Chicken Chop Suey

Chicken Chop Suey

We have been cooking and eating a lot of Asian inspired dishes here at Patty Cake’s Pantry.  It started with our search for Sum Gum and included a retro chop suey recipe which used canned chop suey vegetables.   I haven’t decided if I want to share that one with you.  We continued our asian culinary adventure with fried rice, chow mein, and now chop suey.  Fortunately, no one at my house is complaining. Many people mistakenly believe that chop suey was invented in the U.S. by Chinese Americans; however, anthropologists believe that it was actually a leftover dish that was commonly made by the vegetable farmers of the Guangdong or Canton province.  It is believed that these farmers would gather together the thinnings, shoots, and unsold vegetables at the end of the day and stir fry these collected vegetables into the dish that we now call chop suey.   In fact, the name in Chinese is za sui or tsap suei which means assorted pieces or miscellaneous leftovers depending upon who you ask. Chop Suey, as presented here, is a fairly healthy meal.  It is loaded with vegetables, contains little fat, and the meat used is lean.  Served over steamed rice , it is a great alternative to fatty take out chinese food and it’s very easy to prepare.  If you serve it over brown rice instead of white, you kick up the nutrition content considerably. What follows is a recipe for chop suey that my family really enjoys.  If you are a vegetarian, substitute a pound of firm tofu for the chicken.  If you don’t have chicken, any other lean meat can be substituted.  I have even made this recipe with shrimp, but the cooking time for the meat will need to be decreased to 3 – 4 minutes in order for the shrimp to cook but not so long as to allow them to become tough.

What will you need to prepare this recipe:

From the Pantry:

  • Brown Sugar
  • Corn Starch
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Canola Oil

From the Refrigerator:

  • Celery
  • Mushrooms
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Bell Pepper
  • Soy Sauce

From the Root Cellar:

  • Onion
  • Garlic

From the Freezer: 

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast

Here’s the process and some photos of the steps.

First, cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and mix up the marinade.  Allow the chicken to marinate while you prepare the rest of the vegetables.

Put oil in sauce pan.  Fry onion and garlic in oil until tender.

Chicken Chop SueyRemove from pan.

Chicken Chop Suey

Add celery , mushroom, and pepper to pan and stir fry 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp tender. Chicken Chop Suey Remove vegetables from skillet and set aside. Chicken Chop SueyAdd chicken and marinade to skillet.  Stir fry 5 – 7 minutes until chicken is no longer pink. Chicken Chop SueyReturn veggies to skillet. Chicken Chop SueyCombine cornstarch with water.  Add to skillet and cook  for  2 minutes or until mixture thickens. Chicken Chop SueyAdd bean sprouts, salt, and pepper.  Cook until heated through. Chicken Chop SueyThis is delicious served over rice and/or topped with chow mein noodles.  I realize this final photo does not look  very appetizing.  My photography needs lots of work, but I promise this tastes delicious.

Do you ever make homemade “Chinese” food?  Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry

Chicken Chop Suey
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: American Chinese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 - 6
This is a healthier alternative to Chinese take out. It's simple and loaded with fresh vegetables. The total cost of this recipe is $6.71 or about $1.68 per serving.
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce ($0.57)
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar ($0.04)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced ($1.99)
  • 3 medium onions, thinly sliced ($0.60)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced ($0.36)
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil ($0.06)
  • 6 ribs celery (including leaves) cut into ½ inch pieces ($0.48)
  • ½ pound small fresh mushrooms, sliced ($1.00)
  • 1 large bell pepper or 6 smaller sweet peppers, cut into 1" pieces ($0.50)
  • 4½ teaspoons cornstarch ($0.05)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups bean sprouts ($1.00)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste ($0.04)
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper ($0.02)
  1. Combine soy sauce and brown sugar and mix well
  2. Add Chicken to Soy sauce and sugar mixture and let marinate while you prepare the vegetables.
  3. Heat oil in large skillet or wok.
  4. Fry onion and garlic in oil until tender.
  5. Remove from pan and reserve them in a large heat proof bowl.
  6. Add celery, mushroom, and green pepper to pan
  7. Stir fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until crips tender.
  8. Remove vegetables and add to bowl with onions and garlic.
  9. Add chicken and marinade to skillet.
  10. Stir Fry 5 to 7 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
  11. Return vegetables to skillet with chicken.
  12. Combine cornstarch with water and add to skillet.
  13. Heat until mixture thickens. This will be approxmately 2 to 3 minutes.
  14. Add bean sprouts to pan and salt and pepper.
  15. Mix well and cook until heated through.
  16. Serve over rice or noodles.
  17. For extra crunch top with some crunchy chow mein noodles.

Chicken Chow Mein

Nutrition information is for 1/6th of the recipe prepared as above.

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 182
% Daily Value
Total Fat 4.1g
Saturated Fat 0.2g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 48mg
Sodium 920mg
Total Carbohydrates 16.3g
Dietary Fiber 2.7g
Sugars 6.2g
Protein 21.7g
Vitamin D 788%
Potassium 17%
Calcium 4%
Iron 14%

Disclaimer:  Nutritional information is calculated using online tools such as those available at or  We make every attempt to ensure that this information is calculated correctly, but this information should be considered estimates.   Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe.  In addition, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition-fact sources, databases and the algorithms used.   You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.  Under no circumstances will be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. 

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