This traditional chop suey is loaded with tender pork or chicken, vegetables, soy sauce, and more and served on or next to fluffy white rice. It's so easy and so delicious.
Chop suey is one of my favorite Asian dishes. I've always loved all the flavors and textures working together. With this recipe, I never have to order in to enjoy it.
Traditional Chop Suey Ingredients
This recipe uses simple ingredients that you can easily find at your local grocery store.
- Pork tenderloin or thinly sliced boneless, skinless chicken breast
- Baking soda
- Vegetable oil
- Finely chopped garlic
- Sliced yellow onoin
- Bok choy cut into 1-inch pieces
- Julienned carrots
- Sliced water chestnuts
- Bean sprouts
For the Sauce
- Soy sauce
- Oyster sauce
- Chinese cooking wine
- Sesame oil (optional)
See the recipe card at the end of the post for quantities.
This recipe is full of flavor, but it's not complicated. Even beginners can make it.
Step 1: Tenderize the Meat
Place the pork or chicken in a bowl and sprinkle with baking soda. Mix thoroughly to coat and let sit for no longer than 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse well and pat dry with a paper towel. Set aside.
Step 2: Make the Sauce
Add cornstarch and soy sauce to a bowl and mix until free of lumps. Then, add the oyster sauce, Chinese cooking wine, sesame oil, pepper, and water and set aside.
Step 3: Stir Fry the Onions and Garlic
Heat oil in a heavy skillet or wok over high heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring continuously, until the onion begins to soften.
Step 4: Add the Meat
Add the pork or chicken and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until the surface of the meat begins to turn white.
Step 5: Add the Vegetables
Add the bok choy stems, carrots, water chestnuts, and mushrooms and stir fry for 2 minutes. Then, add the bok choy leaves, bean sprouts, and sauce. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Serve immediately over noodles or rice.
Hint: Don't overcook this dish. Everything is added in increments so it all cooks evenly by the time the recipe is finished.
Don't have the correct ingredients on hand or want to change something up? Here are some helpful tips for you to change this traditional chop suey.
- Other Meat - You can use beef or shrimp in this recipe, as well.
- Saki - Saki will work in this recipe in place of cooking wine.
Want to personalize this traditional chop suey recipe? Here are some of my tried and true tips for changing up this recipe.
- Spicy - Add red pepper flakes for a spicy kick.
- Baby Corn - Baby corn is a delicious addition to this recipe.
- Bamboo Shoots - Bamboo shoots are great in this dish.
If you love recipes like this, you may also enjoy this Chinese pork recipe.
It only takes a few basic kitchen items to make this recipe.
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Cutting board
- Heavy skillet or wok
- Wooden spoon
You can store leftovers for up to 3 days in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
I have a few tips here to help you make this the best it can possibly be. They're very simple, so give them a look.
- Keep the heat high throughout the cooking process to ensure everything cooks evenly.
- Stir continuously as you cook to prevent burning.
- Add the ingredients in stages per the recipe directions. This ensures that everything is perfectly cooked by the end.
Do you have questions about traditional chop suey? Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about this traditional chop suey recipe.
Chop suey is a dish made of meat and vegetables like bean sprouts, cabbage, and celery in a sauce thickened with starch.
Sort of. It's an American-Chinese dish.
We know that it's an American-Chinese dish, but after that, things get murky. One popular story is that when the Chinese viceroy, Li Hung Change, was visiting the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in the 1890s, he requested vegetables with a bit of meat "job suey" or "in fine pieces". The chef, Joseph Herder, made the preparation, and thus, chop suey was born.
It will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
Place it in a skillet and heat it over medium-low heat until heated through.
More Asian Recipes
Do you like Asian flavors? Here are some recipes you may also like to try.
Traditional Chop Suey
Ready to get cooking? Remember that you can print this recipe if you would like.
Traditional Chop Suey
- 1 pound pork tenderloin -OR- boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or other cooking oil
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 white or yellow onion, sliced
- 8-10 stalks bok choy cut into 1 inch pieces, leaves included or (other Asian greens)
- ¾ cup carrots cut into thin slices
- 1 can (8 oz) water chestnuts sliced, drained
- 1 cup mushrooms sliced , shitake is authentic, but any will do
- 1 ½ - 2 cups bean sprouts
- Get out and measure your ingredients.
- Place chicken or pork tenderloin in a bowl, sprinkle with baking soda. Mix it around and set aside for no longer than 15-20 minutes or meat will get too tender. In a colander, rinse well then pat dry with a paper towel or two, set aside.
- Place cornstarch
- and soy sauce in a bowl.
- Mix until lump free.
- Add oyster sauce, chinese cooking wine, sesame oil, pepper and water.
- Stir until blended and set aside.
- Heat oil in skillet over high heat. Add garlic and onion, stirring until onion is starting to wilt. About 1-2 minutes. Add meat and cook 1-2 minutes, until surface changes color from pink to white.
- Add bok choy stems, carrots, water chestnuts and mushrooms. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
- Add bok choy leaves and bean sprouts.
- Stir until blended.
- Add sauce. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes until the sauce thickens to thick syrup consistency. Vegetables should still be tender/crisp but not soggy or soft.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately with rice or noodles.
- Enjoy every bite!