Vegetarian american chopsuey

Jan 30, 2018 marked 7 years of D & I having gotten engaged. That day is a very special day for me (not just the day but generally the few days around it) since I met many of his immediate & close family members who warmly accepted me as one of theirs. In fact, I met D’s dad & mom only around this time. Any who, one of our dear friend Nisha has put this 7 year itch¬†thought strong into my head and I was sure as hell very happy to have crossed that dreaded year half way (Jun 5 is our wedding anniversary). Just as a celebratory mark, I wanted to cook something special for D. So, I decided to try my hand at making American Chopsuey over the weekend that followed since D loves the dish. I like it too but I have also had very bad experiences of this dish in a few restaurants. It is one of those make or break dishes I realised. I wasn’t sure how the dish was going to turn out (decided to take photos just in case the dish came out well) and god, the dish was fabulous. Fab to the extent, I have set super high standards for my own self and have decided to try this again in a few weeks (just not going to fry the noodles). D loved the dish and I have to give him a lot of credit since I asked him to taste the dish (through the process) multiple times & asked for feedback and incorporated the changes he suggested (I have noted down all of those and so my final recipe should be bang on). This dish is surely not something you want to make weekly once since there is quite a bit of process involved and also, this isn’t the healthiest dish on planet (Noodles are boiled & then fried). But surely, this is a perfect fit for a special occasion and I sure as hell made D and his tummy super happy.

Vegetarian american chopsuey
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Passive Time
30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indo Chinese
Servings: 2 persons
For the crispy noodles
  • 150 gms hakka noodles
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp oil
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • oil for frying
For the gravy
  • 1 no onion
  • 1/2 no carrot
  • 1 no capsicum
  • 1 cup cabbage (thinly and long slices)
  • 2 no green chillies
  • 7-8 no garlic pods (small)
  • 1 tbsp finely grated/ sliced ginger
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
For the crispy noodles
  1. Boil water with some salt & oil in a broad pan. 

  2. Once water starts to boil, throw in the hakka noodles by breaking them into chunks. 

  3. Let the hakka noodles cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir and un-stick the noodles around a bit if needed. 

  4. Strain the noodles using a colander and rinse the noodles under cold water to stop the cooking process.

  5. Once the excess water is strained out, add the corn flour and mix into the noodles. 

  6. Spread the noodles now on a plate and set it aside to dry. 

  7. After 30 minutes, heat a pan with oil and fry the noodles in batches. 

  8. Flip the noodle after 2-3 minutes on each side and fry in a medium to high heat. 

  9. Once fried, place the noodles on a paper towel to remove any excess oil. 

  10. Crispy noodles ready for the chopsuey. 

For the gravy (which can be done in parallel to frying the noodles)
  1. In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, tomato ketchup, white vinegar & black pepper powder. Set it aside. This is the dish's flavour bomb.

  2. In another small bowl, mix together 1 tbsp corn flour & 1/4 cup water. Set it aside. This will be used in the end to thicken the gravy/ sauce. 

  3. Slice all the veggies thin and long.

  4. In a pan/ kadai, heat some oil & add the green chillies, ginger & garlic. Saute. 

  5. Once the garlic starts to brown, add the onions and saute till it starts to brown.

  6. Add the capsicum and saute till it starts to soften. 

  7. Add the cabbage & carrot, some salt and a bit of water at this stage. Mix well and cover the pan with a lid. 

  8. Let the mixture cook for a few minutes. Once the veggies are half cooked, add the flavour bomb (the sauce mix), 2-3 cups water & let it boil. 

  9. The veggies shouldn't over cook and should be crunchy. So after a few minutes of boiling, add the corn flour water mixture and let it come to a boil (this should take a minute or so).

  10. Turn off the heat. 

Plating the american chopsuey
  1. In a plate, take a piece of the fried noodle. 

  2. Pour a generous amount of the gravy.

  3. Break the noodle & devour into the goodness.

Recipe Notes
  1. Cooking the noodles for more than 3-4 minutes might get the noodles mushy which might in turn result in soggy instead of crispy noodles when fried. It might also consume a lot of oil when mushy.
  2. You can cook the veggies to your liking. I like mine crunchy and not soft. 

Stepwise pictures

For the crispy noodles

Boil water with some salt & oil in a broad pan. Throw in the hakka noodles. I broke mine into a few chunks.

Boil the noodles only for 3-4 minutes. Strain and wash under cold water.

Add 2 tbsp corn flour and coat the noodles well.

Spread the noodles on a plate and let it dry for 20-30 minutes.

In a kadai/ pan, heat oil and fry the noodles in batches.

Flip over after 2-3 minutes. The whole process can be done on medium to high heat.

Take out the noodles and place them on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Surprisingly, this process didn’t consume too much oil.

For the gravy (you can do this while the noodles are being fried)

In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, tomato ketchup, vinegar & black pepper. Set it aside.

In another small bowl, mix together 1 tbsp corn flour & 1/4 cup water. Set it aside.

In a kadai/ pan, add some oil. Once heated, throw in the chopped green chillies, ginger & garlic.

Once the garlic starts brown, throw in the onions & saute.

Once the onions start brown, throw in the capsicum, a bit of salt & saute till the capsicum starts to soften.

Add the carrots, cabbage and more salt now, a bit of water and cover with a lid.

After a few minutes (once the veggies are half cooked), throw in the sauce mix and mix well.

Add 2-3 cups of water and let the mixture boil for a few minutes.

Finally, add the corn flour water mix and let the mixture boil for a minute. Turn off the heat.

Take a plate and place a fried noodle & pour a generous amount of the gravy. Devour!!!

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