Vegetable chop suey
Chinese Dinner Lunch Vegetables

How to Cook Chop Suey

What is chop suey

Chop suey is a Chinese dish, and is traditionally eaten with rice. It is a mix of vegetables such as carrots, celery, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and water chestnuts or any combination of them. Adding bean sprouts has also become a trend from a few years back.


History of chop suey

The name chop suey came from the Chinese word for “chopped” meaning to chop into small pieces. These days, the term refers to any type of Asian vegetable dish prepared with a thick sauce and any type of meat, if any, cut into small pieces.

The dish was first created by Chinese immigrants who were looking for a quick meal when they arrived in America during the late 19th century. They would cook their meat and vegetables together on top of a hot wok until they were tender. The dish was altered slightly so that it could be eaten without rice, which was the preference of most Americans. The new version became known as chop suey.


Ingredients for chop suey

Ingredients for chopsuey are mostly already available in your pantry. You can choose whatever is already in the fridge and/or pantry at any time. You can make chop suey with as many as 8-10 different vegetables or as few as three such as carrots, cabbage, green beans, and red or green bell pepper. Leftover veggies are good candidates for this dish. The addition of meat to the recipe is a free choice as well — small pieces of chicken, a few pieces of shrimp, even chicken liver, or firm tofu.

Thickening Sauce

  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

How to cook chop suey

Cooking chop suey is pretty straightforward. It is practically sauteeing garlic and onions in 2-3 tablespoons of cooking oil, followed by vegetable ingredients, and ending with the thickening sauce. Season with salt and black pepper for that little charm that elicits the individual taste of fresh veggies and the recipe is done.


How to serve and store leftovers

Traditionally served along with white rice, chop suey is best as a lunch or dinner item. More often, it is served with fried or grilled fish as a vegetable accompaniment. It is also served as is, because it is, by itself, a complete meal.

Cool leftovers completely and transfer them to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days, and recook over medium heat on the stove. Chopsuey is not best frozen as the veggies become soggy.


Cooking tips

  • Cut the ingredients in uniform sizes to ensure even cooking and maintaining the veggies crisp.
  • Cooking time depends on your preference for doneness. Adjust the heat to medium at any time in the cooking process.
  • Top with spring onions for an extra tease in the taste buds. This is best about 1-2 minutes before serving.
  • Use it as a topping for crispy noodles and you have a wonderful new dish!
  • Chicken broth or vegetable broth can serve as a good replacement for the non-use of meat in this recipe.
  • A touch of oyster sauce adds a bit of character to the taste.
  • Who said this recipe cannot be served on special occasions?
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Vegetable chop suey

Vegetable Chop Suey

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Chinese


A sauteed mix of choice vegetables in light thickening sauce.


  • 1 yellow onion sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1/4 kg sliced boneless chicken breast
  • 1/4 kg skinless shrimp
  • 1 ½ cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 piece carrot sliced crosswise into thin pieces
  • 1 piece red bell peppers cut into squares or diamond shape
  • 1 piece green bell peppers cut into squares or diamond shape
  • 1 ½ cups cabbage chopped
  • ¼ cup soy sauce (optional)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons oyster sauce
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch diluted in ½ cup water
  • salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil


  1. Heat oil in a wok or pan.
  2. Sauté onion. Add garlic and continue to sauté until the onion becomes soft.
  3. Sautee the shrimp for a minute. Remove the shrimp from the wok. Set aside.
  4. Add chicken. Stir fry until light brown.
  5. Add soy sauce, if using. Stir.
  6. Add cauliflower, carrots, and bell peppers. Stir.
  7. Add water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or so.
  8. Add cabbage and oyster sauce. Stir again for another 2 minutes.
  9. Add the cornstarch diluted in water. Toss.
  10. Top with pre-cooked shrimp.
  11. Transfer to a serving plate and serve.

Keywords: chop suey, chop suey recipe, vegetable chop suey

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