Difference Between Chow Mein and Chop Suey


Primary Difference

Chinese food has made its mark all over the world and is perhaps the most famous food which has a broad variety of dishes available to try for the ones who enjoy different foods. The vast range of menu still creates confusion among people because there are instances where the food looks similar but has a different name or taste. In any case the names are so complicated that is difficult to tell which food will contain what once the order is placed. There is no doubt that the food is delicious and two such items are known as Chow Mein and Chop Suey. There are many differences between them and so are the similarities in some cases. We will look at what is different between them. For starters, Chow Mein is one of the most eaten dishes in the world while Chop Suey is usually restricted to two places, China and America. Another differences between them is that Chop Suey is known as an American Chinese Cuisine while Chow Mein is strictly Chinese one. The main difference in them is the recipe, Chow Mein is preparing noodles in a way that they are fried, because of frying they are stiffer and can be made of different kinds such as pancakes, simple noodles, cakes, balls and even kebabs. Chop Suey, on the other hand, is the one which is prepared with the help of meat eggs which can be then eaten with the help or cooked with vegetables, beans and a typical sauce. Both the foods are spicy and use different sauces but the one used in Chop Suey is spicier since meat is involved. Usually small portion of meat is available with the first type of food while the amount of meat, especially chicken is more in the second one. Another difference between them is that noodles are the main ingredient of Chow Mein while they are rarely or not used at all in Chop Suey. There are few other differences too which will be listed as the end, the next two paragraphs will show the basic explanation of both dishes.

Comparison Chart

Chow MeinChop Suey
One of the most famous dishes in Chinese food.Famous within America but not around the world.
Preferred by the traditional chines and people around the globe.Preferred by American Chinese.
Smaller portion of meat.Larger portion of meat and eggs.

Definition of Chow Mein

Chow Mein is one of the most famous dishes in Chinese food and is eaten all over the world, this is due to the reason that they can be cooked in different ways and suit the people living in different parts of the globe. The main way of cooking these type of noodles is that they are fried, because of frying they are stiffer and can be made of different kinds such as pancakes, simple noodles, cakes, balls and even kebabs. People prefer them because they have more spices and easier to eat which give a different taste. Many things can be added in Chow Mein noodles such as vegetables and meat and even fruits in some cases. They are less preferred in China because people there do not like the use of spices but in the world, this dish is the best ambassador for Chinese food. Many people who do not have much idea about the food available in the Chinese cuisine always know that Chow Mein is one of the most famous products even in their country, just like other Chinese items this one has made its importance in a short time.


Definition of Chop Suey

This is not as famous as compared to the other one but has its importance in some parts of the world. Instead of being more famous all over, it is usually eaten in China and America and that is because of the ingredients used. It is one of the few dishes that use chicken in large proportions. It is cooked with the help of meat and eggs and then can be eaten with a variety of items such as rice, vegetables, beans and other products. There is another specialty of this, which is a traditional sauce. It has also made its roots in other parts of the globe and now is mostly considered a common part of Thai, Indian and Filipino cuisines. This dish was not originated in China and therefore is one of the rare ones which have been added in the Chinese menu over time after originating in abroad. Mostly it is associated with the Chinese workers who migrated to American and wanted to experiment with the different types of item.

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. Chow Mein is a dish which originated in China while Chop Suey is a dish which originated in America.
  2. Chow Mein has been there in the menu for a long time while Chop Suey is a new addition.
  3. Chow Mein is preferred by the traditional chines and people around the globe but Chop Suey is mostly famous in America.
  4. Chow Mein has the main ingredient of noodles in them while Chop Suey does not use noodles in its preparation.
  5. Chow Mein has smaller portion of meat while it is being prepared while Chop Suey has a large portion of meat and eggs.
  6. Chow Mein takes less time to prepare while Chop Suey takes longer to be prepared.
  7. Chow Mein is the more eaten among the two as Chop Suey is restricted to just a few areas.
  8. Chop Suey is making its mark in other cuisines currently while Chow Mein is already part of many menus all over the world.
  9. There are more calories in Chop Suey while the amount of calories can be less since there is less meat and usually no eggs.


All in all, it can be said that the two terms are vastly different from each other. There are many instances when two types of food and species are confused with each other because they either look similar or taste the same. This article has tried to clear the misconception between these two without getting into too much detail.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss