Filipino Chop Suey

chop suey
As I always say, some of the best food around is made right at home! There are many fabulous restaurants in the Bacolod Area and we have our favorites. We also enjoy trying one of the many new restaurants that seem to constantly be opening in our area. Someone asked recently, “Which products are missing from the Philippines?” Everyone seems to have some obscure request that is not available in the Islands of Paradise and it is true that there are many foreign food items that you will not find here. However, with the passing of time, that list is growing smaller everyday.

What is Filipino Chop Suey?

The Chinese translation of chop suey is “assorted pieces.” Originally, Chop Suey is a Chinese-American dish but in the Philippines, Filipinos have added their own version. Chop suey is certainly not new, as I remember my mom making it when I was growing up in the 1960s in the USA. I remember my mom used La Choy brand Soy Sauce! And she always added fried chow mein noodles.

Someone once said that the sky is the limit when making chop suey! There are so many thousands of different chop suey recipes, so you are only limited by your imagination as to your personal favorite chop suey dish. Usually, chicken, pork, beef, prawns, fish balls or other seafood are added, either alone or in combination. Among the popular vegetables  added to chop suey are cabbage, bean sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, okra and celery. Please do not forget one key ingredient in making chop suey and that is corn starch. If you use okra in your chop suey, this thicken the dish even more.

Sesame oil, oyster sauce, fish sauce and soy sauce are among people’s favorite additions to chop suey. Do not be afraid to experiment, as it is not easy to mess up when making chop suey! You can also add onions, garlic, green onions or even ginger for that matter.

You can cook all the chop suey ingredients in one wok or one skillet but it is best to add the cauliflower, broccoli and snow peas last, as not to overcook and keep them with crunch. Broth will add to flavor when boiling but spiced water will work, too. Add your favorite spices to the water. I found it best to saute the garlic and onions, together with the meat or seafood first, before adding the remaining ingredients and letting them boil for about 10-15 minutes.

In the cover photo of my article, prawns, cauliflower, snow peas, red bell peppers and quail eggs stand out. This is by far our most popular recipe at home for making chop suey.

You now have the basic idea how to make chop suey, so let your imagination run wild and kick it up a few notches! If you come up with a great innovated chop suey, please let us know on All Around Bacolod!