A classic and hugely popular Filipino recipe, Chopsuey is a stir-fry dish made of mixed vegetables in a thickened and perfectly seasoned white or light brown sauce with meat like pork, chicken, and shrimp added to make it substantial. Serve with rice for a tasty, wholesome and complete meal!
Greetings from Manila! In case you’re wondering, I am in the Philippines right now. I am on an extended vacation here after such a hectic 2018 and 2019! My body, brains and soul needed some relief and it’s been wonderful so far. By God’s grace, I’m able to refresh here and most of all able to enjoy the company of my parents who both turned 80 last year. I wanted to spend some good quality moments with them while I can and while they are still healthy because I don’t often see them. These vacation moments are perfect just for that!
That explains my spotty presence in the blog for the last couple of months. But now, I’m slowly easing myself back to blogging with a favorite dish from the Philippines – favorite and popular Chopsuey! If you ask any member of my family what their favorite vegetable dish is the answer would be a resounding – Chopsuey! And why not? It’s not only packed with fresh vegetables (any kind that’s available in your fridge!) it also has some meat (so it’s a hearty dish) and it’s all smothered in a thickened sauce that’s seasoned to perfection. Most of all, it’s super quick to make as it’s essentially a stir-fry because it’s highly influenced by the Chinese style of cooking.
In this recipe, I will show you how it’s made in the Philippines! As you can see, it’s different from the American chopsuey which has ground meat and pasta or noodles. Maybe, we’ll leave that version for another post, ok?
Some Chopsuey sauces are colored white and look clear while others are brownish in color. This is due to the difference in the seasoning used and the amount added as well. For mine, I chose to use oyster sauce and flavored my diluted cornstarch with a bit of fish sauce so the color is darker. The ones with a lighter sauce usually use just a tiny bit of soy sauce and perhaps more salt so the color remains whitish. But there’s no right or wrong here, you can choose the seasoning you like and adjust it to your tastebud’s preferences! That’s what matters, right?
The addition of a few drops of toasted sesame oil brings this dish from simply tasty to totally delicious so don’t skimp on it if you are able to get it.
Lastly, there’s no right or wrong as to the kind of vegetables you should use. Use the recipe and photos above as example but use what you have available in the fridge. And that’s the beauty and versatility of this dish, you can use whatever veggies need using up (no wastage!) and, as for the meat, you can opt for pork, chicken or shrimp and even go fully vegetarian! So next time you wonder what to make in your kitchen for dinner and you have an odd combination of vegetables, then give this popular Filipino stir-fry a try. I promise you’ll enjoy this!
How to Cook Chopsuey
A classic and hugely popular Filipino recipe, Chopsuey is a stir-fry dish made of mixed vegetables in a thickened and perfectly seasoned white or light brown sauce with meat like pork, chicken and shrimp added to make it substantial. Serve with rice for a tasty, wholesome and complete meal!
- 1 tbsp fish sauce or soy sauce
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1 onion
- 1 cup carrots, sliced thinly
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1 cup cauliflower
- 1 cup young corn, sliced diagonally
- 2 cups water or chicken broth
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce, or to taste
- 2 cups cabbage, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- A few drops toasted sesame oil,
In a small bowl combine the cold water and cornstarch. Season with fish sauce or soy sauce and sugar. Set aside.
Heat oil to medium in a large wok or deep skillet. Sauté the garlic briefly just until its aromatic and has turned light brown in color. Add onion and continue to stir-fry for another minute. Add the chicken and cook until the chicken turns white.
Add the carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and young corn. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the water or chicken broth. Give it a quick stir. Season with oyster sauce. Cover the wok or skillet and allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes or just until the vegetables are crisp-tender (not mushy). Uncover and dd the cabbage and bell pepper and cook just until the cabbage wilts.
Add the seasoned cornstarch to the mix. Cook just until the sauce thickens to your liking. Season with a little salt and pepper, to taste. Turn-off heat and drizzle with a few drops of sesame oil. Serve immediately with rice.