Chop Suey

One of my favourite ways of preparing vegetables, Chop Suey can be made as healthily as you want, providing you don’t drown the dish in oil.

My wife much prefers my attempt at Chinese cooking as it’s not as ‘greasy’ as the local takeaways, but I must admit I personally think good a restaurant dish is pretty difficult to copy faithfully.

The version here uses, chicken, a lot of veg, and Oyster Sauce. I’m not sure if there is an ‘authentic’ combination in a chop suey, so apologies people of China if not! I recommend using a ‘premium’ Oyster Sauce from a Chinese Deli. It’s a few pounds more, but far richer flavoured than the cheaper supermarket approximations. It’ll last a while if you get a large bottle and keep it in the fridge.

The key to Chinese food seems to be preparation and plenty of heat. Get everything ready so that when you start to cook, you only focus on that.

I’ve had many a tantrum in the kitchen before learning this, I think it has something to do with the panic induced by cooking in a super hot wok. Anyhow:

Serves 3-4


2 chicken breasts thinly sliced (and, if you can, marinated in 2 tbsp rice wine, good pinch 5 spice, soy sauce and a few drops of sesame oil for a minimum 20 mins).

1 Tbsp oil (you need more in a steel wok – I’m going for healthy here and used non-stick……)
2 garlic cloves, sliced finely
Thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
Vegetables of your choice (Pak choi, carrot, mange tout, onions, bean sprouts etc) – I used tender stem broccoli, sugar-snap peas, onions, baby sweet corn and bamboo shoots, all sliced into bite sized pieces. About a handful of each.
Soy sauce
2 Tbsp Premium Oyster Sauce
About 150ml water mixed with a tsp cornflour
White pepper
2 Spring onions, chopped


Heat the wok and oil until hot and smoking.

Add the chicken (drained well if marinated) and brown well, until cooked through. Take out and set aside, retaining as much oil as possible.

Drop in the onion and garlic and ginger for a minute (don’t burn the garlic, keep it moving!)

Add the vegetables and stir fry for two or three minutes. Stir the chicken back in along with a good splash of soy sauce and the Oyster Sauce. Stir well, turn the heat down then add the cornflour mixture, mixing thoroughly and using more water if too dry. Taste the sauce and adjust as necessary using the soy sauce.

Season with pepper, add the chopped spring onion and serve with boiled rice (or egg fried rice if you’ve fallen off the wagon!). Yum.


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