What is "chow mein" in your 'hood?

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BT
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/22 20:30:12 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by jeepguy

quote:
Originally posted by BT

I'm curious.

Is it (A) stir-fried (chow) spaghetti-like noodles (mein) with bits of meat and/or veggies; or is it (B) a gloppy mass of veggies and corn starch to be served with rice and little crispy packaged noodles?

I don't recall encountering anything but (B) on the east coast. Same in Arizona. But here in SF, you ask for "chow mein" you get (A). If/when (B) is available (that's rare), it is called "chop suey" which, I believe, may have been invented hereabouts as food for the imported Chinese working on the railroads. "Chop suey" was also available back east but was somehow distinguished from "chow mein". I was never sure of the difference.
Just curious, what do you mean by "imported Chinese"? I think they're called immigrants fyi.


Well, do you think the African slaves "immigrated" to the US? The Chinese who worked on the railroads were contracted en masse as virtual slave labor. They were willing in the sense that they were told stories about the "gold mountain" available to them in the US, but once here they didn't have a lot of choice about doing the extremely dangerous railroad construction work. To my mind, "immigration" is something one does as an individual and voluntarily. The Chinese were indentured contract labor. I think the term "imported" fits better. You decide what you want to call it.
#31
AndreaB
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/23 09:34:13 (permalink)
At our local Wok 'n Go the chow mein dishes have noodles (not those crispy dry noodles) and the chop suey dishes have rice. I never get either because they're wayyyyyy too bland for me. I prefer the Hunan and Szechuan dishes.

Andrea
#32
Scorereader
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/23 11:08:52 (permalink)
BT - you seem to have the whole thing figured out, I'm not exactly sure why you posted?

You say that (A) is "more authentic" from your travels. You say that you've been served (B)everywhere you've been in the US other than San Fran. You assume the tour guides are misdirecting the tourists, so even if I visit S.F., you assume I didn't eat at an "authentic" chinese restaurant.

So, If you know the answer already, why did you ask?

If you don't know the answer when you walk into the restaurant, then either look at the picture (which probably means you shouldn't be eating there, if there are pictures of the food) or ask the waitress.

If you're truely looking for authentic Chinese food, why are you going to a place that serves chow mein to begin with?

And, I disagree with your statement that the "chow mein" in S.F. is "more authentic" than chow mein elsewhere since "chow mein" ISN'T really a chinese dish.

With that said, I'm not entirely sure what (B) is! (gloppy vegetables and corn starch? ugh.)

here's a link to the types of "chow mein" I've had on the East coast (these aren't the actual photos, just pics I found that represent the chow mein I've eaten here in the East):

http://www.nomoreramen.com/Kwan's%20Cuisine%2002-06-05%20Kwan's%20Chow%20Mein%20with%20Beef%20(Large).jpg

http://www.szechuan-restaurant.com/menus/pics/703-shp.gif

http://www.cynicor.com/chinese/beef%20chow%20mein.jpg

http://web.umr.edu/~microbio/BIO221_1999/chowl.jpg

But I have seen the stuff over those crispy noodles served on rare occasion with the same restaurant calling the stuff over fresh noodles "lo mein" and similiar stuff over rice called "chop suey." But I usually don't go to places with chop suey on the menu. Even a lot of take-out places don't have "chop suey" as an option.

The confusion of what these dishes "are" may not be an "american" caused problem, as about.com seems to attribute these dishes from cantonese and northern chinese coming to America and using the vegetables in the US to create dishes similiar as home. Both the North Chinese and Cantonese have similiar Americanized names for similiar dishes and thus the confusion. The Cantonese tend to use rice, while northern dishes use wheat (to make the pasta).

Ironically, epicurious.com defines "chow mein" as:

[chow MAYN]
A Chinese-American dish that consists of small pieces of meat (usually chicken) or shrimp and vegetables such as bean sprouts, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, mushrooms and onions. The ingredients are usually fried separately, then combined at the last minute and served over crisp noodles.

While, I wouldn't be pleased about being served the "crisp" noodles, unless it was fresh, thin rice noodles that have been made crisp from frying in a wok, I don't see corn starch as a main (or shall I say "mein") ingredient, and from the above description is doesn't sound like the veggies should be gloppy or limp. So, again, I'm not entirely sure what (B) is, except for maybe that stuff that comes in a can (La Choy?)...and I certainly would rather not be served that. (I'd rather eat a Pop-Tart.)












