The power of food is extraordinary, as it can whisk us away to far-off corners of the world, immersing us in diverse cultures and their delectable culinary wonders. If you're an adventurous food lover, always seeking new flavors and textures to tantalize your taste buds, then Moo Shu Chicken might just be the dish you've been craving.
With its colorful presentation, Moo Shu Chicken stimulates the taste buds and the eyes. The vibrant ingredients medley wrapped in a soft and pliable pancake creates a visually appealing masterpiece that is as delightful to behold as it is to eat. The interactive nature of the dish, where diners create their own wraps at the table, adds an element of fun and engagement to the dining experience.
Beyond the culinary delights, Moo Shu Chicken's rich cultural history adds depth to its appeal. Originating in the imperial courts of Beijing, this dish has evolved over centuries, adapting to regional variations and incorporating new ingredients. It embodies the harmonious blend of time-honored traditions and innovative culinary techniques, showcasing Chinese cuisine's dynamic and ever-evolving nature.
Below, I will show you how to make moo shu chicken and some tips to achieve the perfect balance of flavors.
Moo Shu Chicken Recipe
1. Before cooking the chicken, you can marinate it in soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, minced garlic, and grated ginger for about 15-30 minutes. By marinating the chicken, the flavors will permeate the meat, resulting in enhanced taste and increased tenderness.
2. Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Pour in the beaten eggs and scramble them until fully cooked. Transfer the scrambled eggs from the skillet to a separate plate and set them aside.
3. In the same skillet, stir-fry the chicken slices until they are thoroughly cooked, which should take approximately 5-6 minutes. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside for later use.
4. Add the wood ear mushrooms, shredded carrots, and sliced cucumbers in the same skillet. Continue stir-frying the vegetables for about 3-4 minutes until they reach a slightly tender consistency.
5. Add the cooked chicken and scrambled eggs to the skillet with the vegetables. Pour the sauce mixture over the chicken, vegetables, and eggs, ensuring everything is well coated. Stir thoroughly to distribute the sauce and the ingredients evenly. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste preferences.
6. Gently warm the whole wheat tortillas or prepare the lettuce leaves for serving. Spoon the Moo Shu Chicken mixture onto the warmed tortillas or onto the prepared lettuce leaves.
Stir-fry over high heat. For optimal results, employ high heat and ensure your skillet or wok is thoroughly heated when stir-frying the ingredients. This will help to cook the ingredients quickly and retain their crispness. It's important to continuously stir and toss the ingredients to prevent them from sticking or burning.
Keep the vegetables slightly crisp. Avoid overcooking the vegetables to maintain a fresh and crunchy texture. Stir-fry the vegetables until they reach a desirable balance of slight tenderness while maintaining a pleasant crispness.
Serve immediately. Homemade Moo Shu Chicken is best enjoyed fresh and hot. To fully enjoy the optimal flavors and textures, serve the dish immediately after cooking. This ensures you can savor the Moo Shu Chicken at its peak deliciousness.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7.2g
Saturated Fat 1g
Total Carbohydrate 51.3g
Dietary Fiber 7.3g
Total Sugars 3.9g
Vitamin D 71mcg
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
What Is Moo Shu Chicken?
Originating in Northern China, Moo Shu Pork is a beloved and enduring classic in Chinese cuisine. But Moo Shu Chicken is a popular modern dish in Chinese cuisine, specifically originating from Northern China. This stir-fried dish typically consists of thinly sliced chicken, shredded cabbage, wood ear mushrooms, and other vegetables. The ingredients are harmoniously cooked in a savory sauce, creating a delectable blend of flavors. This enticing mixture is traditionally served with thin Mandarin pancakes or flour tortillas.
The name "Moo Shu" is derived from the Mandarin word "mù xū" (木须), which translates to "wood shavings" or "wood beard." The name refers to the traditional dish preparation method, where the ingredients are sliced into thin strips resembling wood shavings.
The chicken is usually marinated with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic and then stir-fried in a wok or skillet along with the vegetables. Common vegetables used in Moo Shu Chicken include cabbage, carrots, and sometimes other additions like bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, or bell peppers. Renowned for their distinct texture, wood ear mushrooms, also referred to as black fungus, contribute an unparalleled element to the dish.
What You Will Need To Make This Recipe
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Chicken breasts are lean cuts of meat known for their relatively low-fat content. They offer a substantial protein source and impart a tender and subtle flavor to the dish. Choose boneless and skinless chicken breasts to keep the dish healthier.
Low-sodium soy sauce
Soy sauce plays a pivotal role as a fundamental ingredient in Chinese cuisine. It adds a savory and slightly salty flavor to the dish. Opting for a low-sodium variety helps reduce the overall sodium content, which is beneficial if you're watching your sodium intake.
