Chop Suey

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Chop suey is a classic American-Chinese dish that’s beloved for its simplicity and versatility. While its origins might be a little hazy, there’s no doubt about its enduring popularity. This recipe breaks down the process of making a flavorful and satisfying chop suey at home, complete with juicy chicken, crisp vegetables, and a rich, savory sauce.

Before You Begin: Gathering the Goods

Chop Suey
Chop Suey

Here’s a rundown of the ingredients you’ll need to whip up a fantastic chop suey:

Protein: Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs, if you prefer) are the usual suspects, but you can also use shrimp, tofu, or a combination for a protein punch.

  • Veggies: Bean sprouts, celery, carrots, and water chestnuts add a delightful textural contrast. Feel free to experiment with other vegetables like broccoli, snow peas, or baby corn.
  • Aromatics: Garlic, ginger, and scallions form the base of the flavor profile. Don’t skimp on these!
  • Sauce Essentials: Soy sauce, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry), and cornstarch are the key players in creating that signature savory sauce. You can adjust the amounts of soy sauce and oyster sauce depending on your preference for salty or umami flavors.
  • Other Ingredients: Vegetable oil, chicken broth, sugar, white pepper, and sesame oil round out the ingredient list.

  • Let’s Get Cooking: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Now that you’ve assembled your ingredients, it’s time to get your chop suey on!

    1. Prep Party: Begin by prepping your ingredients. Slice the chicken into thin strips, chop the garlic and ginger finely, julienne the carrots and celery, and rinse and drain the bean sprouts.

    2. Chicken Takeoff: Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of vegetable oil and then stir-fry the chicken until golden brown and cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside.

    3. Aromatic Symphony: In the same pan, add a bit more oil and toss in the garlic and ginger. Let them sizzle and release their fragrance for about 30 seconds.

    4. Veggie Bonanza: Add the carrots and celery to the pan and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly softened.

    5. Flavor Boost: Pour in the chicken broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine (or sherry), and sugar. Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir to combine.

    6. Thicken Up: In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and a little water to create a slurry. Slowly drizzle the cornstarch slurry into the simmering sauce while stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency.

    7. Veggie Reunion: Add the bean sprouts and water chestnuts to the pan and cook for another minute or two, until just heated through.

    8. The Grand Finale: Return the cooked chicken to the pan and toss it gently with the vegetables and sauce. Season with white pepper to taste.

    9. Presentation Perfection: Garnish your chop suey with chopped scallions and a drizzle of sesame oil for an extra burst of flavor and visual appeal. Serve immediately over steamed rice, and prepare to be amazed!

    Nutritional Breakdown (Per Serving)

    Here’s a rough estimate of the nutritional content per serving of chop suey (based on a serving size of one cup):

    Calories: 350-450 (depending on protein and oil used)

  • Protein: 25-30 grams
  • Fat: 15-20 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 30-40 grams
  • Sodium: 500-800 mg (watch out for the soy sauce!)

  • Note: This is just an estimate, and the actual nutritional content can vary depending on the ingredients you use and the portion size.

    Conclusion: A Culinary Adventure Awaits

    Chop suey is a versatile dish that can be easily customized to your preferences. Whether you crave a protein-packed version with extra chicken or a veggie-lovers delight loaded with colorful vegetables, this recipe provides a solid foundation for culinary exploration. So, grab your wok, gather your favorite ingredients, and embark on a delicious journey through flavortown!

    Frequently Asked Questions: Chop Suey Edition

    1. Can I substitute other proteins for chicken?

    Absolutely! Shrimp, tofu, or even a combination of these options work beautifully in chop suey.