#33
pacman
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/23 11:39:07 (permalink)
quote:

You left out American Chow Mein, which is made with ground beef, stewed tomatoes, oregano, salt, pepper and elbow macaroni.


This is what my mom called "goulash" as well. Grew up in a little town called Blanchard in Central Pa. Haven't had any in 'forever'.

Dan
#34
Lucky Bishop
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/23 23:53:34 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Scorereader
And, I disagree with your statement that the "chow mein" in S.F. is "more authentic" than chow mein elsewhere since "chow mein" ISN'T really a chinese dish.


As it happens, the new issue of Gourmet that I got yesterday includes a recipe for Beef Chow Mein. I quote: "This authentic Cantonese version of chow mein features fresh egg noodles, which are fried into a cake that softens slightly when topped with a meat and vegetable sauce."

Let's see, who will I believe...long-running and well-respected food magazine edited by one of the leading food writers of our time...or...some guy. Tough choice.

Regardless, I'm pleased to see that Gourmet agrees with the folks at my neighborhood Chinese place: chow mein = a cake of noodles fried as a single mass (NOT stir-fried) and topped with meat and veg.
#35
BT
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 00:18:55 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Scorereader

BT - you seem to have the whole thing figured out, I'm not exactly sure why you posted?


I posted to ask the simple, straightforward question, which I have now asked 4 or 5 times in this thread, which version of "chow mein" should I expect to get if I order it in your area. I have NOT got it figured out what I will get ordering "chow mein" in, say Duluth, Michigan and I've not suggested I have.

Sheesh! I asked what seemed a simple question and so far have been accused of everything from playing games with other roadfooders to racism. It really is kind of silly where some of these threads go. But since I am anti-censorship, take it where you will. Just try to understand the simple question being asked and somewhere in whatever tangent you decide to pursue, try to answer it.
#36
BT
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 00:29:14 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Lucky Bishop

quote:
Originally posted by Scorereader
And, I disagree with your statement that the "chow mein" in S.F. is "more authentic" than chow mein elsewhere since "chow mein" ISN'T really a chinese dish.


As it happens, the new issue of Gourmet that I got yesterday includes a recipe for Beef Chow Mein. I quote: "This authentic Cantonese version of chow mein features fresh egg noodles, which are fried into a cake that softens slightly when topped with a meat and vegetable sauce."

Let's see, who will I believe...long-running and well-respected food magazine edited by one of the leading food writers of our time...or...some guy. Tough choice.

Regardless, I'm pleased to see that Gourmet agrees with the folks at my neighborhood Chinese place: chow mein = a cake of noodles fried as a single mass (NOT stir-fried) and topped with meat and veg.


Dear, Lucky. You did, in fact, answer my question as to what I can expect to get if I order chow mein where you eat Chinese. All the rest of the rants, accusations, diatribes, petulant outbursts and other off topic chatter going on (not from you) are beside MY point, really.

Actually, I didn't know there was an authentic Cantonese version of chow mein and nowhere did I say I did. In nearly every comment I made on that side-issue, I tried to suggest I was just guessing about it or stating what seemed logical to me.

#37
Saint Matt
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 00:36:53 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by BT

...if I go into an independent Chinese place in LA and order "chow mein" I am likely to get (B)? Because in San Francisco, I most assuredly would get (A) and that goes for places in Chinatown where everybody else in the joint would be speaking some dialect of Chinese.



I've lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco, the central valley, the Gold Country, and the Monterey Bay area. And from my experience of eating Chinese food all over California, I've found that Chow Mein is always the same: long, thin, soft wheat-flour noodles mixed with meat and/or veggies. If you order Chow Fun, you get basically the same dish, but made with wide rice-flour noodles.

I've never eaten Chinese food outside of California, so I can't comment on any other state.
#38
BT
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 01:31:53 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Saint Matt

quote:
Originally posted by BT

...if I go into an independent Chinese place in LA and order "chow mein" I am likely to get (B)? Because in San Francisco, I most assuredly would get (A) and that goes for places in Chinatown where everybody else in the joint would be speaking some dialect of Chinese.



