Costa Rican Chop Suey

Bowl of Costa Rican chop suey next to a painted disc.

Chop suey? Costa Rica? Yes! One of our most popular dishes combining chop suey noodles, Salsa Lizano and chayote. You’ll have to try it to believe it!

Chop Suey Recipe

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb pre-cooked shredded chicken breast
  • 2 carrots cut into circles and boiled
  • 1 chayote squash cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup of broccoli florets
  • chop suey noodles
  • 4-5 cups homemade chicken stock
  • Salsa Lizano

Instructions:

Slice up the carrots into circles and the chayote into small chunks. Boil the chopped carrots and chayote along with the broccoli florets for about 7 minutes or until tender.

Cook the noodles in the chicken broth according to package instructions, stirring in the Salsa Lizano towards the end. 

Stir the shredded chicken into the noodle-and-broth mixture and add in the boiled vegetables. Serve your Costa Rican chop suey as a soup. Enjoy!

About This Chop Suey: Costa Rica Recipe

I’ll never forget one of my first few meals in Costa Rica- my host mom made chop suey. While it’s a popular Chinese food dish around the world, I had never imagined I’d find it in Costa Rica.

But let me tell you a secret- Costa Rican chop suey is an actual thing. You can find it on almost any menu, and it’s an insanely popular street food (along with Cantonese rice).

There are two versions- wet and dry. The wet version is more like a soup, where the dry version is similar to a noodle stir fry popular in Chinese cooking. 

The popularity of the dish stems from a fairly large Chinese population that started in the port town of Puntarenas and has since popped up all over Costa Rica. Combining traditional ingredients like soy sauce and noodles with some Salsa Lizano resulted in a fun Costa Rican fusion dish you’ll not find in Chinese restaurants outside of Costa Rica!

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Substitutions

If you don’t have chicken broth available, a combination of chicken bullion and water is a great alternative.

For the chicken, you can either shred a rotisserie chicken or prepare the chicken breasts in a slow cooker. You can also swap in shredded pork or beef for the chicken if preferred. 

If you can’t find actual chop suey noddles, ramen noodles or rice noodles work well too.

Variations

So this is clearly the recipe for the chop suey soup. For a “dry” version (more like fried noodles), you can use the recipe from chef at the school cafeteria where I taught many years ago.

Simply combine the sauce ingredients (soy sauce, Lizano, cilantro, water, salt, garlic and onion) in a blender. Blend into a sauce. Cook the noodles in chicken broth or salted water

Sautee the chicken and noodles in a bit of vegetable oil on medium-high heat, then pour the sauce over the top. Heat thoroughly, then add vegetables. Serve hot, with white rice. (I’m not even kidding.)

Serving Suggestions

This dish is traditionally served in a huge bowl with both a fork and a spoon. You’ll need an entire bottle of Salsa Lizano on the side. Believe it or not, most ticos enjoy this dish with white rice

FAQ

1.) What is the difference between chop suey and chow mein? – Chop suey is actually a Chinese-American creation and consists of stir-fried meat and vegetables with rice or noodles. Chow mein is made with noodles, soy sauce, and vegetables. The two are very similar, but chow mein is considered more traditional.

2.) What are the nutritional benefits of chop suey? – Since it incorporates a variety of vegetables, chop suey is a great source of vitamins and minerals in addition to being low in saturated fats. 

Printable Recipe

Yield: 4 Servings

Costa Rican Chop Suey

Bowl of Costa Rican chop suey next to a painted disc.

Complete with chayote and Salsa Lizano, this quick and easy chop suey is a Costa Rican twist on a favorite Asian recipe! 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pre-cooked shredded chicken breast
  • 2 carrots cut into circles and boiled
  • 1 chayote squash cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup of broccoli florets
  • chop suey noodles
  • chicken stock
  • Salsa Lizano

Instructions

  1. Slice up the carrots into circles and the chayote into small chunks. Boil the chopped carrots and chayote along with the broccoli florets for about 7 minutes or until tender.
  2. Cook the noodles in the chicken broth according to package instructions, stirring in the Salsa Lizano towards the end. 
  3. Stir the shredded chicken into the noodle-and-broth mixture and add in the boiled vegetables. Serve your Costa Rican chop suey as a soup. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 329Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 396mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 37g

Please double-check this information with your favorite nutrition calculator.

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