Chicken Chop Suey

4.67 from 3 votes
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Tender juicy chicken bites with crunchy veggies in a rich sauce for a classic Chinese takeout-style chicken chop suey no one can resist! It’s a perfect recipe to use up your leftover vegetables. My blog post includes detailed instructions on how to assemble your own chicken chop suey using different veggies. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}

Stir fried chicken with veggies in a pan

Chicken chop suey is a popular item on many Chinese restaurant menus. The bounty of veggies, the juicy meat, and the heavenly sauce all come together for a fantastic flavor. Plus, it’s just the sort of dish you need to clear out your fridge before the next grocery run.

Chinese chicken stir fry with veggies close-up

Ingredients

One thing that will make your chicken chop suey more authentic is adding canned bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, and/or baby corn. Not only do they taste delicious, but they also add a crunchy texture to your dish. 

Plus, the canned veggies last a long time in your pantry, so you can stock up on them and have them ready for the next time you get a craving for chop suey. And believe me, you will. It’s hard to resist and really makes for such a great way to use the things you have. 

Vegetable alternatives

Though you can use just about any veggie you want in chicken chop suey, here are some veggies I recommend, to help you make selections based on what you might have canned, fresh, or in your freezer.

  • Aromatics: green onions (to replace the onion), ginger (to replace the garlic)
  • Veggies that require more cooking time: sliced water chestnuts, peppers (sliced), snow peas, Chinese broccoli (sliced), baby bok choy (chopped), sliced mushrooms
  • Leafy greens & veggies that require less cooking time: blanched broccoli, blanched green beans, spinach, bean sprouts, choy sum (chopped)

Ideally, you should have one or more ingredients from each of the three groups for a more vibrant chop suey. The bottom line is, you should have at least one aromatic and one vegetable. 

NOTE: It’s important to not to crowd your frying pan. If you use a large 12” skillet (or wok), you can use up to two cups of sliced vegetables that require more cooking time. And you can use up to three (loosely packed) cups of veggies that require less cooking time. The total volume of veggies should be four cups or less.

Chicken chop suey in a pan

Prep

Don’t be intimidated by the recipe ingredient list. It  looks long but the entire process is very simple. 

Before cooking, your counter should have:

Marinated chicken, mixed sauce, aromatics (I forgot to show the garlic in the picture, oops!), veggies that require more cooking time (on one plate), and veggies that require less cooking time.

Ingredients for making chicken chop suey

How to cut veggies for chicken chop suey

Cutting the vegetables properly is one of the most important things to make a great chicken chop suey. The veggies should be cut to a similar size, so they cook evenly and achieve a perfect texture. 

For celery

I prefer to slice it on the bias so it has a longer shape and is easier to pick up with chopsticks.

Slice celery

For carrots

I tilt my knife to slice the carrot into chunks, place the chunk cut-side-down, and further slice them into rhombus-shaped pieces. If you prefer soft carrots instead of a crunchy texture, you can also slice it into strips (use a julienne peeler to make cutting easier).

How to slice carrots

For the broccoli rabe

This also applies to other vegetables that have stem and leaves, including bok choy, Chinese broccoli, and choy sum. I cut the stems on the bias into small pieces, and the leaves into bigger bite-size pieces. This will ensure both the stems and the leaves cook fast and evenly.

How to cut broccoli rabe

Cooking process

Once you’re done prepping, the cooking process is fast and easy. You will need to:

  1. Brown the chicken. 
  2. Saute the onions.
  3. Cook the crunchy veggies until they start to soften.
  4. Quickly cook the leafy greens.
  5. Add the sauce and cook until it thickens.
  6. Add the chicken back into the pan and stir everything together.
How to make chicken chop suey step-by-step
Chinese chicken stir fry with veggies

Afterthoughts

Chinese cooking might seem daunting sometimes, like you need to chop a million things before you start cooking. But once you understand the basics and how to group ingredients, the cooking process will be quite straightforward. Also, it’s always important to understand how to replace ingredients with whatever you have on hand. You’ll have a scrumptious restaurant-style chicken chop suey on the table at lightning speed, all the while making use of ingredients before they go bad in your fridge and eating enough veggies to stay healthy. 

I love the chop suey with steamed white rice although you can serve it over boiled noodles too. The sauce seeps into the rice for a truly satisfying meal that you’ll make again and again!

