Chicken Chop Suey

Chicken Chop Suey

beans1The bean sprout: garnish of many dishes, master of none. Well, that’s not exactly true, but it was often the case in my household. My encounters with the bean sprout typically followed the same chain of events:

  • Boyfriend makes his amazing pho.
  • I whine, “pho isn’t pho without bean sprouts.”
  • Bean sprouts are purchased and a small amount is enjoyed with pho.
  • The leftovers are stored in the fridge where they site until the sight of them triggers my gag reflex.

It’s a gross, wasteful cycle.

Chicken Chop Suey - Mise en Place

Now, if you’re like me, and your guilt complex has full control of your life, my tale of festering bean sprouts probably made you cringe…

I cringed writing it… I cringed living it!

There was no way this cycle could continue, I had to find a way to tame my sprout-related guilt and that was only going to happen in one of two ways:

  1. I kiss my beloved bean sprouts goodbye and only consume them in restaurants with enough customer turnover to avoid a horrendous amount of food waste, OR
  2. I find a dish that could wipe out all my leftover sprouts in one fallow swoop.

Naturally, I chose the later, because my boyfriend’s pho is bitchin’ and, as I said before, pho isn’t pho without bean sprouts. With my decision made, I set out to find a dish riddled with bean sprouts only to realize the answer to my present problem was in my past.

Chicken Chop Suey Recipe

You know those moments when something happens and you think to yourself, “My god! Mom was right! I should totally listen to her more,”? Well, my eureka moment was one of those moments. I realized my mother had been combating the extremely perishable nature of bean sprouts throughout my childhood. She’d cook her way out of sprout-excess by whipping up a batch of Chop Suey. I had never noticed the practical application of this dish because it was so dang delicious!

Chicken Chop Suey Recipe

Although my journey to a fridge free of rotting bean sprouts is not the stuff of epics, it does end with this tasty recipe. My Chicken Chop Suey is very much a choose-your-own-adventure kind of dish; make any substitutions you wish, just be sure to add heartier vegetables to the wok first and the more delicate varieties last. You may notice I added a bit of a Thai influence with the addition of peanuts and red chilies. Again, this is your adventure, feel free to omit them if you’re after an experience with a little less heat. And last but not least, something called mushroom powder is listed below.

Mushroom powder is something I started making a while back, and I use the word “making” very loosely. Mushroom powder is simply a pack of dried shiitake mushrooms ground up in a spice mill or a food processor. I store mushroom power in a mason jar in my spice cupboard and I have never had a batch go bad on me, but I do tend to go through it quickly.

Chicken Chop Suey Recipe

 

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Chicken Chop Suey

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

    Chicken Marinade
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Chop Suey
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 (3-inch) knob of ginger, julienned
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, quartered and sliced
  • 1 (230 ml) can of sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 3 cups bean sprouts
  • Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried mushroom powder
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Place chicken and cornstarch in a medium-sized mixing bowl and toss to coat. Add soy sauce, sriracha, honey, and sesame oil to the chicken and toss to combine. Leave chicken to marinate while prepping the veggies.
  2. Heat canola oil over medium high heat in a large wok. Add chicken and saute for 5-6 minutes or until barely done. Place cooked chicken on a plate and set aside.
  3. Add onions to the wok and saute for 5 minutes or until fragrant. Add ginger and garlic, and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  4. Add mushrooms, peppers and water chestnuts and saute for 5-7 minutes. Do not overcook the veggies - they should be tender but still have a good bite.
  5. While the veggies are cooking, combine all of the sauce ingredients - except for the water and the cornstarch - in a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk together water and cornstarch to form a slurry. Set aside.
  7. Finally, add the bean sprouts to the wok and give the veggies a quick toss. Pour the soy sauce and sherry mixture over the veggies, followed by the cornstarch mixture. Saute the chop suey until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  8. Take the Chop Suey off the heat and serve immediately with brown rice. Garnish with sliced red chilies and chopped peanuts, if desired.
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