I've lived in Los Angeles, San Francisco, the central valley, the Gold Country, and the Monterey Bay area. And from my experience of eating Chinese food all over California, I've found that Chow Mein is always the same: long, thin, soft wheat-flour noodles mixed with meat and/or veggies. If you order Chow Fun, you get basically the same dish, but made with wide rice-flour noodles.

I've never eaten Chinese food outside of California, so I can't comment on any other state.


Thanks, Matt. That's my experience too. What I'm seeing is to find out whether that version is limited to CA (or even N. CA).
#39
Scorereader
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 10:39:04 (permalink)
Lucky- You need to re-read that. "This authentic Cantonese VERSION of chow mein..." However, in Cantonese cooking there is NO "chow mein." They have a SIMILIAR dish, which uses the egg noodles (the way my mom used to make it...although, my mom used to use egg noodles under Chili too, but that was another thread)

Gourmet AND Bon Apetite are sister magazines and run epicurious.com. The definition of "chow mein" from the site is described in my earlier post.

Other magazines run by the same people include the New Yorker, Glamour, House & Garden, Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue, Allure, Lucky, Self and others. So, if we pull a recipe off of those web-sites, can we call that an "authentic version"?

Notice, when you search epicurious.com for a recipe by using the search term "chow" with "Chinese" cuisine type, you get NO results for Chow Mein. Yet, when you use the search term "chow" and "American" cuisine, up pops your Beef Chow Mein recipe in the September isssue.

and WHY does this happen? because Chow Mein IS NOT Chinese. It's an American dish RESEMBLING Chinese cooking.

Since Northern Chinese and Cantonese cooking are so vastly different, the American "version" is not a singular "authentic" version, but there exists many versions representing the vast array of regional Chinese cooking techniques and dishes.

Also, I'd like to point out that I DID indeed respond to BT's question, by offering pictures of some of the "chow mein" dishes I've eaten in DC representing a varitey of so-called "authentic" chinese restaurants.
So, BT, if you come to DC, I can give you the names of Chinese restaurants that don't serve the glop.
But, personally, I like the Mongolian BBQ in DC's Chinatown the best.

Lastly, Lucky, your entire post resides on the facts from ONE recipe. I think this is a poor argument. If Gourmet came out with ONE recipe for Eastern NC BBQ and called it authentic, would you presume it's the ONLY way Eastern NC BBQ can be prepared?
I beg to differ. Not only are there many ways of preparing eastern NC BBQ, there are many ways of preparing "chow mein."










#40
1bbqboy
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 11:23:19 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Scorereader[/
Lastly, Lucky, your entire post resides on the facts from ONE recipe. I think this is a poor argument. If Gourmet came out with ONE recipe for Eastern NC BBQ and called it authentic, would you presume it's the ONLY way Eastern NC BBQ can be prepared?
I beg to differ. Not only are there many ways of preparing eastern NC BBQ, there are many ways of preparing "chow mein."












Would I be allowed to make eastern NC bbq chow mein with Beef instead of Pork, or would that make it Texas style?
#41
PaulBPool
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 11:31:56 (permalink)
Well, if you order chow mein here in the Long Island region of New York, you'll get onions, celery, bean sprouts quickly fried (chowed), covered with a starchy coating, with chicken, pork, beef, or shrimp as the meat. It will be served with white rice, and crispy fried noodles. Most folks put the crispy noodles on the plate, top with the chow mein, then top the chow mein with the rice. Shake on some soy, and some good hot mustard, and there you go - enjoy!
#42
Scorereader
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 11:40:49 (permalink)


Hmmmm,
does Texas use large doses of vinegar too?

I think you may have some sort of hybrid.
But, with beef, you're definately leaning towards Texas...

But then, you may be shot in Texas for putting BBQ over noodles!
(one of them there blue laws - Section 1047 of Texas State Code 34-14 "If a man puts BBQ on top of noodles, immediate execution by firing squad is warrented and expected even in cases of accidental circumstance, 'cuz ya all know noodles ain't no proper side dish for BBQ!")

..,or, something like that...I may have the wrong section, but I'm pretty sure it's in there...
#43
Michael Hoffman
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 12:01:06 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by BT

quote:
Originally posted by Scorereader

BT - you seem to have the whole thing figured out, I'm not exactly sure why you posted?


