Chicken Chop Suey

Chicken Chop Suey

August 29: Chop Suey Day

When Islander was a baby, she and her Mommy and Daddy lived temporarily in a tiny apartment above a strip mall in Aiea, Oahu, Hawaii, while waiting to move into a military base family housing unit in Pearl Harbor. Their apartment was above Waimalu Chop Suey House.

Decades later this iconic Chinese restaurant still remains in its busy location. But its crispy gau gee (dumpling) is more famous than its namesake chop suey. Whenever we go back to visit Islander’s family on Oahu, Waimalu Chop Suey is one of the places where we like to eat—for both nostalgia and the food.

Chop suey, which translates to “mixed vegetables” or “assorted pieces”, has as many origin stories as recipe versions. But the common ingredients include mung bean sprouts and a soy sauce-based gravy. Meat and eggs can be added in this easy vegetable stir-fry dish, if available and if desired. Chop suey can be eaten with rice or noodles for a simple, savory and satisfying meal.

Check out our chicken chop suey recipe version below for Chop Suey Day!



  • ½ pound chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce, divided use
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, fresh grated
  • ½ cup onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, grated or julienned
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups bean sprouts
  • 1 cup cabbage, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste


Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Set aside. In a medium bowl, make the marinade for the chicken by mixing together two tablespoons of soy sauce with the sugar, garlic and ginger. Toss the chicken in this marinade, cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, prepare the other vegetables (or use a chop suey vegetable mix—canned or bagged—see Notes).


In a large wok or skillet, heat a little oil. Sauté the marinated chicken pieces until brown and the liquid has been reduced. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. In the same skillet, add a little more oil. Sauté the onions until soft. Add the carrot, celery, bean sprouts and cabbage.


Make a well in the middle of the vegetables and pour the chicken stock. Return the chicken to the pan and mix well. In a small cup, mix the remaining two tablespoons of soy sauce with cornstarch to make a slurry. Stir into the wok/skillet until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dish out onto a platter.



  • Serve chicken chop suey hot with rice or over noodles. Or sprinkle won ton strips over it as a garnish and serve as a side dish.
  • Chop suey vegetables are available in a can (La Choy brand)! Take a cooking shortcut with a less tinny taste and use fresh mixed vegetables in a bag (Taro Brand).
  • Watch a YouTube video of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical, Flower Drum Song, entitled “Chop Suey”.

Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy with

Shiitake Mushrooms and Tofu

Bok Choy, Shiitake and Tofu

February 17: National Cabbage Day

During Lent, we prefer a good stir-fry over a fish fry. Stir-fried baby bok choy, shiitake mushrooms and tofu is one of our favorite meatless Friday dishes to eat with a simple bowl of steamed rice. This healthy and hearty dish features a popular variety of Chinese cabbage (bok choy)—a green vegetable option that is considered auspicious especially in the lunar new year—as well as “meaty” mushrooms and protein-packed tofu in a tasty sauce. Savor this simple stir-fried dish during Lent Fridays, lunar new year celebrations and National Cabbage Day.


(Adapted from Vegetarian Times)

For the mixture

  • 1 pound baby bok choy
  • 1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 package (14 ounces) extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into small cubes (may substitute for fried bean curd puff squares, room temperature)

For the stir-fry sauce (slurry)

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon water (or liquid from the soaked shiitake mushrooms)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided use


Wash and dry the baby bok choy. Chop off an inch from the bottom stem (reserve “rosettes” for optional garnish). Slice leaves into 2-inch pieces. In a shallow bowl, soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes or until softened. Squeeze out excess water. Slice into strips. In a wok or large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of canola or vegetable oil in medium-high heat and gently stir-fry the tofu until lightly browned (do not fry the bean curd puffs if using). Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

Bok Choy, Shiitake and Tofu

In the same skillet, add another tablespoon of oil and stir-fry the mushrooms for 2 minutes or until softened. Transfer to the tofu plate. Add the last tablespoon of oil to the skillet and stir-fry the baby bok choy for a minute. Return the tofu and mushrooms to the skillet and mix with the baby bok choy.

Bok Choy, Shiitake and Tofu

In a small bowl or measuring cup, make a slurry with the cornstarch, water (or mushroom liquid), soy sauce, grated ginger, minced garlic and sesame oil. Pour it into the skillet and mix well until slightly thickened, coating the tofu, mushrooms and baby bok choy well. Transfer to a serving platter immediately and garnish with the baby bok choy “rosettes”. Serve hot.

Bok Choy, Shiitake and Tofu


  • We prefer rehydrated shiitake mushrooms over the fresh ones as the dried shiitake have a stronger flavor.