Pork Chop Suey
There are no hard-and-fast rules for how to make chop suey. Feel free to make substitutions using whatever vegetables you have on hand.
INGREDIENTS | SERVES 3 to 4
- ¾ pound lean pork
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce, divided
- 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
- Black pepper to taste
- 3½ teaspoons cornstarch, divided
- ⅓ cup chicken broth
- 3½ tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil, or as needed, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 thin slices ginger, chopped
- ½ onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, cut on the diagonal into ½-inch slices
- 4 ounces snow peas, trimmed
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized chunks
Cut the pork into thin strips and place in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, rice wine or dry sherry, black pepper, and 1½ teaspoons cornstarch. Marinate the pork for 20 minutes.
Combine the chicken broth and 2 tablespoons oyster sauce in a small bowl and whisk in 2 teaspoons cornstarch.
Heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat until it is nearly smoking and add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic. Stir-fry for 10 seconds, then add the pork. Let sit for a minute, then stir-fry until the pork is no longer pink and is nearly cooked through. Remove the pork from the pan and drain in a colander or on paper towels.
Heat 1½ tablespoons oil in the wok or skillet. When the oil is hot, add the ginger. Stir-fry for 10 seconds, then add the onion and the celery. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes or until the onion is softened. Add the snow peas and the bell pepper. Stir-fry until the vegetables are tender but still crisp, adding more oil if needed.
Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan. Add the sauce in the middle, stirring continually to thicken. When the sauce has thickened, add the pork back into the pan. Stir-fry for 2 more minutes to mix everything together and make sure the pork is cooked through. Serve hot.
Chop Suey History
There are several legends surrounding the origins of this popular American-Chinese dish. Some credit the chef of a visiting Chinese dignitary with creating the dish in the late 1800s. Others believe the idea of stir-frying bits of meat and vegetables in a flavorful gravy began with early Cantonese immigrants who came to North America to work on the railroads.