and hastily cooked this mixture over high heat. The dish not only satisfied the customers – they liked it! And the next day it became a hit of the establishment.
In August 2001, System of a Down released their first single to earn a Grammy nomination. It was called Chop Suey!
How to take part
Celebrate Chop Suey Day by:
- ordering this dish in a Chinese restaurant;
- cooking it yourself!
When is Chop Suey Day celebrated in 2024?
Chop Suey Day is observed on August 29 each year.