I posted to ask the simple, straightforward question, which I have now asked 4 or 5 times in this thread, which version of "chow mein" should I expect to get if I order it in your area. I have NOT got it figured out what I will get ordering "chow mein" in, say Duluth, Michigan and I've not suggested I have.

Sheesh! I asked what seemed a simple question and so far have been accused of everything from playing games with other roadfooders to racism. It really is kind of silly where some of these threads go. But since I am anti-censorship, take it where you will. Just try to understand the simple question being asked and somewhere in whatever tangent you decide to pursue, try to answer it.

I do believe I ought to warn you that anything you order in Duluth, Michigan will most likely not be really good to eat -- unless, of course, you're a fan of pickled herring pasties. In fact, I'd suggest skipping any meals offered in Duluth, Michigan. You might want to consider Flint, Minnesota or South Bend, Wyoming as alternatives.
#44
Saint Matt
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 12:07:01 (permalink)
quote:

Thanks, Matt. That's my experience too. What I'm seeing is to find out whether that version is limited to CA (or even N. CA).


Chinese dishes seem to be pretty much the same where ever you go in California. Although, some areas tend to have better Chinese food than others. One of the few things I miss about Los Angeles is the Chinese restaurants. Haven''t found anything outstanding since moving back to Santa Cruz. It may seem ironic, but during my three years in San Francisco(in the early 90''s), I only found one Chinese place that was worth a second visit. Most of it was really bad.
#45
Bill B.
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 12:54:34 (permalink)
I was eatin' some chop suey,
With a lady in St. Louie,
When there sudden comes a knockin' at the door.
And that knocker, he says, "Honey,
Roll this rocker out some money,
Or your daddy shoots a baddie to the floor."
-- Mr. Miggle

Sorry, I couldn't resist, either.

When I was a wee rugrat, many years ago, my only experience with "Chinese" cuisine was through the cans of chow mein that my parents bought at the grocery store. The kind where you open a can of veggies and a separate can of meat-in-gravy, mix them together and serve them over crunchy canned noodles. I actually used to like that stuff, once upon a when.

Order chow mein in a Chinese restaurant in Missouri these days, and god knows what you'll get. Whatever else it consists of, it will probably contain a lot of cabbage.
#46
1bbqboy
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 13:08:05 (permalink)
billyb, we used to go to King Joy Lo at 12th and Main, 2nd floor NW corner. I always had tomato beef, which I never saw again on a menu til I would stop at the little Chinese place in Williams, Ca., and there it appeared again, and a good version at that.
Sort of a stewed beef and tomato dish served over wheat noodles. That was in the '50's. I still look for it on menus,
#47
1bbqboy
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 13:23:09 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Scorereader



Hmmmm,
does Texas use large doses of vinegar too?

I think you may have some sort of hybrid.
But, with beef, you're definately leaning towards Texas...

But then, you may be shot in Texas for putting BBQ over noodles!
(one of them there blue laws - Section 1047 of Texas State Code 34-14 "If a man puts BBQ on top of noodles, immediate execution by firing squad is warrented and expected even in cases of accidental circumstance, 'cuz ya all know noodles ain't no proper side dish for BBQ!")

..,or, something like that...I may have the wrong section, but I'm pretty sure it's in there...


don't forget BBQ spaghetti in Memphis.
http://www.storysouth.com/winter2003/bbqframe.html
You have to get halfway through the story to read about Smokey's encounter with the Cozy Corner.
http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=220
#48
Scorereader
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 13:56:38 (permalink)
Thank goodness that was in Memphis and not Austin, I may have had to remove a foot from my fingers.

I must admit, Michael Stern's picture of the bbq spaghetti looks inviting.
#49
Bill B.
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 14:28:28 (permalink)
Bill Voss, my parents still talk about King Joy Lo's. They say that I ate there, too, but I don't remember it. The only place right downtown that I remember from my earliest childhood is a restaurant on the upper floor of a department store -- maybe the Jones store?
#50
1bbqboy
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 14:53:24 (permalink)
http://www.kclibrary.org/localhistory/media.cfm?mediaID=35131
This is how I remember downtown.
King Joy Lo had big double size Black windows, which my parents used to let me go and look out over 12th & Main.
Macy's had the top floor dining, Jone's store was on the second floor, and the best was at Emery Bird Thayer's, which was on the mezzanine. + we would we eat at Wolferman's-the Best, bakery & food.
#51
emsmom
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 14:57:22 (permalink)
Here in NC , Chow Mein is the onions, celery, beans sprouts with chicken covered in the starchy sauce served with crispy noodles. Lo Mein is made with the Spaghetti type noodles and what has been described as American Chow Mein has always been called Goulash by my family.
#52
zataar
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 16:04:44 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by bill voss

