Chop Suey

imageLike the fortune cookie, Chop Suey is believed to be an American invention (by Chinese Americans).  In the Philippines, when someone says, “it’s like chop suey,” it means it’s a hodge-podge of many things, which is exactly what this dish is: a mixture of many vegetables and other ingredients.

Chop suey gained greater popularity through the  Broadway musical and film, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Flower Drum Song.” In it the character Madam Liang sings “Chop Suey,” in reference to living a life that encounters  a daily mixture of characters, events and things.

This dish, while usually cooked with meat or seafood, can be prepared as a totally vegetarian meal. It’s very easy to prepare and is a great way to use up the variety of vegetables in your refrigerator before they start to wilt and go bad.


1 lb medium shrimp, shelled with tail on

1 dozen cooked quail eggs

1 cup cauliflower florets

1/2 small red bell pepper, cut into one-inch pieces

1/2 small green bell pepper, cut into one-inch pieces

1 small chayote, peeled, seeded and cut into one-inch diagonal pieces

1 cup asparagus tips and stems cut into one-inch diagonal pieces

1 cup cabbage, sliced

1 cup whole button mushrooms

4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

1/2 small onion, chopped

1 small tomato, chopped

1 tbsp corn strarch

2 tbsps soy sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 1/2 cup water

1 tbsp Olive oil


Heat Olive oil in a large wok in medium heat. Add garlic and saute until golden brown. Add onions and cook until tender.  Add tomatoes. Add cauliflower and stir for one minute.  Add chayote and stir for another minute.  Add 1 1/2 cup of water and bring to a quick boil.  Add soy sauce. Add sugar. Add mushrooms and red and green bell peppers. Stir for one minute.  Add asparagus and cabbage. Stir for one minute.  Add quail eggs.  Add corn starch dissolved in a little bit of water. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Let simmer for one minute before adding shrimp.  Cover wok and reduce heat to low.  Cook for 2 minutes then turn off heat. Transfer into a serving plate or bowl.


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