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Jun 28, 2008 11:07 AM

Chow mein in a can

Does anyone eat LaChoy chinese food from a can? My mother fed me this when I was a kid, about 50 years ago. I still see it in the stores. Has anyone tried it?

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  1. When this was the only game in my little town ... the one 'Chinese' restaurant served La Choy ... I didn't like it. I wonder if it has improved any over the decades. It is still around. I wonder who buys it?

    1 Reply
    1. re: rworange

      I was recently wondering if it had been improved over the years.

      My grandma served me this a lot when i was young and I loved it then but just thinking back to it I probably wouldn't dig it now. Maybe I'll just buy one and try it, they're not super expensive

    2. Oh the memories! My mother used to serve this to my father, with those fake little crunchy noodles on top. I don't think I've ever tried it, but like rworange, it was the only game in my small upstate NY town in those days.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Cachetes

        Interesting. My mother put the chow mien on top of the noodles

        1. re: ChrisOC

          Aah, the diversity of American culinary traditions! :)

          1. re: Cachetes

            We always had the noodles underneath, too. Our first "Chop Suey" meal was at a new restaurant attached to our little town's first motel - we'd never seen it on a menu before and had to try it, and that's how it was served. So of course we all assumed that was the "correct" way of doing it. Unlike most of our posters here, I liked it, canned veges and all. What I remember most was the overpowering flavor of celery, and those crunchy sliced water chestnuts.

            1. re: Will Owen

              When I'm cooking at home, I love deep frying rice nodles, watching them explode like popcorn, then I do serve whatever veggie/protein/sauce dish I've made over them because the sauce softens some of the noodles while the ones still sticking out stay really crispy. It's okay to commit food sins in the privacy of your own home. '-)

            2. re: Cachetes

              Minute Rice down first, then the canned chow mein, then the crunchy noodles, then a couple splashes of really salty soy sauce.

              1. re: ElsieDee

                Ah yes,,,exactly...and wasn't it exotic and delicious!!! Now I'm going to have to buy some to see if I can get it down!

          2. re: Cachetes

            Oh, yes, those crunchy noodles with canned Chinese. My mother was (and is) an adventurous eater, and a good cook. And I am eternally grateful that she tried to broaden my horizons by serving the occasional "ethnic" or alternative dish at our suburban dinner. (She won over her new husband's conservative meat-and-potatoes family with an eggplant dish that they devoured.) But "Chinese" dinner was canned chop suey with those crunchy noodles. I didn't like it. And when, years later, I'd meet people who said, "I love Chinese food," I didn't understand it. Until I started to really explore Chinese restaurants and discovered the options. Now I love it.

            1. re: weem

              Oh, weem... yes. You confirm what I figured out many years ago. My dad is Chinese, and Mom cooked great Chinese at home ... and of course, we ate good Chinese out (when we could ... used to be pretty hard 40 yrs ago in the Midwest!). So when my little Midwestern friends complained how badly they hated Chinese, it was just beyond me. When I tasted the canned stuff, I finally understood.

            1. This was the only Chinese food I ever had until I was in my 20's. My home town in the mountains of KY didn't have Chinese food in the 50's. I remember pouring soy sauce on it to kill the awful taste of the strange veggies, mostly huge hunks of celery. I did like those crunchy noodles though.

              In the San Francisco Bay area we have some of the greatest Chinese restaurants in the world. We have great produce year round. But those cans are still sold in our Safeways. Who buys it?

              1. I have long been strangely tempted to buy some of this stuff to see what it's like. Then again, I bought potted meat product once for the same reason. Mrs. ricepad remembers eating it when she was a kid (to her German mother, it was passable Chinese food), but she cringes at the thought, now.