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Dish of the Week: chop suey

Written by Food

Chop suey is a quick and easy to make dish popular in the Filipino culture. It was introduced by the Chinese and has been adapted in other countries. The meal traditionally consists of meat and tender-crisp vegetables, and is bounded with a starch-thickened, flavourful sauce.  

Having the delicacy predominantly made with meat is very frustrating for vegetarians. However, there can easy alternatives to deal with this frustration, that can satisfy your cravings.

Ingredients (serves 4): 2 cloves of diced garlic, 1 small onion (thinly sliced), 100g baby button mushrooms, 1 broccoli (cut into florets), 1 red bell pepper (long strips), 150g mangetout, 130g young corn, 2 medium-sized carrots (cut into round slices), 200g Quorn mince, 180g stir fry sauce, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Fill a bowl halfway with ice and add 2 cups of water. Add a half teaspoon of salt to the water. Set aside.
  2. Boil 3 cups of salted water in a saucepan. Add broccoli and young corn and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and submerge it into the ice bath. Add carrots to the boiling water for 1 minute and plunge it to the bowl of ice. Add the remaining vegetables for approximately 30 seconds or until half done. Add them with the rest of the vegetables in the ice bath. This can help retain the freshness and the colour of the vegetables.
  3. Reserve ½ cup of the boiled water. This can be used as a vegetable stock. Once the vegetables from the ice bath are cold, drain them.
  4. Heat the skillet over medium heat, add a one teaspoon of oil. Sauté garlic and onions until softened.
  5. Add the Quorn mince until it is medium brown. Mix it with the stir fry sauce until it is incorporated well.
  6. Add a cup of vegetable stock. Bring it to boil.
  7. Add the parboiled vegetables and stir. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes to a simmer.
  8. In a small bowl, stir cornstarch with a small amount of cold water until it is well dissolved. Add to the skillet until it is lightly thickened.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This meal can be served in either hot or cold conditions, with rice or noodles. The vegetables here provide a wide range of textures; from the crunchiness of the carrots and the tenderness of the bell peppers. The vegetables can also be easily adapted with the seasons. For example, cabbages and spinach for the winter, whereas corn and green beans for the summer. Though, vegetables with bright colours will make it more appetising and appealing. Sweet chilli or soy sauce could be added for an extra kick.

Last modified: 3rd December 2019

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