This recipe for chicken chop suey comes from cookbook author Deh-ta Hsiung, who writes that it is "the classical 'Chicken Chop Suey' dish that heralded Chinese food to the western world at the end of the nineteenth century..." - it is rather amazing to think that one of the world's greatest cuisines should have been represented by a dish that did not even originate in China itself, but thousands of miles away in San Francisco, USA!
- For the Seasoned Vegetable Oil:
- 1 pint vegetable oil
- 2 to 3 small pieces ginger root
- For the Chop Suey:
- 4 to 6 ounces chicken (thinly shredded)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 egg white
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch paste (1 part cornflour with 1.2 parts cold water)
- 1/2 pint seasoned vegetable oil
- 4 drops sesame oil
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (thinly shredded)
- 3 to 4 spring onions (thinly shredded)
- 4 to 6 ounces bean sprouts
- 1 small green pepper (cored, seeded, and thinly shredded)
- 1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon rice wine (Chinese)
- 2 tablespoons stock (chicken or vegetable)
- Optional: 1 pinch MSG
Make the Seasoned Vegetable Oil
Gather the ingredients.
Pour about 1 pint vegetable oil into a pre-heated wok or saucepan over a high heat.
Add 2 to 3 small pieces of ginger root.
In a few minutes, the ginger pieces should rise to the surface.
Now watch the color of the ginger; when it turns from pale yellow to dark brown, turn off the heat and let the oil cool down a little before removing the ginger pieces.
Store the seasoned oil in a container.
Make the Chop Suey
Gather the ingredients.
Mix the shredded chicken with a pinch of the salt, the egg white, and about 1 teaspoon cornflour/cornstarch paste.
Blanch them in warm oil and stir to separate.
Then remove and drain them.
Pour off the excess oil, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the wok.
Add the ginger, spring onions, bean sprouts, and green pepper, and stir-fry for about 1 minute.
Mix in the salt and the sugar, and blend well.
Place the chicken back in, along with the soy sauce and rice wine, and stir-fry for another minute.
Then add the stock and MSG, if using.
Thicken the gravy with the remaining corn-flour paste.
Garnish with the sesame oil, and serve hot.
Reprinted with permission from "Chinese Cookery Secrets: How to Cook Chinese Restaurant Food at Home," by Deh-Ta Hsiung. Published by Elliot Right Way Books