Chop Suey

Chop Suey

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Craving for a vegetable dish? Or are you looking for a nutritious, cheap, easy to prepare and of course delicious food? Then look no further, because here’s a dish that would surely satisfy your hunger and makes you wanting for more. It’s Chop suey.

Chop suey literally “assorted pieces” in traditional Chinese is a dish that becomes a prominent part of American Chinese, Filipino and other Asian cuisine. It is a mixture of meat (pork, chicken, beef or shrimps) and shredded vegetables such as cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli and bell peppers bound in a starch-thickened sauce. Others even added mushrooms and quail eggs, mixing all the flavors together. It is even labeled as a “savory mess” according to one translation.

It is commonly believed that this dish is invented by Chinese Americans, however anthropologist E.N. Anderson conclude that it originates from a Chinese cuisine known as “tsap seui” (miscellaneous leftovers), which was first prepared from various leftovers. It had its roots in Toisan, a county in Guangdong Province, where many of the early Chinese immigrants to the US came from. Vegetable farmers from Toisan would stir-fry the thinning and shoots of unsold vegetable approximately ten varieties of vegetables in a dish. Nevertheless, a long list of often conflicting stories on the origin of this dish would emerge and according to the words of a food historian, Alan Davidson, it is typical of popular foods and “a prime example of culinary mythology.”

It has been one of the main dishes of Filipino homes because of its cost-effective, easiness in preparation and nutritive value. It is high in calories and fat that would satisfy one’s satiety and provide the body with much needed nutrients. However, despite of its high caloric level, this dish can be altered like using chicken instead of pork, adding more vegetables and using less oil. That is why it is perfect as a light meal or even as a diet.

Chop Suey
  1. ½ lbs pork, sliced into small pieces
  2. 4 cloves garlic, diced
  3. 1 medium onion, diced
  4. ½ lbs chicken liver
  5. 1 14 oz. can of chicken stock (broth)
  6. ½ lbs shrimp, shelled, deveined
  7. ¼ lbs snow peas
  8. ½ lbs cauliflower
  9. ½ lbs cabbage
  10. ½ lbs young corn
  11. 1 medium carrot, sliced
  12. 1 red bell pepper, cut into small pieces
  13. 1 green bell pepper, cut into small pieces
  14. 2 tbsp of cornstarch, dissolved in ¼ cup of water
  15. 3 tbsp fish sauce
  16. 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  17. salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a large pan, saute garlic and onion on medium heat
  2. Add pork and cook for 3 minutes
  3. Add chicken liver

  4. Add half the chicken stock and a dash of salt
  5. Simmer for 15 minutes or until pork is cooked

  6. Add shrimp and remaining vegetables

  7. Add remaining chicken stock, fish sauce, and dissolved cornstarch.
  8. Cook for 5-8 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked.

  9. Salt and pepper to taste
  10. Serve hot with rice

Lutong Filipino