Chicken Chop Suey with Shrimp Stir-Fry is a quick, easy and healthy dish made with a variety of colorful vegetables with chicken and shrimp. Pork, beef and other seafood can be used as well.
Chop Suey is believed to be a Chinese American cuisine created by Chinese immigrants to the US.
Growing up, my mom always made Chop Suey loaded with vegetables and meat. As kids, we didn’t care for vegetables so my mom knew to add more sauce, meat and shrimp.
Nevertheless, we were given our share of veggies and once we finish it, we were allowed to fish out all the meat or seafood in the dish. My mom knew how to handle us.
Anyway, now that I am older, I love it. Obviously, no kid likes vegetables. When I make chop suey, the aroma is inviting plus it is appealing and appetizing with all the vibrant colorful veggies mixed together.
One thing to note when making Chicken Chop Suey with Shrimp Stir-fry, don’t overcook the vegetables. Veggies should be tender crisp, not soggy or mushy. I guess we can all agree, it is delicious biting on a crisp and crunchy vegetable.
When I make Chop Suey, I add a good amount of meat, shrimp or seafood. If my mom was making this, I know for sure she’ll use shrimp broth which I don’t have on hand. Chicken broth works as well or Knorr chicken bouillon mixed with water.
Chicken bouillon is so handy to have, it enhances the flavor of any dish. This is what I used since I don’t have any broth.
This is a versatile dish so you are not just limited to the vegetables I used. This is the best time to clean out your fridge, use up all the veggies.
Cabbage is usually added to chop suey, but I don’t have that. I have so much in my fridge I can use, that will just go to waste. I don’t always follow the “TRADITIONAL WAY” or “AUTHENTIC WAY” of cooking.
We should be creative and practice some common sense, especially at this crazy time. Don’t run an errand just because you are missing one ingredient. Believe me, it will taste delicious even if you are missing one of your favorite veggie.
What Vegetables to Use with Chop Suey?
Again, this is a versatile vegetable dish. Use anything that you already have in your fridge.
The most common vegetables used in Chop Suey are carrots, baby corn, celery, cabbage, green beans, green and red bell pepper, pea pods, cauliflower, bean sprouts, bok choy and mushroom. Other vegetables to add are zucchini, edamame, red radish, green onion, brussel sprouts and more.
What Meat to Use with Chop Suey?
Pork, beef, chicken, shrimp or other seafood like fish, scallops, clams, mussels, crab meat or squib. A combination of any of these meat or seafood makes a scrumptious Chop Suey.
If using pork, beef or chicken, it is best to marinate it in cornstarch with Shaoxing rice wine. This Chinese method of cooking is called velveting.
Velveting meat acts like a protective barrier so it doesn’t overcook, keeping it moist and tender.
Normally, Filipinos don’t do this extra step when stir-frying, nonetheless it works too, but if you’ve done it before you know the difference.
Meat is moist and tender especially if using pork or beef.
I will admit, I don’t always do it, if I am only adding a small amount of meat. My mom though, never skipped this process when she was operating her catering business.
Others use baking soda dissolved in water to tenderize the meat. Meat is soaked for at least 15 minutes and rinsed before cooking.
Chicken Chop Suey Marinade
Marinating chicken or meat is optional but I suggest you try it. It doesn’t take long and you’ll be happy biting into a flavorful, moist, tender meat.
Marinate thinly sliced chicken in Shaoxing rice wine and cornstarch diluted in water for at least 30 minutes.
Chicken Chop Suey Sauce
The sauce is very simple with only 3 ingredients.
a. Chicken broth or water with Knorr chicken powder bouillon added to it. You can use water if you don’t have both but it is much tastier with broth or bouillon.
b. Oyster sauce
c. Cornstarch diluted in water – this is use to thicken sauce.
How to Make Chicken Chop Suey with Shrimp Stir-Fry
(1) Slice chicken, pork or beef thinly in an angle.
a. Chicken - use boneless chicken thighs or chicken breast. Chicken thighs is much tender than chicken breast. Other parts of chicken will work too even giblets.
b. Pork - use pork shoulder, pork butt or pork loin. Chop Suey might include other organs or offal, same with beef.
c. Beef - use tri tip steak, chuck steak or a more expensive cut.
(2) Marinate chicken, pork or beef before stir-frying. THIS IS OPTIONAL, but will make a difference. Have you noticed when you stir-fry meat it is not as tender as Chinese meat, this is why.
Marinate meat in cornstarch and Shaoxing rice wine for at least 30 minutes or more in the fridge. You can even prepare it the night before and cook the following day.
(3) Prepare seafood, if adding as one of the ingredients. Peel and devein shrimp.
(4) Prepare all the vegetables. As much as possible, group vegetables together that will cook longer and slice them the same sizes so they cook evenly. This will ensure that all your vegetables are cooked crisp retaining their vibrant colors.
(5) Make your sauce while marinating chicken.
(6) Get all your ingredients ready. Once you stir-fry, you have to be quick so meat and seafood are tender with crisp vegetables.
