Chicken Chop Suey

Chicken chop suey is a common Chinese food dish in Jamaica. This easy one pot meal is Whole30, paleo and gluten free. Perfect for nights where you don’t have enough time but are craving something delicious and flavorful.

Chicken Chop Suey
A Whole30 twist on Jamaican chicken chop suey.

How did Chinese food get introduced to Jamaica?

When slavery ended, indentured workers came from many areas around the world to the Caribbean to fill in the positions now empty on plantations. The Chinese were among the first to come to the island and they brought with them spices and recipes that have been integrated into Jamaican cuisine. Although they make up a very small group, there is still a population of Chinese people in Jamaica.

What is chicken chop suey?

Chicken chop suey is a stir fry of vegetables and chicken lightly marinated in soy sauce. In this recipe I used carrots, bell pepper and Bok choy. It is not uncommon that some people add celery, snap peas and cabbage. The beauty of a stir fry is that it’s a great way to use up ingredients you are most likely to have in your fridge. I used coconut aminos instead of soy sauce to keep it Whole30 but, if you are not doing a Whole30 you can use gluten free tamari.

Do I have to use Bok choy?

No, you don’t! While I have found it relatively easy to find, you can substitute it with cabbage. They are in the same family and have a similar taste.

What other proteins can I use?

Being a stir fry, you can use any ingredient you wish. While this is a chicken dish, you can easily use another type of protein. For meat eaters feel fry to try this with shrimp, sliced beef or pork. For those that are plant based, tofu or tempeh are a great option. Keep in mind that cooking times will vary, so adjust as needed.

What can chicken chop suey be served with?

Chicken chop suey can be enjoyed as a standalone dish but, it can also be served with a side dish. For Whole30/paleo it can be served with cauliflower rice, zoodles or spaghetti squash. Otherwise, it would be perfect over a bowl of white rice or even gluten free noodles.

Tips for making this dish:

  1. To make your life easier get precut vegetables from the store. You could even use garlic powder instead of chopping fresh garlic.
  2. Ask the butcher to cut the chicken into strips for you at the supermarket or, check to see if they have chicken strips already packaged on the meat shelf.
  3. Since it is a stir fry, having everything prepped ahead of time is key.
  4. If when you add the slurry in it becomes gummy, just add 1 TBSP of water and stir to help thin it out.
  5. I used a nonstick pan to make this but if you have a wok that would be better. Use a high smoke point oil instead of olive oil.
Chicken Chop Suey

Chicken Chop Suey

A Whole30 take on a classic Jamaican Chinese dish. Perfect weeknight meal that comes together in no time.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese, Jamaican
Servings 2


  • Cutting board
  • Chef knife
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Mixing bowl
  • Large skillet
  • Wooden spoon


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs about 2 thighs washed, fat removed and sliced into strips
  • 2 cups Bok choy chopped in large chunks
  • 2 large carrots juliened
  • 1 red bell pepper juliened
  • 3 stalks green onion chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 3 TBSP coconut aminos, divided 2 TBSP for marinating and 1 TBSP during cooking
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 TBSP olive oil, divided in half
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 TBSP tapioca flour


  • Add chicken thighs to a mixing bowl.
  • Add 2 TBSP coconut aminos, salt, and garlic. Mix and set aside.
  • While chicken marinates, prep all the vegetables.
  • Heat a large skillet on medium heat.
  • Add 2 TBSP olive oil. Once hot add carrots and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Then add in bell peppers and Bok choy and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Remove vegetables to a bowl.
  • Add remaining 2 TBSP olive oil. Once heated add green onions and sauté until the white parts are translucent (1 minute) stirring occasionally to avoid burning.
  • Increase heat to medium high then add chicken including leftover marinade. Cook chicken for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 1 TBSP of coconut aminos then stir to combine.
  • Mix together the water and tapioca flour to form a slurry. Pour the mixture in to the skillet and immediately stir to combine. The sauce should thicken after a minute or 2.
  • Once sauce is thickened, add in vegetables and mix for a minute. Turn off the heat.
  • Once all the vegetables are coated in the sauce, taste for additional seasoning then you're ready to serve.


Feel free to use chicken breast instead of chicken thigh.
When adding the slurry, add around the outer edge of the skillet.
If the slurry gets gummy, just a 1 TBSP of water at a time to help thin it out after you’ve added the vegetables back in. If this happens you should only need a tablespoon or 2.
If you cannot find Bok choy, use 2 cups of shredded cabbage instead.
Use 1.5 cups shredded carrots if you want to save time. you can also swap 4 cloves chopped garlic for 1 tsp garlic powder.
This dish is meant to be served on its own, however you can serve it with cauliflower rice or your favorite side dish.
To make it non-Whole30, marinate the chicken with 1 TBSP GF soy sauce (tamari) instead of the coconut aminos and omit adding the coconut aminos when the chicken is done cooking.
This recipe serves 2 people easily however, it can be stretched to feed 4 people if served with a side dish.
Keyword chicken, chicken chop suey, chinese, chop suey, jamaican, one pot, one pot recipe, weeknight dinner, whole30

3 thoughts on “Chicken Chop Suey

  1. […] To keep this Whole30 serve with cauliflower rice and vegetable salad. If you are not doing a Whole30, white rice is the way to go. If you added potato and carrots, you could enjoy as a standalone meal. Looking for more Whole30 Jamaican meals? Check out my recipe for Brow Stew Chicken and Chicken Chop Suey. […]

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