Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey

Tuesday 18 May 2021


Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey 

I make no secret of the fact that I love any kind of food with oriental flavors.  Stir fries are one of my favorite things to make and to eat. No small wonder.

They are usually filled with lots of color and texture!  I love vegetables, and stir fries are a fabulous way to get in at least a few of your five a day! 

Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey 

They are always saying we should eat a rainbow every day.  A stir fry is just the way to do that.  And you don't get much better than chop suey. 

It might surprise you to learn this tiny fact, but chop suey isn't Chinese at all!  Its an American invention dating back to the mid 19th century. 

Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey 

But like all cooking legends, there are numerous stories that go with how it actually came into play.  For myself, I am only happy that it was invented. You can find it on the menu of most, if not all, Chinese restaurants.

Not many of us are going out to eat these days so today I wanted to show you how to make chop suey at home. Not only is this an incredibly quick and easy dish to make, but it is also delicious and very forgiving!

Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey 

This recipe is also sized to feed just two people, but like all of my small-batch recipes, you can very easily amp it up to feed more.

Having said that, this version for two people, makes generous servings. Even if you are only one person you won't mind making it, eating it on the day and enjoying the leftovers the day after. (If you are like me, for breakfast!)

Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey

Like I said, its very forgiving and by that I mean you can use just about any vegetable in any combination that you like. You can even use a frozen chop suey vegetable mix.

If you are doing that, and it is a four serving sized package, I would only use half the package.

Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey 

One nice thing about stir fries like this is they are a great way to clean out the vegetable bin, using up all the bits and pieces that you have languishing away in the bottom of the drawer.

Little bits of this and that are not enough on their own to make much of anything. But when you combine them in tandem with a few others, are more than ample for a dish such as this!

Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey 

Today I used a simple combination of carrot, snow peas (mange tout), celery and onion, along with the chicken of course.  The recipe is one I adapted from a recipe I found in Betty Crocker's Lost Recipes book. 

Its fast becoming one of my favorite go-to books for simple and quick little recipes.

Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey 

My ex brother-in-law and his wife used to make wonderful Chinese food.  They would spend hours preparing it.  

They would usually prepare more than one dish. We always loved their Chinese meals and really appreciated their efforts.  It was always a lot of work for them. 

Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey 

In-laws are one of the greatest casualties of a divorce, and its a very sad thing.  I loved this particular brother and sister in law very much.  We had always spent a lot of time together.

Its funny how people can be close to you for many years and then . . .  nothing.  I suppose it is understandable and works both ways.

Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey 

I remember being very excited back in December when I got a call at my sister's house one day from this particular Sister-in-law. It was like no time at all had passed.  I think we spoke for about two hours.

We made plans to get together after Christmas and I was really happy about that.  It never happened.

Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey 

I called her one day and it went right to voice mail.  I know I had the number right because it was my brother-in-laws voice on the machine. I left a message, being very hopeful that my sister-in-law and I would be able to get together soon. 

I never got any reply at all. I can only surmise that he hadn't known about her calling me in the first place and didn't want us to have contact with each other. Perhaps he felt it would be too awkward. I can understand that I suppose.

Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey

Their daughter has always considered me to be her Aunt and is my friend on facebook.  In fact it was she who got my telephone number so her mom could call me.

My sister thinks that the whole exercise was an exercise in fact finding.  I hate to think that was what it was.  But you never know. People are funny creatures.

Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey 

Anyways, sorry I went off on a tangent here. That's just the way my mind works!  Back to the Chop Suey!

Whenever I make or eat chop suey I think of that song in the musical film, Flower Drum Song. Chop Suey.

Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey 

Chop suey! Chop suey! 
Good and bad, intelligent, mad and screwy. 
Violins and trumpets and drums
Take it all the way that it comes. 
Sad and funny, sour and honeydewy
Chop suey!

Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey

Darn, I'll be singing that song all day in my head now! LOL  I hate it when that happens!

That is one of my favorite films however. I love the old musicals. They don't make them like they used to! I will have to start collecting them again.

Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey 

You can use whatever vegetables you like in this recipe. What you want is a mix of vegetables that cook crispy tender in the time required and about 2 cups or so of them altogether.

I have no idea of how much that would be in grams. You want roughly twice as many vegetables as you have cubes of chicken.

Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey

I used chicken breast meat on this occasion, but you can use the equivalent of chicken thigh meat if that is what you have. Bear in mind that it takes slightly longer to cook thigh meat than it does to cook breast meat.

The important thing to take into consideration when cooking poultry is to make sure that the juices run clear and that it is no longer pink inside. If you do that, you are safe.

Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey

I could not find a classic stir fry sauce, so I used a teriyaki stir fry sauce. I could have used a sweet and sour as well.   

I froze the sauce that I didn't use in small yogurt containers so that I can take it out and use it another time and there was no waste involved.  Each container holds about 1/4 cup or 60ml.  Perfect for one or two.

In any case, I really enjoyed this and would happily make it again! Mmm . . .  I just adore chow mein noodles and cashew nuts! Delightful!

Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey

Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey

Yield: Serves 2
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 30 Min
A small batch recipe filled with lots of flavors, textures and crunch. Its delicious!


  • 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets
  • pinch salt
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and sliced
  • small handful of snow pea pods (mange tout)
  • 1 small onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) water
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) classic style stir fry sauce
  • 1/2 TBS honey
  • large handful of crisp chow mein noodles
  • small handful of roasted cashew pieces
  • cooked rice to serve


  1. Cut the chicken into 1/2 inch cubes.  Spray a 12-inch non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium high heat.  Add the chicken and season lightly with salt.  Stir fry for six to eight minutes, until just beginning to turn golden brown.
  2. Add the vegetables and water to the skillet. Heat to boiling. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for five to seven minutes, stirring occasionally, until crispy tender.  
  3. Stir in the stir fry sauce and honey. Heat through.
  4. Add a portion of cooked rice to each of two bowls. Divide the chicken mixture between each bowl. Add a small amount of chow mein noodles and garnish with the cashews.  Serve immediately.
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Cantonese Chicken Chop Suey

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  1. Your meal looks lovely - I always find stir-fry food to be so colourful and inviting. As you point out, it can be really versatile as well, because you can add whatever you have on hand - broccoli, bell peppers would be nice or adding bean sprouts, bok choy or Chinese cabbage. You could also fry up a little chopped onion, garlic and ginger mix to add another dimension. Yum... I'm making myself hungry here :)

    1. You are right about it all Marie, and its quite healthy with all of the vitamins and fibre. There is usually not a lot of meat in a stir fry. You made me hungry too! xoxo

  2. This sounds lovely Marie. Think I might be able to convince Keith to eat it. He is not overly fond of Chinese, although he will tolerate sweet and sour chicken. Chop Suey always makes me think of Hong Kong Phooey, an American cartoon with a dog. As for what your sister referred to as a fact-finding mission, that is what I would call a witch hunt. I've been the victim of a few of those in the past, even with church people, which just makes me furious. Anyway - Much Love to you, so glad to hear all about this new chapter in your life! Raquel XOXO

    1. You can always use a sweet and sour type of sauce if you wanted it to really appeal to him Raquel! I really hope we are wrong about the fact finding mission, but I suspect we am not wrong. Either that or she has been forbidden to contact me again because of my ex's wife. He has not allowed to even talk to me since they started going out, got married, etc. Its insane. Love and hugs to you! xoxo


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