How To Make: Vegetarian Chop Suey
For The Vegetarians
Before you say anything, let's not make the assumption that just we are taking meat out of the equation that any nunce can make a 4-star vegetarian dish. I am not a vegetarian but I can vouch for the veg - readers out there that they do not live exclusively on salads. There are lots of green, sans-flesh options that still involve heat, steam and a level of flavor that a quarter pound of iceberg lettuce & Hidden Valley Ranch will never be able to deliver on. Today, I am going to give you one of them.
For the carnivors out there, quit your bellyaching - it's one recipe. I'll be back to giving you guys mind-blowing honey ideas that DO involve dead, burned pig soon enough. Besides, I'm here to tell you, moderation is actually a good thing for you, Mr. PhillyCheeseSteakForBreakfast Johnson. You could probably use some fiber to blow out the lines.
Now, everyone knows that Chop Suey was invented in China. We klnow this because you believe everything you read - WRONG!!!!! It was actually whipped up by the executive chef of one Li Hongzhang, a Chinese diplomat living in New York City (why?? - because Chinese diplomats are limited in the volume of geo-political moving and shaking they can get done in Billings, Montana - I didn't make it that way - that's just how it is). Li was hosting some American guests and was not sure they could handle traditional Chinese fare, so he deligated to his chef, "You figure it out".
There are a lot of different variations to this origin story. One involves a load of drunk miners during the Gold Ruch filing into a couple different (Asian American) resturaunts right at closing time. The owners not having the energy to make something off the menu, just mixed up the scraps and fed the harty spelunkers of cooked noodles, veges and pork and called it Chop Suey.
I'm not a historian - pick the story you like. Now on to the honey based recipe.
1 lg. onion
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp. oil
6 cup bean sprouts - washed, drained
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 green pepper, chopped
2 tbsp. chilli pepper honey
2 tbsp. soy sauce
salt to taste
Cook onion, celery and mushrooms in oil in large wok (be sure you have vinegar to clean it - you will ruin it otherwise). Add bean sprouts and broth. Cook and toss until bean sprouts are tender or crisp (if you like it a wee-bit burned). Don't allow your veges to get soft. (who wants that?) Toss in the green pepper - let those blacken and soften just a bit.
Here is the fun part! Add the hot pepper honey, soy sauce and salt, heat for 1 minute. Serve with brown rice - keep it healthy sucka!