Chicken Chop Suey

Chicken chop suey - urgggh

Sometimes in life we are faced with those all-important questions that no one seems to know the answer to: Are eyebrows considered facial hair? Do people get buried with their braces on? What’s the difference between fancy ketchup and regular ketchup? And the old… Why does time exist? humdinger of a melon scratcher.

Another of these would have to be, What is the difference between Chop Suey and Chow Mein. Well, here at we aim to educate as well as inspire so here comes the science part (where’s Jennifer Aniston when you need her?)  –  The key difference would have to be (drum roll please) that Chop Suey is served with rice while Chow Mein is made with noodles. Chop Suey has a more gloopy, thickened sauce while Chow Mein is mixed with soy sauce.

I’ll leave you a few minutes for that revelation to sink in ….   ….    ….    I…  KNOW!!!

Now that your mind has been figuratively blown (this one’s on the house), let’s move on to the cooking part.


4 to 6 ounces chicken (thinly shredded)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 egg white
1 tablespoon cornstarch paste (1 part cornflour with 1.2 parts cold water)
1/2 pint oil (seasoned, see below)
Optional: 1/2 teaspoon garlic
1 tablespoon ginger (fresh, thinly shredded)
3 to 4 spring onions (thinly shredded)
4 to 6 ounces bean sprouts
1 small green pepper (cored and seeded, thinly shredded)
1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon rice wine (Chinese)
2 tablespoons stock
Optional: 1 pinch MSG
4 drops sesame oil


1. Mix the chicken shreds with a pinch of the salt, the egg white and about 1 teaspoon cornflour/cornstarch paste. Blanch them in warm oil, stir to separate, then remove and drain them.

2. Pour off the excess oil, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the wok, stir-fry all the vegetables for about 1 minute, add the remaining salt and the sugar, blend well, then add the chicken with the soy sauce and rice wine, stir-fry for another minute, and add the stock and MSG, if using; finally thicken the gravy with the remaining cornflour paste, garnish with the sesame oil and serve hot.

3. *How to season vegetable oil Pour about 1 pint (600 ml) vegetable oil into a pre-heated wok or saucepan over a high heat, add 2 – 3 small pieces of ginger root. In a few minutes, the ginger pieces should rise to the surface. Now watch the color of the ginger; when it turns from pale yellow to dark brown, turn off the heat and let the oil cool down a little before removing the ginger pieces. Then store the seasoned oil in a container.