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MOO SHU CHICKEN

Moo Shu Chicken: A Flavorful Asian Delight

Moo Shu Chicken combines tender marinated chicken stir-fried with cabbage, mushrooms, and eggs in a savory sauce with the flavors of garlic and ginger. This dish, inspired by traditional Chinese cuisine, is a delightful combination of textures and tastes that will transport your taste buds straight to the streets of Asia. Perfect for a family dinner or an impressive meal for guests, this Moo Shu Chicken is sure to become a favorite in your culinary repertoire.

Ingredients

Marinade and Sauce

  • 2/3 cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger or ginger paste
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons mirin

Moo Shu Chicken

  • 1 1/4 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 cups sliced green cabbage or Napa cabbage
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced

Instructions

Preparing the Marinade and Sauce

  1. Mix the Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the Hoisin Sauce, low-sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, cornstarch, sesame oil, black pepper, and mirin. Remove 1/2 cup of the marinade and set it aside for later use as the sauce.

Marinating the Chicken

  1. Marinate the Chicken: Add the cut chicken to the remaining marinade and stir to combine. Let it set for 10-15 minutes to absorb the flavors.

Cooking the Chicken and Vegetables

  1. Cook the Chicken: Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Using tongs, remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off. Add the chicken to the hot skillet, cooking until browned and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes. Work in batches if necessary, then remove to a plate and cover to keep warm.
  2. Sauté the Mushrooms: Heat another tablespoon of vegetable oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned. Remove to the plate with the cooked chicken.
  3. Prepare the Eggs: If needed, add more vegetable oil to the skillet. Add the beaten eggs over medium-low heat. Cook until the eggs are set enough to flip. Using a spatula, flip and cook until set. Remove the eggs, cut them into thin strips, and cover to keep warm.
  4. Stir Fry the Cabbage: If needed, add a little more vegetable oil to the skillet. Add the cabbage and cook until slightly wilted.

Combining Everything

  1. Combine Ingredients: Add the chicken, mushrooms, and eggs back to the skillet. Whisk the sauce mixture that was set aside. Drizzle with the sauce, stir to combine, and toss to coat, cooking over medium-low heat for several minutes until thickened.
  2. Garnish and Serve: Sprinkle with the scallions. For best results, serve promptly.
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Notes

  • Slice the Chicken Thin: Ensure your chicken is cut into thin strips to cook quickly and evenly.
  • Separate Marinade and Sauce: The marinade doubles as a sauce, so remember to remove 1/2 cup before adding any raw meat to it.
  • Mushroom Substitution: If needed, substitute white button mushrooms for the shiitake mushrooms.
  • Preparation is Key: Stir-fry recipes move fast, so have everything cut and diced and near your cooking area.
  • Serving Suggestions: Serve with warm tortillas, mandarin pancakes, rice, or Chinese noodles.
  • Versatility: This recipe also works well with beef and pork.

Tips for the Perfect Moo Shu Chicken

Ingredient Quality

  • Fresh Chicken: Use fresh, high-quality chicken breasts for the best texture and flavor.
  • Aromatic Spices: Fresh ginger and garlic make a significant difference in the aroma and taste of the dish.

Cooking Techniques

  • Hot Skillet: Ensure your skillet is hot before adding the chicken to achieve a nice sear.
  • Batch Cooking: Cook the chicken in batches to avoid overcrowding the skillet, ensuring even cooking.

Serving Tips

  • Warm Wraps: If using tortillas or mandarin pancakes, warm them before serving to enhance the eating experience.
  • Pairing Sides: Complement the dish with sides like steamed rice or noodles to complete the meal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use a different protein?

Yes, you can substitute chicken with beef, pork, or even tofu for a vegetarian option. Adjust cooking times accordingly to ensure the protein is fully cooked.

How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in a skillet or microwave before serving.

Can I make this dish in advance?

While Moo Shu Chicken is best served fresh, you can prepare the marinade and chop the vegetables in advance. Cook the dish just before serving for the best texture and flavor.

What is the best way to serve Moo Shu Chicken?

Traditionally, Moo Shu Chicken is served with warm mandarin pancakes or tortillas. However, it also pairs well with steamed rice or noodles.

Is this dish gluten-free?

To make this dish gluten-free, ensure you use gluten-free soy sauce and Hoisin sauce. Always check the labels of packaged ingredients to confirm they are gluten-free.

Conclusion

Moo Shu Chicken is a delightful and flavorful dish that brings the essence of Asian cuisine to your dinner table. With its tender marinated chicken, crisp vegetables, and savory sauce, it’s a dish that will impress your family and friends. Follow these steps and tips to create a meal that’s not only delicious but also a fun and engaging cooking experience. Enjoy this versatile and satisfying dish, and savor the rich flavors and textures of homemade Moo Shu Chicken.