This Chop Suey recipe is not just visually stunning with its myriad of vegetables and meats, it is also delicious and so healthy! It's easy a stir-fry of colorful vegetables with thick yummy sauce good for special occasions or for an everyday healthy meal.
History of Chop Suey
As I was doing my research on this recipe, I was surprised to learn that the exact origin of this famous dish is still unknown! Yes, we know that it is an American-Chinese cuisine but there were so many accounts of how, when, and who started this dish that until now, are still left unproven.
Nevertheless, I saw a common trend in those stories. This dish was somewhat made haphazardly by mixing whatever available ingredients or leftovers were at that time and tossing it into a thick sauce- then viola! - Chop suey was invented!
Some historians claimed that this dish is originally noodle-based kind of like Chow Mein. But I have always known this dish to be paired with rice. The one I made, of course, is the Filipino way of making this mouth-watering dish that we eat with steamed with rice.
What Ingredients to use?
The good thing about cooking Chop Suey is that you can use as many varieties of vegetables, meat, seafood, and other additions as you like. You can choose whatever you want or omit the ones you do not like.
This is the reason why Chop Suey has no exact formal definition. It is mostly described as a "stir-fry of vegetables, meat, and seafood that comes with a thick sauce."
Vegetable Options- You can use leftover vegetables on your fridge that needs to be cooked soon or harvest them fresh from your own veggie garden! The most common vegetables used for this dish are cabbage, carrots, onions, celery, bell pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, garlic, young corn, mushrooms, beans, bamboo shoots, and bean sprouts. On this recipe, I also used Pak Choi and Sugar snaps freshly picked from my backyard garden.
Meat Options- there are also several meat options that you can choose from. Pork, beef, and chicken being the most favored ones. The ones made here in the Philippines usually include pork or chicken liver, chicken heart, and gizzard.
Seafood Options- If you opt to add seafood on the already flavorful mix of your Chop Suey, the best options would be shrimps, prawns, scallops, squid, and mussels. You can also add fish meat cut in cubes.
Other Options- as if having a counter-full of veggies, meat and seafood are not enough, some also like adding hard-boiled quail eggs, and fried firm tofu.
Foxy Tips for a Vibrant and Delicious Chop Suey
Do not overcook your veggies! This is a big no-no when making this dish, you want vibrant and tender-crisp, not soggy and gray vegetables. So make sure to be mindful of the cooking time. It's best to always cook the ones that take longer to soften then add the ones that cook quicker later.
Keep them vibrant and crisp. Another good tip that you can use is to parboil (to drop your vegetables in boiling water for a minute) then blanch (submerge them in ice-cold water) them. This process will preserve the vibrancy, flavor, and nutrients of these.
Use the right wok or skillet. Make sure that the size of your wok or skillet is big enough to accommodate all the ingredients. Over-crowding your pan while cooking will result in steaming versus frying or sauteing and will make them soggy.
Still inspired to make more easy vegetable dishes? Try these:
Easy Chop Suey Recipe
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup pork belly or chicken - sliced into thin strips
- 1 cup shrimps
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch - dissolved in 1 cup water
- 3-4 tablespoons oyster sauce
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 cup cauliflower florets
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 medium carrot - sliced diagonally
- 1 cup sugar snap or snow peas
- 1 small bell pepper - cut into diagonal cubes
- 1 bunch pak choi - cut into smaller pieces
- 1 medium red onion - cut into 4
- 3-4 pieces mushroom - each cut into 3-4 slices
- 5 pieces young corn - each cut diagonally into 2
- salt as needed
- In a wok or big skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Saute garlic until softened. Add the pork belly slices and cook, stirring regularly, until all sides are done. Add the shrimps and do the same.
- Pour the cornstarch mixture into the wok and add the oyster sauce and ground pepper and bring to a boil. Doing this from the beginning keeps the veggies crisp and helps prevents over-cooking them. Take out the shrimps.
- Add the first batch of vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and sugar snap peas and cook covered for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the rest of the vegetables and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp and the sauce has thickened. Add the shrimp back. Season with salt if still needed. Serve hot.
This recipe was originally published in July 2016. Updated in August 2020 to include new photos, more tips, and a recipe video.
Hello po! I’m still trying to learn how to cook and I was wondering if it’s ok to use frozen veggies (like the packed ones from the frozen section of Walmart that are ready to microwave) instead of fresh ones, or will that result to soggy veggies instead? Thank you so much po!
Fresh is best used for chopsuey, but if yiu have no other option you can use the frozen and thaw it before using. But as you've guessed, they may be on the soggy side.
So yummy recipe thank you so much for sharing .I learn so many things for cooking because of your recipe easy to follow.
Thank you again Bebs.
