Chop Suey, The American Invention
Chop Suey, just like the fortune cookie, is an American invention. Well, invented by the Chinese in America. It is a hodge-podge dish comprised mainly of a variety of vegetables, sauteed or stir-fried with chicken, pork or shrimp. When I was living in the Philippines, chop suey was a default order when eating out at Chinese restaurants.
There is no singular formula for what goes into chop suey. That’s exactly why it is often a term used when trying to convey a message of “anything goes.”
This recipe may be different from the traditional ingredients you might find in recipe books. I simply scanned my fridge for whatever vegetables that were available one night and voila! I have my own version of chop suey.
I’ve taken the liberty of including a music video of a song from one of my favorite musicals, ‘Flower Drum Song.’ It is titled — what else — ‘Chop Suey.’
So go ahead, cut up your chicken and vegetables and view this clip from the film!
1 cup, chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup green bell pepper, cubed
1 cup red bell pepper, cubed
1 cup asparagus tips
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 cup white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup chicken broth
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1 thumb ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1/3 cup soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbps Olive oil
In a large wok, heat Olive oil. Add garlic and cook until golden brown. Add ginger and stir-fry for one minute. Add in white and green onions, and tomatoes, and cook for another minute. Add chicken and cook until slightly browned and tender. Add mushrooms, green and red bell pepper, carrots and asparagus, constantly mixing them up. Add chicken broth. Continue cooking until the vegetables are soft but crisp and most of the broth has been absorbed. Add soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and serve warm with steamed rice.