Chinese Chop Suey with the whole family

By Daniela

We were inspired by Daniela’s wonderful blog (mammagiramondo) to  travel and play and since whenever we travel our focus is mostly on local food  we decided to share with you a quick and easy recipe for Chinese Chop Suey.

Chop Suey is a dish cooked up in the late nineteenth century by Chinese immigrants in the U.S.

The literal meaning  of  Chop Suey is “a bit of this, a  bit of that”, which is exactly what the poor Chinese cook who had recently emigrated to the States had to hand that day.

This dish reminded me of those lazy summer evenings in Sicily when Nino, an excellent vegetarian cook, prepared delicacies with whatever he could find in the kitchen. These impromptu creations were called with the exotic name of “Soccuciaiu”, which is Sicilian for “whatever I’ve got.”

The beauty of Chop Suey,  is that it is prepared in a flash and that you can add whichever vegetables you  like – which is exactly what my daughter did when she was given the task of picking the ingredients for this one (truly, a chef in the making).

After a supermarket run and some chopping here’s our creation:

Prawn and vegetables Chop Suey

Ingredients for 4 people:

2-3 tbs olive oil; 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced; 2 cloves of garlic, chopped;  1 / 2 a cup of water; 450 grams of cooked prawns, peeled; 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced; 7 baby corn, cut into diagonal pieces; 100 gr of snow peas, 250 gr of chopped mushrooms.

Ingredients for the sauce: 1 tbs of soy sauce, 1 tbs of sesame seed oil, 1 teaspoon of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of sugar


Heat  the oil in a pan (use a wok if you have one) and fry the garlic and onion over a medium heat. Add the carrots, baby corn, mushrooms and snow peas. Stir-fry for 1 minute.

Finally, add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the sauce: Mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch and sugar in a small bowl.

Pour  1 / 2 a cup of water in the wok and bring to a boil.

Now add the sauce to the wok and stir until it thickens. There should be no need to add salt,  the soy sauce should be enough. Remember that vegetables, much to the happiness of vitamins, should remain crisp.

Serve with white plain long grain rice.

And if you don’t have some ingredients on hand  just create your own recipe with what you have in the fridge. So go-ahead and experiment with chicken, beef, pork, or tofu for vegetarians , seitan, etc. …


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  1. Ma è delizioso! Sono affascinata da questa ricetta, mi ispira moltissimo, grazie! 🙂

  2. Grazie a te mammafelice! E poi vedrai, si prepara in un battibaleno!

  3. Un’ottima idea per svuotare il frigo di soccociaiu…

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