Anong mushroom ang gamit mo, dried shiitake mushroom?
I’m trying your recipes for our ulam for 3 days already, masarap lahat so far!
Got me so excited every meal time hehe
That is nice to hear. I use sometimes fresh mushrooms but dried shitake or the canned ones also works fine.
Reena Bansal says
This looks like a really fun one to try! I love dipping noodle dishes a bunch and the hot broth variety would be perfect for the chilly spell we’ve been getting over here.
Hi Ms. Bebs! Just wanna ask if you use fresh young corn or the one in the can? I don't like the one in the can as it has a different smell also it won't give that crunch when bite into it. Although, I don't really have much choice, the asian store we have here in Louisville Kentucky only has the canned young corn. Anyway, do you think I could wash it with cold water to maybe remove some of that smell? Thank you in advance.
Yes, fresh young corn is best. Try to soak the ones in can in water before using to remove the odor.
marichu Daculiat says
Its been long time, I like to buy your recipe book but I don't know where can I buy. hope you can reply on me in to my email.
We don't have one for sale ...yet! Hopefully soon..
Renalyn bargados says
thank you for sharing your tips and recipes how to cook becouse i also love to cook.
Glad to hear that and happy cooking 🤗
I have attempted to cook chopsuey long time ago but it was a big failure and I have never tried again until today. Your measurements and method were on the spot (though I added a bit of brown sugar because I like my chopsuey sauce a little bit sweet). We gobbled the entire thing in one sitting! And to think I didn't even have shrimps which I believe elevates the dish even more but it was soooo good already! Thank you so much!
One of the nicest thing I heard! Thanks for your lovely comment, Cee.
Hi po. All the recipes are easy to follow and delicious.. but i have one thing to
Ask bout the nutrition facts how many grams of food in one serving so that i can minimize my calories and carbs intake. Tnx
The nutrition facts are automatically calculated by dividing it to the serving given.
Rowena Abellano says
Hi.. I just want to say thank you for all your recipes that are easy to follow and super delicious!
You are most welcome, Rowena.
I have used this recipe many times. It's very easy to substitute veggie ingredients depending on what I already have on hand. The sauce is very simple, just oyster sauce and cornstarch. I make the veggie only version when I want something to accompany a salty and rich dish like adobo or binagoongan
Hi Scarlet, thanks for the great review!
I love it . It was my first time to cook Chopsuey and it’s a success. Thank you for the recipe.
Happy to hear it, Raymond. Thanks for the great review!
Your chopsuey recipe was perfect for that day when I wanted to have a good hot dish on the table quickly. I prepped the vegies night before. Great tip on how to keep the vegies crunchy and not soggy. The leftover tasted so good when I had it for my lunch at work next day. Thanks for being so generous with your recipes. I love your site!
Thanks Maria and I am happy you like our recipe.
Hi, is the nutrition facts in this recipe accurate ?
I thought it was supposed to be healthy?
Hi Celine, thanks for bringing this up. It was a wrong input in this case but it is fixed now.
My family loved it. This was very tasty. Thank you for sharing.
Happy to hear it, Ann!
hi ! i was searching for chicken currry recipe ,and i came across your website. i found also a recipe for chopsuey , which it's one of my favorite food. i love to cook but i'm always concern on the nutrition facts.. my question is, how do you determine exactly the exact amount of nutrition on it's recipe you cook with all the ingredients on it. awaiting for your reply. thanks
Hi Norma, this is computed by the recipe plugin automatically by dividing the total with the servings given.
Tanya Hill says
Can you use sesame oil instead of vegetable oil?
Hi Tanya, vegetable oil has a neutral flavor and sesame oil has a rather stronger flavor so it may overpower the rest of the ingredients.
Delicious and pretty straightforward procedure. You can't go wrong with this recipe.
Hello and warm regards . I came across to your website while I was searching for some chop Suey recipes. I liked it and actually made it that day. I just followed everything you’ve written except for chicken.( I have chicken allergy). I substituted it with thinly sliced pork belly and oh ,I also added celery stalks and it came out really good and tasty.I printed your chop Suey recipe, have it laminated and put it with the rest of my recipe collection binder.
Hi Edward, thanks for the nice comment and I am glad you enjoyed the recipe!
Hi im anna* I love to cook.. I. Also one of the fans of foxyfolksy recipe im always wants to experiment other meals to my kids... my background of family is best cooker thats why I want to to continue.. hopefully someday I have my own restaurant... notes: everytime u cook give full of love to become success your meals.. ..
Ma. Lourdes Lapore says
Do you have recipe on how to make soya milk?
Hi Lourdes, I do not have it yet but I will add it to my to do list. Thanks!
Dolores Reyes says
Thanks Bebs for sharing this recipe...simple, fast and tasty!