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What is American Chow Mein?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

I saw it the other day on the Chinese buffet and it was just a glob of brown stuff.  I have no idea what's in it.  Chow means stir fry, mein means noodles.  But it looked like it was just boiled thickened globby brown stuff.

post #2 of 20
Not sure what it is aside from a being a American style or version of a original chow mein. Discription sounds not too appetizing smile.gif.steer clear of chow mein's you cant see all the ingredients in smile.gif . I would of tired it just to know lol .
post #3 of 20

Served over the crispy chow mein noodles?

post #4 of 20
Adding a textual aspect like fried noodles to a classic chow mein is something I personally like to do. Crispy is also known as hong kong style. And steamed style .its such a evolved dish that it differs from one side of the country to the next .no right or wrong way of making one really .sometime you see chop suey poured on top of fried noodles and they call it chow mein .so I think chow mein should more reflect the restaurant serving it and not the whole of America ." steve and bob's chow mein' lol. Not amarican style chow mein @ steve and bob's wink.gif
post #5 of 20

It probably had whatever the kitchen needed to use up.  But it sounds oversauced which is another common failing of American-Chinese food. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #6 of 20

Kuan....you need to go to the store and buy a can of Chow Mein....now THAT"S  the real McCoy...     -:)

post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post
 

Kuan....you need to go to the store and buy a can of Chow Mein....now THAT"S  the real McCoy...     -:)

 

Hey! That beckons my childhood. "Chicken Chow Mein" in fact. It's not terrible as canned food goes, but to have chicken chow mein, you must have chow mein noodles! haha

 

post #8 of 20

@eastshores,

Boy does that pic bring back memories. We had an eccentric old man in our family that everyone called papa and he had a wonderful spread on the beach in Martha's Vinyard. We road our bikes to the dock to buy lobster and he would have us dig clams for meals. As kids, this wasn't so great . BUT, when it rained he made this big deal about making chow mien sandwiches. The parents would go somewhere to eat and Papa would tell this story over and over how he invented this sandwich when he spent all him money to buy the property. thanks for the memories.

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #9 of 20

Ate many a meal of canned chow mein, add extra stuff to it, more meat etc and it is not to bad.

post #10 of 20

I remember chowing down on LaChoy chow mein kits as a kid, as well as those Chef Boy-Ar-Dee pizza kits. I should try them now and see just what is was I was eating back then.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastshores View Post
 

 

Hey! That beckons my childhood. "Chicken Chow Mein" in fact. It's not terrible as canned food goes, but to have chicken chow mein, you must have chow mein noodles! haha

 


Yeah that's the stuff.  My mom always added stuff to it to help extend the food for our family.

I was an adult before I realized those soft dumplings in the Suey were actually undissolved cornstarch my mom used to thicken it with. YUCK!!!

post #12 of 20

Both the La Choy Chow mein and Chef BoyArDee pizza kits bring back very bad childhood memories for me.  I always wanted to eat them but m Mom (Dad, probably) wouldn't even consider it.. no matter how much I asked, whined, and begged.  We only ate "real food".  I'm now nearing the end of my life and have never eaten either one of thse products and probaby should keep it that way.

post #13 of 20

The chow mein definitely wasn't as bad as some canned products back in the day. At least it had a decent serving of vegetables and decent canned chicken meat. Probably the sauce was loaded with corn syrup and sodium but I never looked and figure it didn't matter with me splashing soy sauce all over it!

 

With four kids and my dad, my mom added something to stretch it too... Rice! Lots and lots of rice! hahaha. She really did a good job of providing meals for us for so many years. She made a lot of things from scratch but as she had to work an assembly line job on her feet all day, then do her best to keep the house clean laundry done and feed us kids some nights were chow mein nights! I never complained, I rather liked the stuff.

post #14 of 20

For us it was potato! Lots and lots of potato! hahaha.  In fact, where I'm from there's a saying when someone unexpected joins for supper, "just put another potato in the pot."

post #15 of 20

In my family several of us kids took over supper cooking duty early on. My oldest sister did when I was 4, when I was 9 I took over skipping the middle sister who can burn water. I learned to make corn starch gravy before my older sister, and a lot of other foods by watching mom cook on her days off. Both my parents worked full time and with 5 kids we all had to pitch in. That included hunting for food many days. Chicken chow mein with some squirrel added was not to bad a meal...

post #16 of 20

The local reception of foreign cuisines is a fascinating thing. When I grew up in the late 70s and the 80s in rural Germany, there was, well, not very much. Italian restaurants had a foothold, of course - but those were all "pizzerias" which couldn't put a decent Italian menu together anyway. Then some Greek and Balkan-style restaurants showed up, mostly focussed on chargrilling stuff to utter dryness. People ate it up.... Foreign restaurants mostly related to the regions where people would go on holiday mostly. Europanized Chinese showed up in the mid 80s around here. My mother used to fry rice, pork loin and canned champignons and sprinkle it with a premade "chinese spice mixture" back in the day. We didn't know any better. Still have to find a decent Chinese restaurant outside of the large cities. Only since the mid-late 90s I have seen a broader movement of people actually interested in unadulterated foreign cooking.

 

EDIT: Addendum - this was not really ment to denigrate the guys back then. We are so damn lucky to have all the interesting information at our fingertips these days.

post #17 of 20

A friend of mine was a teacher at an American army base in Southern Germany back around 1990. A "Mexican" restaurant opened up in the town, so of course her had to try it. Nothing at all like what we have here in the US, he said it was horrid.  He did take us to a Balkan style place, though, that was very good. The meat was well flavored and only a little overdone.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by teamfat View Post
 

A friend of mine was a teacher at an American army base in Southern Germany back around 1990. A "Mexican" restaurant opened up in the town, so of course her had to try it. Nothing at all like what we have here in the US, he said it was horrid.  He did take us to a Balkan style place, though, that was very good. The meat was well flavored and only a little overdone.

 

mjb.

Grafenwöhr? Hohenfels? That's the big bases where I hang around.

post #19 of 20

Yes, Grafenwöhr.  I just posted a story about his experience there in the Late Night Cafe, X Ray glasses.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by teamfat View Post
 

Yes, Grafenwöhr.  I just posted a story about his experience there in the Late Night Cafe, X Ray glasses.

 

mjb.

I grew up in that area... Just a bit north of it.  :)

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