This incredibly delicious and quick Vegan Chop Suey is a SAUCY vegan chicken stir fry loaded with tons of veggies and flavor. Healthy but tastes better than takeout, this dish is perfect for an easy dinner and makes enough for leftovers to take to work or school the next day.
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Hey Internet, I love stir fry--it's such a good way to use up a bunch of veggies in your fridge, but it’s also healthy, delicious, and quick to make.
This is a somewhat Americanized, Chinese-inspired dish. It’s more like what you might find at an Chinese restaurant in the US. But, it’s food that I grew up loving and I love to recreate those recipes at home and according to my vegan lifestyle.
If you’re looking for vegan Chinese food, you’ve honestly come to the right place because I’ve made a ton of them, such as vegan General Tso’s, vegan orange chicken, vegan beef and broccoli, vegan kung pao, veggie lo mein, vegan garlic noodles and vegan Chinese curry. Whoo, winded.
Anyway, today we’re talking about my vegan chop suey because it’s my latest obsession.
Aside from getting System of a Down stuck in my head all over again, it’s actually a really easy and satisfying meal.
I mentioned above that it’s great for cleaning out the fridge because you can really use any veggies that you like. I tried to go for authentic-ish veggies here, but I also worked with what I had.
The protein in this dish is soy curls, one of my favorite chicken replacements. But of course, you’re welcome to use another protein like super firm tofu, beans, seitan chunks, or nothing at all.
Finally, this recipe is SAUCY, meaning that there’s a lot of this light brown, super flavorful, somewhat thick sauce that sticks to the veggies and whatever you serve it with, like noodles or in my case rice.
What You’ll Need
- Soy curls: Any protein (super firm tofu, seitan, beans, etc.) is fine here, but soy curls really have that nice texture and stir-fried chicken taste/feel that Chinese takeout chicken generally has. We rehydrate the soy curls in broth for more flavor, and they’ll also absorb the flavors from the stir fry sauce.
- Vegan chicken broth: This will help flavor the soy curls as “chicken” while rehydrating them. I personally love Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base as it keeps better and is more economical than carton vegan chicken broth. You can absolutely use prepared vegan chicken broth or even just vegetable broth (I would use a little poultry seasoning if you do this).
- A variety of veggies: I used a lot of different veggies here including: white onion, green onion, garlic, baby bok choy, carrots, bean sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, and red bell peppers. Use whatever veggies you like.
- Soy sauce: The main component of the stir fry sauce is reduced sodium soy sauce. Personally, regular soy sauce is too salty for me so I like the lighter kind but use what you like. Similarly, if you’re gluten-free, you can use gluten-free tamari. If soy-free, you’ll want to avoid the soy curls, and you can use either Coconut Aminos or No Soy instead of the soy sauce.
- Shaoxing Wine (Chinese Cooking Wine): This is really for authentic flavor, as it’s widely used in Chinese cooking. It’s unlike any wine you’d drink--it’s only for cooking. You can find it in Asian groceries, but also some online shops carry shaoxing wine. If you can’t find it, the closest substitutes are mirin or dry sherry. If you’d prefer not to use alcohol, substitute rice vinegar (same amount).
- Hoisin: Hoisin is a delicious sauce that we’re using in place of fish sauce. Some Asian grocery stores actually sell vegan fish sauce, or vegan oyster sauce that will work here. If you can find a mushroom sauce, that will also work. If you can’t find any of these, simply substitute a little more soy sauce and a pinch of sugar.
- Arrowroot powder or cornstarch: This just helps thicken the sauce.
How to Make Vegan Chop Suey
- Start by adding your soy curls to a large bowl and covering them with the vegan chicken broth. Press down lightly and leave to absorb. They won’t absorb all the liquid but we want them to absorb as much as we can. Don’t discard the excess liquid--we’ll use some of it in the sauce.
- Now heat a large nonstick pot or wok over medium high heat. You may use a little high heat neutral oil if you like or just use water or broth to cook the veggies, just adding a tablespoon at a time to keep them from sticking or burning. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions are slightly translucent.
- Now add the garlic and the white parts of the green onions and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots, and stems of the baby bok choy. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Now drain the soy curls but reserve the liquid. Add the soy curls into the pot, stir well, and leave to cook undisturbed for about 3 minutes. Then stir.
- In a small bowl or measuring cup (a family habit I just can’t break), whisk together the soy sauce, shaoxing wine, hoisin, water, and ½ cup of the leftover vegan chicken broth (from the soy curls bowl). Now whisk in the arrowroot powder/cornstarch until no lumps remain).
- Pour the mixture into the pot and stir constantly for a minute or two until it thickens. If you want it thicker, add a teaspoon of cornstarch to 2 tablespoons of water and mix that separately, then add it to the pot. If you want it thinner, add back a little more vegan chicken broth or water.
- Add in the bean sprouts, baby bok choy leaves, and most of the green parts of your green onions. Stir well and cook for 1 minute just to heat everything up.
- Serve with cooked rice or noodles and garnish with remaining green onions. Enjoy!
- Refrigerate leftover vegan chop suey separate from rice in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
More Vegan Asian-Inspired Dishes
I shouldn’t actually say “Asian-inspired” because it lumps so many varied cultures and countries into one term, but I do have a fair amount of Chinese-inspired and other countries from Asia-inspired (not sure how to say that, sorry) veganized dishes that you might like if you liked this vegan chop suey.
Here’s my absolute faves:
- Vegan Drunken Noodles
- Vegan General Tso’s Chicken
- Garlic Noodles
- Bang Bang Tofu
- Tofu Adobo
- Vegan Orange Chicken
- Tofu Poke Bowl
- Vegan Beef and Broccoli
- Vegan Kung Pao Chicken
- Veggie Lo Mein (only takes 15 minutes!)
- Vegan Teriyaki Chicken with optional Brussels sprouts
- Vegan Teriyaki Cauliflower Wings (more like Chinese takeout and American fusion)
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too.
This is our new favorite weeknight dish, partially because it’s so dang delicious I get picking pieces out of the pot while we were photographing it and eating them. Oops. But also because it’s so easy to make.
This vegan chop suey is:
- Nutrient dense (all those veggies!)
- Quick to make
- And oh so delicious!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!