You don’t want an overcooked tough meat or a rubbery seafood and a soggy, mushy veggies.
(7) Use a big wok or skillet if you have an enormous amount of vegetables to cook to have enough room to push the ingredients to the sides.
(8) Get skillet or wok “HOT” before stir-frying. Saute onion and garlic briefly.
(9) FLASH COOK chicken, pork or beef then shrimp or other seafood. Flash cooking is cooking in high temperature for a short time.
- Fully cook meat and shrimp then remove it from skillet or
- Half cook meat and shrimp then push it to the sides. It will continue cooking while vegetables are added.
If you doubt you can’t keep the meat tender and shrimp crisp, you are better off by cooking it fully then removing and setting it aside while cooking the veggies. Add back when sauce is simmering and thicken.
(10) If you choose to HALF COOK the meat and shrimp, push these ingredients to the sides then add the vegetables.
(11) Vegetables that cook longer goes in first. Note: When you push the veggies to the side, they should be more than half cooked then it will continue cooking while adding the other ingredients.
Group carrots, green beans and cauliflower together as the 1st batch to get tossed-in the stir-fry, cooked for 2 to 3 minutes.
Push the vegetables to the sides then drop the 2nd batch at the center, which are broccoli, green and red pepper, cook for a minute.
Push again the vegetables to sides, adding the 3rd batch of vegetables like green onion, mushroom, zucchini and baby corn.
Note: Place mushroom in a colander and rinse briefly. Don’t soak it in water as it will absorb water. Dry it with paper towel.
If using other vegetables, use your best judgement which one will go in first and last and how long to cook.
(12) Move the veggies to the sides and pour the sauce. Simmer until thicken. This should be quick so your veggies doesn’t get soggy.
Add more cornstarch mixture if you prefer a thicker sauce. Season with salt, if needed.
(13) Once sauce is thicken, mix all the ingredients. If you removed the meat or seafood, this is the time to add to the mix.
Turn off heat and transfer right away to a serving platter. If you leave it in the skillet or wok, it will continue cooking making your veggies soggy.
What to Do with Leftover Chop Suey?
Chop Suey can be eaten by itself especially when watching your carbs. Use chicken or seafood for a healthier version. It goes well with white rice.
As you can see, I made so much so I can have some leftovers that I can add to noodles. Use whatever noodles you desire. Soften the noodles with water or broth then mix it with chop suey. It is similar to Lo Mein. Prepare more sauce if you like a saucy noodle dish.
Eggroll is another way to use leftover. Drain the vegetables, wrap in eggroll wrapper then deep fry. Don’t discard the sauce, use it as a dipping sauce for the eggroll.
There you go. These are some ways you can have this simple, hearty, healthy dish.
Chicken Chop Suey with Shrimp Stir-Fry
- 1 ½ pounds chicken breast or boneless chicken thighs cubed
- 1 ½ tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch diluted in 2 teaspoons water
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth or water with ½ teaspoon Knorr chicken powder bouillon
- 1 ½ tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch diluted in 2 teaspoons water
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 cups shrimp peeled and deveined
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 1 large carrot sliced ¼ inch diagonally
- 4 cups cauliflower or ¼ of a whole cauliflower
- 4 cups broccoli florets or ¼ of a whole broccoli
- 15 pieces green beans sliced 2 inches long
- 2 stalks celery sliced
- 1 small zucchini
- 1 small green bell pepper sliced 1 inch wide by 1 ½ inches long
- 1 small red bell pepper sliced 1 inch wide by 1 ½ inches long
- ½ cup baby corn
- ¼ cup baby bella mushroom sliced
- yellow onion julienned for garnish (optional)
- red onion julienned for garnish (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil over medium heat.
- Saute onion until translucent.
- Add garlic and cook for a minute.
- Stir fry and half cook chicken, then push to the sides.
- Stir fry and half cook shrimp, then push to the sides.
- At the center of skillet, toss-in the longer cooking vegetables. These are carrots, cauliflower and green beans. Cover skillet and cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Toss-in broccoli, green and red bell pepper. Cover skillet and cook for 1 ½ minutes.
- Add celery, baby bella mushrooms and zucchini. Cook for 1 minute with skillet covered.
- Push all the vegetables to the sides and pour sauce. Bring it to a simmer until thicken then mix all the ingredients with the sauce.
- Season with salt and pepper, if needed.
- Turn off heat and transfer right away to a serving bowl so it doesn’t overcook.
- Get all your ingredients ready before stir-frying. Be quick once you stir-fry. You want your meat to be tender and vegetables crisp.
- Use a big wok or skillet so you have enough room to push the ingredients to the sides while cooking the other veggies.
- Place mushroom in a colander and rinse briefly. Dry with paper towel. Do not soak in water. Or you can wipe it with a damp paper towel, whichever is easier for you.
- Marinating the meat before stir-frying is OPTIONAL but I recommend you do. Try it once and you will find out that meat is much tender.
- If you have kids, it is not a bad idea to double the sauce.
- I suggest you read the “HOW TO” in the blog. It is a detailed explanation of the recipe.