Tender chicken, celery, and bean sprouts combine in this delicious dish. It will remind you of takeout at your favorite restaurant!
This dish goes by many names but the most common are chicken subgum chow mein or chicken chop suey. Whatever you call it a version of this is a staple at many Chinese restaurants across the country. It is loaded with crunchy vegetables and tender chicken held together in a slightly thickened sauce that is served over crunchy noodles or cooked rice. Yum!
Chicken chop suey is easy to make at home and is ready in about half an hour. Let’s get started!
Ingredients for Chicken Chop Suey
Chicken chop suey has 10 ingredients:
Chicken – I prefer chicken thighs in this recipe because they stay tender and add a lot of flavor to the dish. Chicken breasts will also work well.
Celery – You will need a whole bunch of celery. It sounds like a lot but it is the foundation of the dish.
Onion – A white onion or yellow onion is best (not red or purple) so it does not change the color of the sauce.
Bean sprouts – Fresh or canned bean sprouts are okay to use here. Fresh bean sprouts usually stay a little crunchier so that is what I usually use. Today I am using canned because the fresh bean sprouts at the store did not look very fresh 🙂 Use whatever you prefer!
Soy sauce – This helps to flavor the sauce. I use regular soy sauce here.
Cornstarch – This is used to thicken the sauce. You can use more or less depending on how thick you want the sauce to be.
Also needed: salt, sugar, water, and cooking oil.
How to Make Chicken Chop Suey
Step 1: Prepare the ingredients
Chicken chop suey cooks pretty quickly so you want to have all of your ingredients ready to go. Start by washing and chopping all of the vegetables and cutting up the chicken. Set this aside for now.
Step 2: Prepare the sauce
Stir the 1/3 cup water, cornstarch, soy sauce, and sugar together in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. Set this aside.
Step 3: Cook the chicken and onion
It’s time to start cooking! Add a little oil to a hot pan and add the chicken and chopped onion. Cook it until the chicken is done and the onion is tender.
Step 4: Stir in the celery, water, and salt
Stir in the celery, 1 cup water, and salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for a few minutes or until celery is crisp-tender. Watch the celery carefully here because it goes from perfect to overcooked rather quickly.
Step 5: Add in the bean sprouts
If you are using canned bean sprouts, simply stir them in and proceed directly to the next step.
If you are using fresh bean sprouts stir them in and cover then pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until they soften up a bit before proceeding.
Step 6: Add in the sauce
Add in the reserved sauce mixture and cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Taste the chop suey and add in a little additional salt or soy sauce if needed. The chop suey is now ready to serve!
Serve the chicken chop suey with crunchy noodles or fried rice. Enjoy!
Chicken Chop Suey
For the sauce:
- ⅓ cup water
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
For the chop suey:
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 pound chicken , cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 bunch celery, chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 can bean sprouts, drained (14 oz)
- Stir all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet and add in the chicken and onion. Cook until the chicken is done and the onion is tender.
- Stir in the celery, 1 cup water, and salt. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for a few minutes or until the celery is crisp-tender.
- Stir in the bean sprouts and reserved sauce. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.
- Taste the chop suey and add additional salt or soy sauce if needed. Serve hot with rice or crispy noodles. Enjoy!
- Fresh bean sprouts may also be used instead of canned. Add them in after the celery and cook for a few minutes or until they start to soften. Add in the sauce and proceed as directed by the recipe.
- One of the great things about this dish is that you can add in whatever vegetables you like. Water chestnuts, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots are delicious additions!