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American Chop Suey

Posted by vivnidhi on July 14, 2008



Almost all restaurants serving Chinese food in India boast of the “American Chop Suey”.

American Chop Suey (also American Goulash, Chili-Macaroni, Chili-Mac, Mac ‘n Beef, Macaroni and Beef, or simply Macaroni) is an American pasta dish. The preferred name and recipe varies by region, for example, the name American chop suey is most prevalent in New England. Commercial preparations of this dish are commonly marketed as Macaroni and Beef. Classic American chop suey consists of elbow macaroni and bits of cooked ground beef with sautéed onions and green peppers in a thick tomato-based sauce. Though this decidedly American comfort food is clearly influenced by Italian-American cuisine, it is known as a chop suey because it is a sometimes-haphazard hodgepodge of meat and vegetables.………….source Wikipedia

Food historians generally agree that chop suey as we know it was invented in the United States in the mid-1800’s, possibly by one of the Cantonese immigrants who flooded California searching for work. Constrained by the lack of Asian vegetables, and trying to produce a Chinese dish palatable to westerners, a Cantonese cook stir-fried whatever vegetables were handy, added some meat or chicken, and served the finished product on a plate of steamed rice. He christened his creation, chop suey, which is the English pronunciation of the Cantonese words “tsap seui” (“tsa-sui” in Mandarin) which means “mixed pieces”. …………source Chinesefood.about.com

Anyway, American chop suey is quite a favorite of a lot of people and its quite wholesome and delicious too.  Here is a recipe that I learnt from a professional cook Mrs. Minocha in Aurangabad , India.

The recipe:  (4 servings)

For the Noodles:

  • Maggi/Ramen/Mama noodles  2 Packs (200 grams)

For the Sauce:

  • Garlic 7 cloves (minced)
  • Tomato sauce/Ketchup 1 cup
  • Soya Sauce 1 tsp.
  • Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp.
  • Sugar 1 1/2 Tbsp.
  • oil 1 tsp.
  • Corn starch 1 Tbsp. (called corn flour in India)
  • salt to taste

For the Vegetables:

  • Onion 1 sliced lengthwise
  • Green Bell Pepper/Capsicum 1 sliced thin
  • Cauliflower 3 Flowerets chopped
  • Carrots 2 sliced like matchsticks
  • Green Beans 7-8 french cut(lengthwise)
  • Soya sauce 1 Tbsp.
  • Crushed Black Pepper 1/2 tsp.
  • Oil 1 Tbsp.
  • Salt to taste

The actual recipe called for Mama noodles first boiled in salted water and then deep fried. I used Maggi masala Atta (whole wheat) noodles (available in Indian grocery stores) . Ramen noodles can easily be substituted. I did not use the masala sachet i.e. the seasoning. I sprayed the noodles with oil spray and put them in a preheated oven. 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. Make sure to keep moving them every 3-4 minutes to avoid them getting burnt.


Noodles on the baking tray

For the Sauce: Heat the oil and fry the garlic for 1 minute.  Add tomato sauce, red chilli powder, salt , soya sauce and sugar. Add 1- 1/2 cups water. Let the whole thing come to a boil. Mix the corn starch with 1 Tbsp. cold water and add it to the sauce. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 more minute. Orange color is added in Indian restaurants but I have never felt the need to do so.

For the vegetables: First par boil cauliflower in a little salted water. I used the microwave for 1 minute. Heat oil in a wok and fry onion for a minute. I use high flame for the vegetables. Next add the capsicum and cabbage. Next add carrot, green beans and cauliflower. Mix well. Next add salt, soya sauce and crushed black pepper . Mix well and turn off the heat. The key is to keep the vegetables quite crunchy.


Baked noodles, sweet & sour sauce and Chop Suey Vegetables

To assemble: First make a layer of the vegetables. Add fried noodles on top and pour the hot sauce on top of the noodles. Indianized American Chop Suey is Ready!!


Dinner’s ready. The crunchy noodles had to be hidden cause the son couldn’t keep his hands off them!

This Indian-Chinese “American Chop Suey” (Shouldn’t we be thankful it does not involve more countries;) ) is headed to DK of DK’s Culinary Bazaar for AWED Chinese. This is the main course……….a complete meal in itself. Hence it is also headed to Archana of Archana’s Kitchen for Monthly One dish Meal event. Enjoy!!

Preparation time for this would be about 20 minutes and cooking time would be 25 minutes.

25 Responses to “American Chop Suey”

  1. Kaykat said

    No wonder I had an indo-chinese hankering last night, I blame DK for it 🙂

    I always got muddled between chop suey and chow mein while growing up, took a while to figure out that the former is really an american concoction!

    This sounds quite tasty!

    Thank you for visiting Kay! DK’s round was so great, I am sure we all craved for Chinese food as we read it. And yes, this is very easy and tasty too!

  2. Tee said

    Yummy! I never liked this when i was in India, but now I crave for it 😉 I was searching for a good recipe for chop suey for a long time…now i can try this one 🙂
    Do try it Tee!I don’t think I ordered it a lot when I was in India too.