Hoisin sauce, a rich and dark condiment widely employed in Chinese cooking, showcases a delightful blend of sweetness and savory notes. Infused with the essence of soybeans, garlic, and various spices, it adds a distinctive and flavorful dimension to dishes. Look for a reduced sodium option to minimize the salt content.
If hoisin sauce is not available, swap for oyster sauce instead. While oyster sauce is not typically used in traditional Moo Shu Chicken, it can certainly be incorporated to add depth of flavor and a touch of umami to the dish. Crafted from a combination of oyster extracts, soy sauce, sugar, and an array of seasonings, oyster sauce is a luscious and dark condiment renowned for its rich flavor and consistency.
Derived from the fermentation of rice, rice vinegar imparts a gentle acidity and tang to the dish. This mild tanginess effectively balances the sweetness of other ingredients, harmonizing the overall flavor profile and enhancing the culinary experience.
Extracted from sesame seeds, sesame oil boasts a unique nutty flavor and aromatic essence. It is employed in modest quantities to imbue the dish with depth and richness. Exercise caution when using sesame oil, as its potent flavor can easily overpower other ingredients.
Garlic and ginger
Garlic and ginger, renowned for their aromatic qualities, are frequently employed in Asian cuisine as essential flavoring agents. Garlic adds a pungent and savory flavor, while ginger provides a warm and slightly spicy taste. Both ingredients enhance the overall taste and fragrance of the dish.
Wood ear mushrooms
Wood ear mushrooms, also known as black fungus, have a unique texture and absorb flavors well. They add a chewy and slightly crunchy element to the dish. Prior to incorporating them into the recipe, it is necessary to soak the wood ear mushrooms in water to achieve the desired level of tenderness and pliability.
If you're looking for a substitute for wood ear mushrooms in the Moo Shu Chicken recipe, there are a few options you can consider. While no ingredient will perfectly replicate the unique texture and taste of wood ear mushrooms, alternatives can still provide a pleasing result. This includes sliced shiitake mushrooms, button mushrooms, portobello mushrooms and cremini mushrooms.
Carrots are vibrant orange root vegetables that bring color, sweetness, and a satisfying crunch to the Moo Shu Chicken. Sliced carrots add texture and freshness to the dish.
Cucumbers are refreshing and provide a cool and crisp element to the dish. Cucumbers offer a gentle and refreshing taste that harmonizes well with the other ingredients, providing a mild and hydrating flavor profile. Slicing them thinly or cutting them into julienne strips ensures they blend well with the other components.
Beaten eggs are scrambled and cooked separately, then added to the Moo Shu Chicken mixture. They provide a protein-rich component to the dish and add a velvety texture. Scrambled eggs complement the other ingredients and enhance the overall taste and satiety.
Avocado oil is a neutral-tasting vegetable oil commonly used for stir-frying due to its high smoke point. The high heat provided by avocado oil facilitates rapid and uniform cooking of the ingredients, ensuring they are perfectly cooked.
Salt and pepper
Salt and pepper are classic seasonings used to enhance the dish's flavors. Add them according to your taste preferences, considering that the soy sauce and hoisin sauce also contribute to the overall saltiness.
Whole wheat tortillas or lettuce leaves
Whole wheat tortillas are a healthier alternative to traditional paper-thin mandarin pancakes when serving Moo Shu Chicken. They provide a sturdy wrap for the filling. Alternatively, you can use lettuce leaves, such as iceberg or butter lettuce, for a low-carb and gluten-free option. Lettuce leaves add a refreshing and crisp element to the dish.
How To Elevate This Dish
Garnish with fresh herbs
For an exquisite finishing touch, garnish the Moo Shu Chicken with a sprinkling of fresh herbs such as cilantro, Thai basil, or sliced green onions just before serving. The vibrant colors and herbaceous flavors will add brightness and a touch of elegance to the dish.
Serve with additional condiments
Present an array of condiments alongside the dish, such as hoisin sauce, Sriracha, chili oil, or a zesty vinegar sauce, allowing individuals to customize the flavors according to their preferences.
Add extra vegetables
Consider adding more vegetables to the dish for added color, texture, and nutrients. You can include ingredients such as bell peppers, snap peas, bean sprouts, or water chestnuts. These vegetables will contribute freshness and crunch to the dish.
How do I store leftovers of Moo Shu Chicken?
Storing them separately is best if you have leftovers with pancakes or wraps. To preserve their freshness, transfer the leftovers to either an airtight container or a zip-top bag.
Transfer the leftover Moo Shu Chicken and any vegetables to separate airtight containers. Make sure the containers are suitable for refrigeration and can seal tightly to keep the food fresh and prevent odor transfer. Consume the leftover Moo Shu Chicken within 3-4 days. After that, discarding any remaining leftovers is generally recommended to ensure food safety.
How to serve moo shu chicken
While classic moo shu chicken is served using moo shu pancakes, you can serve moo shu chicken with steamed white rice or use lettuce wraps.