Chop Suey is a Chinese dish that Jamaicans adapted to mirror more of our traditional flavors. Jamaican Chicken Chop Suey is basically a stir fry with Jamaican stew chicken at the base. If you are looking to find healthier meals, it’s a great option. Read the notes below to get the specifics on this wholesome healthy dish.
You can use boneless skinless chicken breasts or boneless skinless thighs for this dish. My grandmother actually always made this with the whole chicken – skin and bones and all. We are used to eating chicken that way in the Caribbean but this dish is far easier to eat with boneless chicken.
Use all of your favorite vegetables in this dish if you want. Traditionally the vegetables used in this dish are Bok Choy, carrots, cabbage, sugar snap peas and green bell peppers. You can add broccoli, corn, green beans or cauliflower to this dish as well if you wish. A key step in this recipe is to prep the vegetables ahead of cooking time as they all go in at the same time. You don’t want to be cutting vegetables after you have started this dish as it is a very quick meal.
While you can add them, you don’t need sides with this dish. In Jamaica, we enjoy this with steamed white rice. You can have this with white or brown rice, cauliflower rice, toasty bread or dumplings.
I cook the chicken partially first in Jamaican Chicken Chop Suey and then add the vegetables towards the end of cooking time. I actually want the vegetables to retain some of the crunch. I also don’t want to overcook the chicken. The total cook time on this is about 25 minutes. You can’t beat that!.
- 1-1 ½ pounds chicken tenderloins
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- ½ medium white onion, small diced
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- ½ medium green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 cups sliced green cabbage
- 1 cup sliced bok choy
- 2 medium carrots, julienned
- 1 tsp chopped scotch bonnet peppers
- 1 cup sugar snap peas
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp chicken seasoning
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp gravy master
- 1 tbsp fish and meat sauce or 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
- Salt to taste
- Clean and cut chicken thinly in about ½ inch slices. Season chicken with onions, scallions, garlic, scotch bonnets, chicken seasoning, paprika, and gravy master. Use a spoon to mix the seasonings well with the chicken until they are incorporated and the chicken is evenly coated in the spices. Set the chicken aside to marinate for 30 minutes or more. *This is great to do ahead of cooking so the chicken has more time to marinate.
- In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot and slightly smoky, add chicken to the pan. Cook chicken uncovered for 10-12 minutes. (If you are using bone-in chicken, the cook time will be longer.) There is no need to add water to the pan. The chicken will produce its own juices. Stir occasionally to prevent the chicken from sticking. Right before adding the vegetables, add the fish and meat sauce (pickapeppa sauce) and ketchup and stir to combine. The chicken will look like it needs more water. Do not add any. The vegetables you will add next will render a good amount of water.
- After 12 minutes, add the snap peas to the pan and allow them to cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the other vegetables. Add the green peppers, carrots, bok choy and cabbage once the peas become bright green.
- Use tongs or a large spoon to turn the vegetables until they are all coated in the sauce. Add thyme and allow the vegetables to cook uncovered for an additional 10 minutes until they begin to break down and render liquid. You may cook the vegetables longer to the desired doneness you like. I prefer the vegetables to have a bit of a bite and not be too soft. Taste the sauce for salt and add if necessary. Serve hot with rice.