Chicken chop suey close-up

Complete your meal with 

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Tender juicy chicken bites with crunchy veggies in a rich sauce for a classic Chinese takeout-style chicken chop suey no one can resist! It’s a perfect recipe to use up your leftover vegetables. My blog post includes detailed instructions on how to assemble your own chicken chop suey using different veggies. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}

Chicken Chop Suey

4.67 from 3 votes
Tender juicy chicken bites with crunchy veggies in a rich sauce for a classic Chinese takeout-style chicken chop suey no one can resist! It’s a perfect recipe to use up your leftover vegetables. My blog post includes detailed instructions on how to assemble your own chicken chop suey using different veggies. {Gluten-Free Adaptable}
Chinese takeout-style chicken chop suey at home with tender meat, crunchy veggies and a rich sauce.
To make the dish gluten-free, use tamari to replace the soy sauce, dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine, rice vinegar instead of Chinkiang vinegar, and Chee Hou Sauce instead of Oyster sauce.
Course: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: takeout
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (450 g) chicken thigh or breast , thinly sliced against the grain (or breast)

Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (or water)
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chinkiang vinegar (or rice vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy (Optional), for color
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (or black pepper)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Stir Fry

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1/2 onion , sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 stalk celery , sliced on the bias (yield 1/3 cup)
  • 1 carrot , sliced (yields 1/3 cup)
  • 5 stalks broccoli rabe , or other green veggies, stems sliced on the bias and tops/leaves sliced into thick strips (yield 2 loosely packed cups) (*Footnote 1)
  • 1/3 cup baby corn , sliced (one 5-oz can)
  • 1/3 cup bamboo shoots , sliced (one 5-oz can)

Instructions

  • In a bowl, combine the sliced chicken, Shaoxing wine, salt, and cornstarch. Mix by hand until everything is evenly coated. Marinate while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  • Combine all the sauce ingredients and stir until the sugar and cornstarch are fully dissolved. Set aside.
  • In a large non-stick or carbon steel pan heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the chicken to the pan in a single layer and separate the pieces with chopsticks or a spatula. Cook the chicken on one side until it begins to brown, about 1 minute. Flip and cook on the other side for another 30 seconds, until cooked all the way through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the onion to the pan. Stir and cook for 30 seconds, until the onion just begins to brown. Add the garlic and stir fry for a few more seconds to release the aroma.
  • Add the celery, carrot, baby corn, and bamboo shoots. Stir fry for another 30 seconds to cook off excess moisture.
  • Add the broccoli rabe (or whatever greens you’re using). Cook until the greens are just wilted.
  • Stir the sauce again to redistribute the cornstarch and pour it into the pan. Add the chicken back into the pan and toss to combine everything. Cook until the sauce is thickened. Transfer everything to a serving plate.
  • Serve hot over steamed rice or boiled noodles.

Notes

  1. You can use many types of green veggies in the dish, for example, spinach, broccoli (blanched), broccolini (blanched), kale, mustard greens, choy sum, Chinese broccoli, and more. See the blog post above on how to prepare the veggies.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 285kcal, Carbohydrates: 13.1g, Protein: 25.9g, Fat: 14.2g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 71mg, Sodium: 791mg, Potassium: 417mg, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugar: 4.1g, Calcium: 81mg, Iron: 2mg
Did You Make This Recipe?Don’t forget the last step! Tag me @OmnivoresCookbook and #OmnivoresCookbook on Instagram!

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and take a picture and tag it @omnivorescookbook on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with.

More Chinese takeout recipes

Lilja Walter is a part of the Omnivore’s Cookbook team and worked closely with Maggie to develop and test this recipe.

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Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Sam says:

    Hi Maggie,
    Can I use seafood for this? if so what seafood would you recommend? and the marinate would be the same? I cant wait to make this and have it with steamed rice.

    Thanks

  2. Beverly says:

    Delicious, quick and easy with vegetables on hand, what’s not to love! I used carrots, celery, Napa cabbage and cauliflower. This recipe is a definite keeper!

  3. Tammy says:

    Maggie- thank you so much for the vegetable chopping instructions!!! When I first saw the photo, I was so confused on how you got that shape for your carrots. I was ready to comment or look for a YouTube video when I scrolled to the portion where you explained it. Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    4 stars
    I liked this recipe a lot. I followed the directions (except I didn’t have dark soy sauce or peanut oil) I used regular soy sauce and canola oil. The sauce was very thin and didn’t really stick to the chicken like the picture, so I suspect I did something wrong The flavors were excellent and the recipe was easy to follow. I am going to experiment with different vegetables next time. Overall well described and clearly written recipe!

  5. Sharen says:

    5 stars
    Better than eating out and easy to follow instructions. Can’t wait to try the next recipe.

    • Maggie says:

      So happy to hear it and can’t wait to see what you’ll cook the next 🙂

  6. M’Lisa says:

    5 stars
    My family and I loved this! Will be making this again. Nice thing is the sauce can be used for other Chinese recipes. I had one similar to this one, but I like your recipe better. I have stored and used the other for about 3 months in the refrigerator. I figure yours will be the same. My final product had mushrooms , Red and green bell pepper, onion, celery, bean sprouts, Bok Choy, leaves, cabbage, carrots, baby corn, bamboo shoots and half chicken breast half chicken thighs. I also liked how you demonstrated cutting of the chicken and veggies. This I feel is the most important part of Chinese food recipes and I was lacking in that skill!! So Thank you very much for that lesson!

  7. Hugh says:

    Could you include egg with this to make it more like Chinese takeout chop suey?

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