http://www.kclibrary.org/localhistory/media.cfm?mediaID=35131
This is how I remember downtown.
King Joy Lo had big double size Black windows, which my parents used to let me go and look out over 12th & Main.
Macy's had the top floor dining, Jone's store was on the second floor, and the best was at Emery Bird Thayer's, which was on the mezzanine. + we would we eat at Wolferman's-the Best, bakery & food.


I don't remember King Joy Lo at all. My grandmother worked at EBT, so we ate downtown often with her. Kline's Mezzanine was a favorite. Good rootbeer floats. My mother remembers King Joy Lo.
For Chinese we would usually go to the Plaza to House of Toy. Mr. Toy would greet you with "Anywhere you like, anywhere you like." The chow mein was on crispy canned noodles, the chop suey had very soft cooked noodles. Both were topped with Type B mushy stuff. I mainly go to Chinese places for Dim Sum, but I'm sure my favorite, Bo Ling's, doesn't do the Type B kind.
#53
Bill B.
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 16:26:16 (permalink)
Neat photos of downtown!

I had my first encounter with horseradish mustard at the House of Toy. I must have been 5 or 6. Put the mustard on a hot dog from the kiddie menu. That horseradish really lit my fire.

Had my first encounter with real horseradish at a Blue Ridge Mall cafeteria a short time later. Can't remember the name of the cafeteria, but it sat near the southeast corner of the mall, back before the mall got enclosed. Maybe it was a Fred Harvey cafeteria? Anyway, my hot roast-beef sandwich came with a cup of ground horseradish. I thought it was an extra side of mashed potatoes. One big bite cured me of that notion.

There used to be a place on the north side of downtown K.C. -- just a lunch counter with a few extra tables -- that served incredible omelettes. Again, I can't remember the name of the place, but it was open into the late 1970s. Maybe Sanderson's Lunch? Stayed open every day until early morning. Does that ring a bell?
#54
larrygeller
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 16:42:52 (permalink)
I live in Flushing, a hotbed for this stuff. It is always B (in Chinatown also). I still order it for delivery when I don't want something too spicy. Chop Suey was last sighted around here in the '70s. Chicken CM & Shrimp CM are almost completely different dishes (chicken CM is much gloppier), but neither resembles A.
#55
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 17:33:58 (permalink)

In my area (Central NJ, Northern NJ, and NYC) what you get depends on where you go to eat. If you go to places that are patronized primarily by Caucasians, then you will get "B".

If you venture into a place that has predominantly Asian customers, you can get "A". While it might not be on the menu, if you ask for Chow Mein in one of the more authentically Asian restaurants, you can get it, and it is always of the "A" variety.

Where people have misinterpreted your post, they are thinking of Lo Mein, with "soft" noodles. The Chow Mein that is eaten by Cantonese Chinese people consists of long, thin noodles that are freshly pan- fried until crispy, and then are topped with whatever else you specified for your dish. Always predominantly vegetables of course, and a meat of your choice.

When I was younger, all that I knew was the "B" type--whether from a Chun King can or from one of the Chinese restaurants of old. My former S.O. is Cantonese, and as a result, I learned much about Chinese food from a Cantonese perspective. As a result, I was exposed to the "real" type of Chow Mein (as well as other dishes not on the regular menu). And the real type, of course, is the one that was designated as "A".

#56
Lucky Bishop
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 18:13:56 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Scorereader

Lucky- You need to re-read that. "This authentic Cantonese VERSION of chow mein..." However, in Cantonese cooking there is NO "chow mein." They have a SIMILIAR dish, which uses the egg noodles (the way my mom used to make it...although, my mom used to use egg noodles under Chili too, but that was another thread)


If I used emoticons much, there would be a huge series of eyerolls here.

