Chinese Moo Goo Gai Pan Recipe

Moo goo gai pan recipe

The Spruce

  • Total: 22 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 7 mins
  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
326 Calories
12g Fat
27g Carbs
28g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 326
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 71mg 24%
Sodium 855mg 37%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Protein 28g
Calcium 90mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A popular restaurant dish, this recipe for moo goo gai pan means "fresh mushrooms with sliced chicken" in Cantonese. The original dish, known as mah gu gai pin, was adapted for Western tastes.

Traditionally made with whole button mushrooms, other types of mushrooms can be substituted and, while some versions include bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, and snow peas, others include broccoli and other vegetables. Likewise, some versions are made with oyster sauce, while others contain hoisin sauce.

Ingredients

  • For the Marinade
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • Few dashes sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into thin strips or chunks)
  • For the Vegetables
  • 1 cup fresh button mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup canned bamboo shoots
  • 1/2 cup canned water chestnuts
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 1 garlic clove
  • For the Sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons oil (for stir-frying, or as needed)

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this Moo Goo Gai Pan dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for stir-frying.

Make the Marinade

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Marinate ingredients
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  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice wine or dry sherry, sesame oil, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth.

    Whisk together
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  3. Add the chicken strips or chunks, making sure to coat all sides, and marinate the chicken for 15 minutes at room temperature.

Prepare the Vegetables

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Potatoes in bowl
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  2. While the chicken is marinating, prepare the vegetables. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp cloth and cut into thin slices.

    Mushrooms chopped
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  3. Drain and rinse the canned bamboo shoots and water chestnuts to remove any "tinny" taste.

    Rinse potatoes
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  4. Slice and chop the ginger.

    Chopped ginger
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  5. Peel and mince the garlic clove. 

Prepare the Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Prepare the sauce
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  2. In a small bowl, whisk together chicken stock, oyster sauce, sugar, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth and set aside.

Stir Fry the Ingredients

  1. Heat a wok and then add 2 tablespoons oil. Add the chicken and stir-fry until it changes color and is nearly cooked through. Remove and set aside.

    Stir fry chicken
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  2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the ginger and garlic, and stir-fry briefly.

    Ginger in pan
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  3. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for several seconds.

    Add mushrooms
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  4. Then add bamboo shoots and water chestnuts. Stir-fry briefly.

    Bamboo shoots
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  5. Give the sauce a quick re-stir, then make a well in the middle of the wok and add the sauce. Cook, stirring until the sauce is thickened.

    Stir fry
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  6. Return chicken to wok. Mix together and heat through.

    Moo goo gai pan mushrooms and chickens
    The Spruce
  7. Serve hot and enjoy!

Kitchen Notes

  • You can use chicken broth instead of chicken stock. Just bring it to a boil, add a bit of rice wine for flavor, and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. 
  • Another variation is to boil the mushrooms in the chicken broth before stir-frying.