Recipe of Yesterday

This is a recipe taken from a cookbook similar to one that would have accompanied our range in the Hunter House summer Kitchen. This one could be replicated on our modern stoves, if Chinese Sauce if available.

Chop Suey

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Chop Suey, originated in China, has been one of the most favored dishes with the Chinese people for several centuries. Introduced by Chinese cooks, it has found so much favor with American appetites that elaborate Chop Suey "Joints" have, in recent years, become permanent eating places in practically all of the larger cities. Many American cooks have affected dishes under the name of "Chop Suey," some of which are passable imitations, but the majority of them should, by all means, be called by some such name as "Celery Salad," or "Excusable Hash."

Here is the Genuine Chinese Recipe:

Ingredients : 1 pound lean cooked pork, sliced and cut into dice shaped pieces; 1 full stalk celery, cut up like the meat, making about 4 cups; 1 cup Chinese dried mushrooms, soaked in water and cut in small pieces; 2 cups dry onions, cut in small strips or pieces; white pepper and salt; Chinese Sauce; lard.

Method: Bring 1 tablespoon lard in a hot skillet almost to boiling point; add diced meat and cook about 15 minutes; add chopped celery and onion, and cook 5 minutes longer; moisten with boiling water and let steam 5 minutes under cover; add mushrooms, salt and white pepper to season; add 2 tablespoons Chinese Sauce, stir well, replace the lid and steam 10 minutes longer; serve hot, with rice cooked Chinese style. Serve four.

Substitutions: Chicken meat may be substituted for pork, making Chicken Chop Suey, the real favorite of the Chinese. Many Chinese cooks use veal or beef tenderloin, or veal and pork together, for the meat. Chinese Sauce may be purchased at Chinese stores in the largest cities, and sometimes from the nearest Chinese laundryman or cook; however, if not obtainable, Worcestershire Sauce or Challenge Sauce, obtainable at any grocer's, makes a good American substitute. Mushrooms, fresh or canned, may replace the foreign dried ones. Chinese cooks sometimes substitute Chinese or bamboo Sprouts for the mushrooms, or use some of both; a fair substitute for Chinese sprouts is tender sprouts or shoots from beans, which have been kept dampened and in a warm place.

When served as above, it is known on the menu as Chinese Chop Suey; however, many prefer it with an excess of rich brown gravy made as follows: To 1 cup of the broth or juice left in skillet, add 2 tablespoons flour and 1 tablespoon Chinese Sauce, stir until smooth and pour over the Chop Suey; serve in deep chowder bowls.