Chop Suey


It has been more than three years since I wrote a note. I blogged a lot in the mid-aughts, but then acquiesced to the reality that when it comes to writing, I am my biggest and main fan. However, tonight I have a perfectly good reason to write a note. There’s too much snow on the ground, my daily chores are done, and I had a good success in the kitchen this evening. I made chop suey (almost) from scratch, and did it in less than an hour. I know it was a success because Stephen asked for a second helping, albeit smaller.

Some of you know I love to cook. Tonight’s recipe would be hell to make without a number of essential cooking tools. You will need a chef’s knife, a boning knife, a paring knife, a peeler, a good, big cutting board (I use bamboo), a wok or large stainless-steel frying pan, a bamboo steamer. And if you don’t have exactly these ingredients, not to worry, just use up what is in your crisper.

Also, even though I list these things in sequence, if you do them one at a time, the meal will take two hours to make. Start one process and then go on to the next one.

Bone a large chicken breast and chop the meat into 3/4 inch cubes. (If you have the time you can make the chicken broth for the rice by cooking the bone part.)

Cook 1/2 cup white rice in 1 cup of water, 1 tsp. chicken bouillion until done, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

Make up a cup of braising sauce from 1 cup water, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, and 1 tbsp. brown sugar, and 1 1/2 tbsp. corn starch. You will need to stir it well once again before you add it to the stir-fry.

Steam a melange of veggies in a steamer for 7 minutes, rinse modestly and set aside.

  • 2 stalks celery, cut on the diagonal in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, cut similarly
  • 1 cup of chopped purple cabbage
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped.

Add to the steamed veggies 1 5 oz. net of water chestnuts. (You maybe should steam the green pepper less, too.)

Cook and season the meat: In a large frying pan put 1 tbsp. peanut oil and 1 tbsp. dark sesame oil, heat to cooking temperature. Chop 1/4 of a medium onion, and mince one clove garlic and one small piece of fresh ginger (peeled). Add the seasonings and the cubed chicken and stir fry until the chicken is just done.

Add to the cooked chicken mixture the steamed veggies and stir-fry to reheat for a few minutes. Add the braising sauce (stirred up) and stir-fry until the sauce thickens.

Serve the chop suey over rice on a large plate.

I shoulda took a picture, but this is good. Add more soy at the table as you wish.

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Author: Jim Andris

Retired gay married early adopter. Cooking, cleaning, fixing. Makes good music occasionally; U name it. Churchy dude. Likes to think about things, too much, sometimes. Dump Trump. Trying not to do too much harm. Revisiting blogging. Looking for a new handle on things. Exploring genderqueer.