Wow, it's a VERSION of a dish? And maybe DIFFERENT PLACES have DIFFERENT VERSIONS of different dishes? Wow, that never ever ever would have occurred to me. I'm so lucky that I have you here to tell me these things. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

And gee whillickers golly, thanks ever so much for the rundown of Conde Nast's various magazine holdings. Again, I'm just gonna sleep so much better knowing that there's someone out there keeping an eye on those people for me.
#57
1bbqboy
Filet Mignon
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 18:59:46 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Bill B.

Neat photos of downtown!


There used to be a place on the north side of downtown K.C. -- just a lunch counter with a few extra tables -- that served incredible omelettes. Again, I can't remember the name of the place, but it was open into the late 1970s. Maybe Sanderson's Lunch? Stayed open every day until early morning. Does that ring a bell?


Sanderson's was my favorite place ever. It was open 24 hours, had the classic above the grill gas broiler, and served specials like ox tail stew every day of the year. I miss it.
Z, did EBT have a cafeteria too, or am I combining Kline's and EBT? Didn't the EBT Store have the Thomas Hart Benton Murals?
#58
Scorereader
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 19:01:39 (permalink)
Hey Pal -
YOU'RE the one who said that this chow mein dish was authentic Cantonese, not me.

and YOU'RE the one who said:
" Gourmet agrees with the folks at my neighborhood Chinese place: chow mein = a cake of noodles fried as a single mass (NOT stir-fried) and topped with meat and veg."

When in fact, Gourmet does not hold that opinion in it's own dictionary.
You used ONE recipe to make a brush stroke that you're dinky chinese restaurant was somehow "correct" in its presentation of chow mein.

My whole argument is that there is no "more" authentic chow mein than another, since Chow mein is not authentic chinese cuisine.
If you like the noodle cake, great. Eat it.

And the best retort you have is to roll your eyes? How juvenile.

So, roll your eyes all you wish. Maybe it'll help to continue to keep you from seeing the facts.

#59
Lucky Bishop
Double Chili Cheeseburger
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RE: What is "chow mein" in your 'hood? 2005/08/24 19:36:18 (permalink)
Funny, "eat it" was the thought that was coming to my mind as well. I'm truly puzzled as to what exactly you think the problem is here.

Lemme break it down for you:

1. One version of chow mein consists of a fried cake of egg noodles topped with meat and veg.

2. This is what the employees at Quan's Kitchen, a restaurant in Allston MA staffed largely by Cantonese immigrants, call chow mein.

3. A recipe for this version of chow mein in this month's Gourmet agrees that this is, in fact, what the Cantonese call chow mein.

4. To me, the problem appears to be your bizarre insistence that I am somehow proclaiming that this is the only true dish that should be called chow mein.

5. I am not saying that, and had you been around for longer than 53 whole posts, you might know that I'm just about the last person around these parts who cares a tinker's dam about the concept of "authenticity."

6. I'm saying that the restaurant in my neighborhood serves this dish and that although the menu lists it only as "fried noodles," the employees call it chow mein.

7. I'm saying that this month's Gourmet has a recipe for this dish and calls it chow mein.

8. These are both incontrovertible facts.

9. The fact that there are OTHER dishes from other places that are ALSO called "chow mein" does not change these two incontrovertible facts:

9a: The employees at a restaurant in Allston, Massachusetts refer to a dish consisting of a cake of fried noodles topped with meat and veg as "chow mein."

9b: If you want to call them and complain about that, their phone number is 617-232-7617. I'm sure they'd love to drop everything and listen to you complain about how there's really no such "authentic" dish as chow mein, and that you know more about food than they do, because some guy on a bus once told you this.

9c: Similarly, I'm sure the editors at Gourmet deserve a similar sanctimonious dressing-down, and you can deliver it yourself at

http://www.epicurious.com/gourmet/contact/contact

10. BT asked what dish he would get if he ordered chow mein at various places around the country.

11. I told him what he would get if he ordered chow mein at Quan's Kitchen in Allston, Massachusetts.

12. So now he knows, and the only person who has any kind of problem with this is some newbie douchebag who has taken it upon himself to declare himself the final arbiter of "authenticity" as it refers to Chinese cooking.

13. If you have a problem with this, the thread for complaints is the one marked "I have never been to a more unwelcoming board." Go there and vent your little heart out.
#60
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