Ellen Bales


Another one of our mother's favorite recipes. Don't know where she got it, but it dates back probably beyond the 1950s. I also don't know whether this is technically chop suey or chow mein--never could figure out the difference. But we love it, regardless.


★★★★★ 2 votes

30 Min
1 Hr 20 Min
Stove Top


  • 2 or 3 lb
    stew beef (or may use pork or chicken)
  • 2 Tbsp
  • 1
    celery stalk (this means the whole bunch)
  • 4 or 5 large
    onions, chopped
  • 2 medium
    cans bean sprouts
  • 1 or 2 can(s)
    water chestnuts, sliced
  • 1 medium
    bottle soy sauce
  • 1/3 jar(s)
    chinese brown gravy sauce
  • 2 or 3 Tbsp
    corn starch
  • 2/3 c



  1. Chop onions and celery fairly small and set aside.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, brown the meat in oil with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add celery and onion. Cover with about half the bottle of soy sauce and add water to cover mixture. Bring to a boil and then lower heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
  4. Add bean sprouts and water chestnuts, and a little more soy sauce and water if needed (not too much if you want it to be thick). Let this cook for about 20 minutes.
  5. In a small saucepan, mix together the brown gravy sauce, the corn starch and water.
  6. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it gets so thick you can't stir any longer.
  7. Immediately remove from heat and stir into the large pot, until very well mixed. Should be semi-thick at this point and ready to serve.
  8. I like to serve this over hot white rice and sprinkle with crisp chow mein noodles. And, of course, egg rolls on the side--I cheat and buy frozen ones.

Printable Recipe Card


Course/Dish: Chicken Beef Pork
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: Chinese
Other Tag: Healthy

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