Vegan Beef Chop Suey is a fresh remake of a popular Chinese American comfort food that's fast, easy, and affordable. Made in one pan in under 20 minutes with stir-fried vegetables in a dark brown sauce, it's a tasty showcase for vegan beef strips.
Like my mother's recipe of the 1950s, it includes celery and bean sprouts and is served over fluffy white rice. If you want an even heartier dinner, it's scrumptious paired with whole-grain black rice.
Hold bean sprouts and green onions aside while stir-frying other ingredients. Then add all the bean sprouts and half the green onions just before removing the chop suey from the heat and garnish with the remaining green onions.
⭐ Why it works
- Fast weeknight dinner
- One pan recipe
- Crisp vegetables
- Tasty vegan beef strips
- Flavorful dark brown sauce
Are you the sort of cook that likes to get creative? Well, the name chop suey invites throwing together whatever is handy in the kitchen.
For example, you might like to switch up the peppers and mushrooms for water chestnuts or bamboo shoots.
However, I strongly encourage you to include bean sprouts, celery, and green onions if you make your own version. Trust me, they are key ingredients in this popular dish.
- Celery, bean sprouts, and green onions - Make sure they are fresh and crisp.
- Vegan beef strips - Homemade Seitan Beef or your favorite store brand.
- Mushrooms - King oyster mushrooms are firm and meaty.
- Cooking oil - Plain neutral-tasting oil.
The ingredients in this bold and deeply satisfying chop suey sauce are simple and easy to throw together. Happily, you don't need to grate or chop anything to make it.
- Soy sauce - Chinese dark soy sauce or tamari.
- Maple syrup - All-natural real maple syrup adds caramel sweetness and deepens flavors.
- White pepper - Fragrant, gentle heat with classic Asian taste.
- Arrowroot powder - Makes thick, glossy sauce. Substitute cornstarch if necessary.
👩🏻🍳 Homemade seitan beef
This recipe is a celebration of homemade vegan beef. It has all the savory, chewy, juicy qualities of meat strips but is made from scratch with washed flour seitan.
Plus, the seasoning broth that gives the seitan recipe its hearty flavor and brown color tastes remarkably like beef. You have to try it to believe it!
But I understand if you are impatient to try this old-fashioned chop suey recipe and don't have a cache of homemade seitan beef strips in the freezer.
The best substitutes are plant-based steak strips from the grocery store, teriyaki baked firm tofu, portabello mushroom strips, and the seasoned soy curls mentioned below.
As long as you select something that has a toothsome texture and you love the flavor, you're good to go.
I find it helpful to have all my stir fry ingredients sliced, and the sauce whisked together before starting to cook chop suey. That's because it comes together really fast, and it's handy to grab just what you need without interruption.
- Slice and measure pre-cooked vegan meat and raw vegetables.
- Whisk together the sauce ingredients.
- Stir fry onion, celery, peppers, mushrooms, and vegan beef strips in oil.
- Add sauce to thicken, and finally, bean sprouts and green onions.
- Soy Curls Beef Chop Suey - Substitute beef-flavored soy curls for seitan beef. To make seasoned soy curls, pour 1 cup of boiling vegan beef broth over 1 cup of dry soy curls. Soak for 10 minutes and drain off excess soaking liquid.
- Tofu "Chicken" Chop Suey - Substitute tofu chicken for seitan beef.
Chop suey is most often served over rice, but some people enjoy noodles with it as well. Both will soak up the saucy chop suey marvelously. So, feel free to cook up the side dish that suits your taste and schedule.
Whether you choose rice or noodles, I think it makes a difference if they are steaming hot at serving time. Then, when you place your sizzling pan of vegan beef chop suey at the center of the table next to your rice or noodles, you are guaranteed a hot meal at its very best.
👩🏻🍳 Expert tips
- Prep all the vegetables and slice vegan beef up to 3 days before cooking chop suey.
- Use homemade vegan beef strips or recipe-ready vegan meat strips from the store.
- Undercook vegetables to keep them crisp. They will continue to cook when the sauce thickens.
- Whisk the sauce a second time just before adding it to the cooked vegetables.
- The sauce is extra thick when first cooked and thins to the perfect consistency when bean sprouts release juices.
- Don't add the bean sprouts and green onions until everything else is cooked. The bean sprouts will wilt even after the pan is removed from the heat.
- Hold half the green onions aside to sprinkle over the top of beef chop suey at the table.
Vegan meats are made from all plant-based ingredients and are designed to have the flavor and texture of various types of meat. The primary ingredients are typically wheat protein and/or legumes like soybeans and pea protein. Seasonings, starch, and oil are added to some to achieve the chewiness and fat found in meat. A wide variety of products are available on the market, and reading labels carefully helps to find the ingredients you prefer. Vegan meat can also be made at home with whole foods like soy curls, tofu, mushrooms, jackfruit, chickpeas, tempeh, and homemade seitan.
Chow mein is an authentic Northern Chinese noodle dish with cultural roots. Noodles, vegetables, and meat are stir-fried together with traditional seasonings in a thin sauce. Chop Suey is a dish that became popularized in U.S. households and Chinese American restaurants after the gold rush. Vegetables and meat are cooked in a thickened sauce without noodles, and it's typically served over rice. Chop suey often includes bean sprouts and celery but has a history of being made with vegetables on hand. Thus, it's a convenient, adjustable recipe.
🍝 More Easy Weeknight recipes
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Vegan Beef Chop Suey
- 4 TB water
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 TB maple syrup
- 4 tsp. arrowroot
- ¼ tsp. white pepper, to taste
- 2 TB plain neutral-tasting oil
- 1 cup sliced yellow onion
- 2 cups celery, sliced diagonally
- ½ cup red pepper, sliced in ¼ inch strips
- ½ cup green pepper, sliced in ¼ inch strips
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 ½ cups homemade seitan beef strips or store-bought vegan beef strips
- 10 oz. bean sprouts, about 5 cups
- 1 cup sliced green onions
- Whisk 4 TB water, ¼ cup soy sauce, 2 TB maple syrup, 4 tsp. arrowroot and ¼ tsp. white pepper, to taste together in a small bowl.
Stir fry chop suey
- Heat 2 TB plain neutral-tasting oil in a large shallow skillet or wok over medium-high heat until shimmering.
- Add 1 cup sliced yellow onion and 2 cups celery, sliced diagonally, and quickly fry while stirring until they begin to soften. Add ½ cup red pepper, sliced in ¼ inch strips, ½ cup green pepper, sliced in ¼ inch strips, 1 cup sliced mushrooms, and 1 ½ cups homemade seitan beef strips . Stir to coat with oil. Don't cook for more than a minute or two.
- Whisk the sauce a second time. Add sauce to skillet and stir while it thickens, scraping the bottom of the pan. The sauce will be thick at first, but thins when bean sprouts release their juice.
- Add 10 oz. bean sprouts, about 5 cups, and half of 1 cup sliced green onions and stir to wilt. Remove immediately from heat. Stir chop suey to mix well with sauce as it thins.
- Sprinkle remaining green onions over the top of the chop suey and serve with hot steamed rice or noodles.
- Vegan beef chop suey is best eaten right away, but left-overs will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for 5 days.