This quick and easy stir fry dish is great for using up leftover ingredients you have in your fridge. It can be made with a variety of meats and vegetables and everything is coated in a thick, flavorful, savory sauce.
These days I have a lot of random leftover ingredients in my fridge. Chop Suey is a super easy and tasty way to use up all those ingredients. You can use almost whatever vegetables or meat you have in your fridge.
What is Chop Suey?
Chop Suey is a Chinese American dish. It is a stir fry dish that can be made with a variety of vegetables and meat or seafood and everything is tied together with a savory sauce thickened with cornstarch.
Common proteins you’ll find in the dish include beef, chicken, pork or shrimp. Vegetables include bean sprouts, cabbage, snow peas, carrots.
The version I made for this post includes broccoli, snap peas, chicken, mushrooms, carrots, cabbage.
While this is optional, if you are making this dish with chicken, I would recommend velveting the chicken beforehand so that the chicken will be very tender.
Have you ever wondered why the chicken breast at Chinese restaurants is always so silky and tender but it always seems to taste tough and dry when you cook it at home? Velveting chicken is a technique used by Chinese restaurants to keep the chicken tender and juicy. It can be done two ways. The most commonly used method for restaurants is to coat the chicken in cornstarch and do a quick deep fry before adding it to the stir fry. A second, and much easier method, is to marinate the chicken briefly in baking soda before cooking it.
I prefer the second method because it is much easier, especially when cooking at home.
The chicken breast slices are marinated in baking soda for about 20 minutes. The baking soda prevents the proteins in the chicken from bonding too much, keeping the chicken soft and velvet-like when the chicken is cooked. The baking soda is then rinsed off before the chicken is added to your stir fry.
Whatever proteins and vegetables you choose, everything is tied together with a thick, savory sauce. This sauce is easy to make.
- Soy Sauce
- Oyster Sauce
You can, of course, add even more ingredients to the sauce to build on the flavor, but the above ingredients are enough for an easy flavorful sauce. Sometimes I also like to add a splash of shaoxing cooking wine and some fresh ginger.
If you don’t have oyster sauce, you can leave it out, but I would recommend using chicken broth instead of water to give more flavor to the sauce.
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 8 oz chicken breast thinly sliced
- 3/4 tsp baking soda (optional, for if you are velveting the chicken)
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup snap peas
- 1 cup cabbage thinly sliced (about 1/4 inch wide)
- 3 mushrooms sliced
- 1 carrot peeled and sliced
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- If you plan on velveting the chicken, add baking soda and chicken to a medium bowl. Toss chicken evenly in baking soda. Let sit for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, rinse the chicken to remove excess baking soda.
- Add garlic and oil to a large wok or deep skillet and bring oil to medium high heat. Cook garlic until lightly browned.
- Add in chicken and stir fry for about 1 minute. Add in vegetables and stir fry until everything is almost cooked.
- In a small bowl, add sauce ingredients and whisk until smooth. Pour into wok. Stir fry everything in sauce until evenly coated and sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Serve with rice or your favorite rice substitute.
- Velveting chicken technique from Recipe Tin Eats
- You can make this dish with other meat and vegetable options.
- If you want to add even more flavor to the sauce, add in a splash of shaoxing rice wine* and fresh grated ginger.
- If you don't have oyster sauce, you can double the amount of soy sauce and replace the water with chicken broth.
- For more information on the sauce ingredients, you can check out my Chinese cooking guide.
- *Some of the links contained in this post are affiliate links. Much like referral codes, this means I earn a small commission if you purchase a product I referred (at no extra charge to you).
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.