When I used to think of typical Chinese dishs chop suey would always spring to mind but I never knew what it was. Apparently it is a Chinese American invention that appeared in New York in the late 19th century - a Chinese dish adapted to suit American tastes. This kind of transformation of a cuisine always happens when one food culture migrates to another. This vegetarian version of it is very simple to prepare and is surprisingly good.
1 large leek
1 large carrot - grated
10 button mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic - crushed
1 thumb of ginger - fine grated
vegetable oil for frying
1 small tin bamboo shoots
generous dash of tomato ketchup
a little soy sauce to taste
1 small bag beansprouts
2 teaspoons of cornflour
First of place a little oil in a large wok and place it over a high heat. Add the sliced leeks and onions and start to wok fry them turning them over with a slotted spoon all the time. After a couple of minutes add the sliced mushrooms and grated carrot and continute stir frying for a couple more minutes.
Next add the garlic and ginger and allow it to hit the bottom of the wok so it gets a chance to fry a little in the oil. I know that the proper Chinese method would be to fry the ginger and garlic in the oil from the beginning but trust me doing it my way works well and and allows the flavours of these pungent roots to stay more in the forefront of the final taste of the dish. Cook this for a few more minutes.
Add the bamboo shoots, tomato ketchup, soy sauce and then the beansprouts. As this cooks away mix the cornflour with a little water to form a smooth paste and add it to the wok and mix it through well. The cornflour will thicken it.
Serve with rice or noodles or use as a filling for spring rolls.