• Payal Maharaj

Mum's Easy Vegetable Chop Suey

Updated: Apr 28


Today's recipe is actually not Indian but is a well-loved and popular dish in Fiji. As far I can remember, almost every casual eatery had chop suey on their menu. It is quick, saucy and tastes amazing served over a bed of steaming rice. When we moved here, I was extremely surprised and saddened that it was not sold at most Asian restaurants. Even if they did sell it, it was not the kind I grew up with. Which prompted me to research chop suey a bit. Apparently, chop suey was invented in the US and it was sort of a dish you made with leftover veggies and meats. There are also many variations of this dish. I was flabbergasted. I always thought the dish originated in Asia. Who knew?! If you know more about this delectable dish, let me know. Anyways, no matter the origin, it is a delicious dish that you definitely should try!

You can make a meat version of this but today's recipe is for vegetable chop suey. Convenient as I am vegetarian! Did I mention that before? I think one of the things I discovered as a vegetarian was that there were so many vegetarian and vegan dishes already in our cuisine. Just sitting right there. I also started appreciating vegetables more and the foods I did not like before. Still don't like pawpaw curry though. Sorry to all pawpaw curry lovers.

This dish is extremely versatile and simple to make. You can throw in whatever vegetables you have on hand or the veggies you like to eat. We typically use carrots, bell peppers, onions, celery and bok choy. These vegetables go well with the sauce. To start, wash and chop up veggies into large dices.



Prepare the sauce. Slice green onions for garnish.



Then start wok on high heat. Add oil. And start stir-frying the veggies. Start with the tougher veggies that take longer to cook. So start with the carrots and celery. Add half the onions for flavoring. Add garlic, ginger and chilis if using. Stir-fry these until half-cooked and slight browning occurs.



Then add the softer veggies like bell peppers bok choy and rest of the onions. Keep stir-frying.



Add sauce when bell-peppers start to brown slightly. Stir well. Let sauce bubble and thicken. Keep stirring.


Once sauce has thickened appropriately, remove from heat. You can adjust salt content at this point. This will depend on the soy sauce you use and how much the sauce has reduced. I prefer to use light soy sauce.



Garnish with sliced green onions. And there you have it! Mum's Easy Vegetable Chop Suey! Serve hot as is or enjoy over a bed of rice!



RECIPE

Serves 4

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes

Ingredients:

Vegetables:

1 carrot-large dice

1/2 red bell pepper-large dice

1/2 yellow bell pepper-large dice

2 celery sticks-large dice

10 stalks of bok choy- large slices

1 small onion-large dice

1 tbsp crushed ginger

1 tbsp crushed garlic

1 green Thai chili- sliced (optional)

1 green onion-sliced (optional)

2 tbsp of vegetable oil

Sauce:

2 cups water or broth of choice

2 tbsp corn starch

1 tbsp white vinegar

2 tsp sugar

1/4 cup light soy sauce

1/2 tsp black pepper

Dash of sesame oil

Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Prepare sauce. Set aside.

  2. Wash and prep vegetables.

  3. Heat oil on high. Add carrots, celery and half of the onions. Add crushed garlic, ginger and chilis if using. Stir-fry until slight browning occurs.

  4. Add rest of the vegetables. Stir-fry until these vegetables start to brown and bok choy starts to wilt.

  5. Add sauce mix. Let sauce boil and thicken.

  6. Remove from heat. Adjust salt content. Garnish with green onions if using.

  7. Serve hot over a bed of rice!


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