Quick and easy delicious Chinese moo shu chicken that you can put together within 20 minutes!
Growing up, my grandparents made moo shu pork quite often, as it is a dish that is native to my grandparents' province in Shandong. Making this dish always reminds me of eating dinner at my grandparents because you bet my grandmother made this dish often. Just thinking about it, I can almost taste and smell it.
What is moo shu chicken?
Moo shu is a Chinese dish of shredded meat stir-fried with vegetables. It is seasoned and rolled in thin mandarin pancakes that are like flour tortillas or served with rice. Traditionally, moo shu recipes are made with pork. But for a healthy swap, I like to use chicken breast. And lucky for us, the chicken breast looks just like pork!
Like traditional moo shu, this moo shu chicken recipe is made with thinly sliced chicken breasts and stir-fried with eggs, wood ear mushrooms, a carrot, and cucumber.
What you will need To make this recipe
I love making this moo shu chicken recipe because you only need a hand of ingredients and all the ingredients are relatively cheap to get.
Besides the chicken, this dish is all about the omelet style fried eggs.
Wood ear mushrooms
Wood ear mushrooms can be hard to find at the grocery stores in the U.S., and you should be able to find them at any Asian grocery store or try Sayweee!. If you are unable to find any, you can purchase the dried version online. And all you need to do is to soak the dried wood ear mushrooms overnight, and it will feel just like the fresh.
While you can substitute wood ear mushrooms with another type of mushrooms like shiitake mushrooms, you won't get the same texture that wood ear mushroom offers. Unlike other types of mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms don't have a strong taste, and they will pick up whatever sauce you throw at it. And most importantly, they have a unique texture compared to other mushrooms. It has a slightly crunchy texture and silky mouthfeel to it.
For a healthier twist, I like to use chicken breast, but you can use other parts of the chicken. Chicken breast is a super lean protein that can also offer a similar firm texture as pork would.
Cucumber offers a fresh and crisp flavor and scent to this dish. In the U.S., you may find Chinese restaurants are substituting this ingredient with sliced cabbage, but cabbage takes much longer to cook, and it wouldn't give you that crisp cucumber offers.
Carrot is another affordable ingredient that offers fresh and crisp flavor to the dish. You can either slice or shred it.
Moo shu chicken dish doesn't need a lot of sauce. All you need is some cooking wine, and ginger.
Moo Shu Chicken Recipe
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Serving Size: 4
4 Eggs beaten
1/2 lb of chicken breast (~2 whole chicken breast)
2 Cloves garlic sliced
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger Minced or sliced
1 Cup Wood ear mushroom sliced
1 Whole Cucumber Sliced
1 Large carrot stick sliced
1 Tablespoon of cooking wine
2 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Salt and pepper for taste
- Slice your chicken breast into bite-size thin strips. In a mixing bowl, mix the chicken breast with 1 teaspoon sesame oil, cooking wine, ginger, salt, and cornstarch. Let it marinate for 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, chop your vegetables and make the eggs.
- Slice the mushrooms, carrots, and cucumber, and place them in separate bowls.
- Heat up sesame oil in a medium or large wok or stir fry pan with sliced garlic on medium heat.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Once the pan is hot, pour in your egg mixture and let it cook. Transfer the egg to a plate when it's cooked.
- Then add the chicken to the pan and stir fry. Once it is close to being about 80% done, add in sliced mushrooms and carrots. Let it cook for about 5 minutes, and then throw in the cucumbers. Add salt and pepper. Let it cook for about another 3-4 minutes, and then the dish is done!
- Serve with moo shu pancakes or rice.
- Add the cucumber last. I like my cucumber slightly crunchy, so I add it in at the end. Plus, cucumber will exceed water when it's been cooked, so avoid cooking it for too long. Carrots, on the other side, can stay crunchy when it's been stir-fried.
- If you are using dried mushroom, make sure you hydrate it overnight before cooking.
- Sesame oil. Sesame oil offers an earthy and nutty flavor to your dish. When purchasing sesame oil, go to the cold-pressed and organic option.
- Cucumber substitution. If you are unable to find cucumber, you can use shredded cabbage or bamboo shoots.
- For saucier dish, add oyster sauce or soy sauce.
Serving size: 4
Amount per serving: Calories: 304 calories. Total Fat: 14.7g, Saturated Fat 2.6g. Cholesterol: 258mg. Sodium: 140mg. Total Carbohydrate: 8.8g. Dietary fiber: 1g. Total Sugar: 2.5g. Protein: 30.9g.
**The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.**
Is Moo Shu Chicken Healthy?
It depends on what cut of chicken you use. Generally speaking, moo shu chicken is healthier than moo shu pork. And if you make your moo shu chicken at home, it is most likely healthier than Chinese restaurants or Chinese takeout recipes.
Chinese restaurants and take out moo shu chicken can be loaded in sodium and hoisin sauce with added sugar. Not to mention the potential MSG flavor enhancer added and the types of oil that could be used for stir fry. These reasons can make moo shu chicken unhealthy.
But when you make the dish yourself, you are more mindful and be in control of what goes into your moo shu chicken. Homemade moo shu chicken, in general speaking, is healthier than Chinese takeout! Remember, if you are looking for a healthy and lean protein option, go with chicken breast!