  3. kalva said

    My aunty makes the same way.. awesome dear
    Thank you Kalva.

  4. sangeeth said

    lovely recipe…its new to me…worth a try….
    Do try it Sangeeth! With crispy noodles, its quite delicious.

  5. bhags said

    American Choupsey is one of the most ordered dish by us when we eat out or take out…..nice idea of using maggi for the noodles
    Wow Bhags, if American Chop Suey is such a big favorite with you, do try this recipe out.

  6. maheswari said

    Yet another delicious dish with maggi.Loved it.Hats off to you for taking something simple as maggi to something special!
    Thank you Maheshwari. I am really happy that you liked the chop suey. Hope you try it out.

  7. Rashmi said

    Chopsuey looks delish!
    Baked maggi noodles is a good idea!
    Hey Rashmi, I am glad you liked. Baking maggi noodles was fun and so delicious.

  8. Divya said

    Wow…chopsuey baked..that too using maggi noodles!!Yummy yummy entry,no wonder your kid is waiting to devour it..am drooling!!
    I am so glad you liked it Divya. Try it, its easy to prepare or let me know when you are visiting me:) .

  9. romaspace said

    Innovative idea to bake the noodles.
    Thank you Roma, baking is easier, healthy and crunchy too…..so it tastes fabulous this way!

  10. DK said

    aaah! The bliss of this dish! I love it. Thanks for sending it for AWED!
    Thank you Dhivi! Its great to be a part of AWED!

  11. Bhawana said

    nice entry for the event. Looks yummyyyyy
    Pretty easy to make too. Thanks for visiting!

  12. vanamala said

    Nice recipe..yummy
    Try it Mala, pretty easy to make! Thanks for visiting!

  13. […] of Charche Chauke Ke presents American Chopsuey American chop suey is quite a favorite of a lot of people and its quite wholesome and delicious […]

  14. shilpa said

    I wanted to make this for a long time now but holding off because of deep frying. Love your idea of baking them. I am going to try this.
    You must try this, you won’t miss the fried noodles:). Thank you for visiting.

  15. Maria said

    I love american chop suey and well,…
    It tasted different. I don’t understand how to make the maggie noodles cripy. how long should i boil the noodles and how long should i fry the noodles.
    I hope I have answered your question Sam & Maria. I do not boil the noodles before baking. Please let me know how it turned out:)

  16. Sam said

    should i boil the noodles first and then fry them.
    OK, I think you are going to make these soon:). If you are frying the noodles, add the noodles to plain (unseasoned) boiling water for 2-3 minutes and then strain them.Dry them with a paper towel or cloth. Try to separate as much as you can. Add them to hot oil, turn quickly, once their color has changed to golden,remove from the oil. Again, its a good idea to take them out on a paper towel to remove the excess grease.
    You can also try to bake them as I have specified in the recipe. They get quite crunchy that way too. Hope you like the chop suey!

  17. […] follow Vivnidhi’s method of baking the noodles instead of deep frying it. It needs some baby sitting to see the noodles are equally […]

  18. Gin said

    This is brilliant….. and so easy to make. Ive never had maggi noodles deep fried. But will definately give it a try.
    Thank you for the recipe.
    Yes, the actual recipe calls for noodles to be cooked and then deep fried. I just took them out of the packet and baked them.No additional cooking. That ensured that they remain crispy. Let me know how it turned out.

  19. bhavana said

    for a long time i was looking for this receipe.thanks .the picture itself looks yummy i will try this.i like the baking idea
    Let me know how it turned out when you try it Bhavana. Thanks for visiting!!

  20. Kay said

    Hi nidhi,
    I love American chopsuey but didnt want to deep fry the noodles….i tried this today by baking the noodles and it turned out yummy.I used Maggi Atta noodles too

    I am so glad it worked for you and you liked it Kay! Thanks for letting me know. You made my day!!

  21. Sonali said

    Hi Nidhi,

    It is nice to see Minocha Aunty’s recipe on the net with pictures..you have done a good job..I also learnt is from Minocha Aunty..
    How cool! I often make recipes taught by Minocha Aunty and then tweek them a little bit ;-). Good to find you here 🙂

  22. tashu said

    thanks for such a lovely recipe!
    i love to eat chop suey!i have tried almost all the famous Chinese restaurants and i prefer yo china for havin chop suey!
    can u suggest some alterations in the method preparations so that i get something that resembles the chop suey i get in yo china?!
    Thanks for visiting Tashu. I have never eaten at any Yo China restaurant . This is the only way I know to cook the American chop Suey. What might help is using mama noodles and boiling and frying those. That is all I can tell you.

  23. Usha said

    This is one of my faves and I look forward to trying this soon !

  24. Usha said

    Hi Nidhi, I tried this last week and I loved it a lot. Thanks for sharing the recipe, I will post this on my site with a link back to yours in a few weeks time 🙂

  25. sheenal said

    good receipe.
    here you said you put oil on noodles and bake it in oven…
    but do you cook the noodles first and then put in the oven or what????
    can you please replay me soon.
    tomottow i want to make it.
    thanks for great receipe.


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