Moo Shu Chicken


Moo Shu Chicken

Moo Shu Chicken

I was introduced to moo shu at Jade East, a friendly, neighborhood Chinese restaurant situated in New Orleans East.  They closed their doors several years back; I believe it was pre-Katrina.  But during their heyday, when I was in high school, my mom and stepdad would eat there once or twice a week following their “fishing dates.”  There were even times when my folks would exchange their catch-of-the-day, usually croaker or drum from the brackish waters of Lake Pontchartrain, for a smorgasbord of the restaurant’s best dishes.  Inevitably, they’d return home from those dinners with containers full of delicious and sometimes exotic leftovers.  It was through those leftovers that I developed a fond appreciation for Chinese specialties like Fried Meat Dumplings, Hot and Sour Soup and Szechuan Crisp and Aromatic Duck.  But nothing, not even that fancy duck, compared to their Moo Shu Pork.  No other moo shu has come close to their ribbons of meat-and-vegetable stir-fry laced with hoisin sauce and served with warm, ever-so-thin pancakes.  I guess you could say moo shu is China’s answer to the French crepe or Mexican burrito.  Multi-cultural comfort food at its best!

Moo Shu ChickenMany years ago, I created a very basic moo shu recipe using chicken instead of pork and several convenience items from the grocery store.  It was a hit with my gal-pals who, at the time, were all new moms searching for fast and flavorful meal options.  I’ve tweaked the recipe a couple of times since then.  The first adjustment involved nothing more than a handful of extra seasoning veggies and spices.  One of those additions was ginger. The last time I made it, I decided to marinate the chicken ahead of time in a mixture that not only heightened the flavors of the dish but thickened the sauce.  That was a positive, but one that I’ll only default to when I have an extra 30 minutes on my hands.

I’m giving you all three versions of my Moo Shu Chicken recipe.  Choose the one that best suits you.   And although I didn’t mention this in my instructions, it’s easier to thinly slice the chicken if you freeze it first for 20 minutes (after you pound it thin).  One more thing.  Since I haven’t yet attempted to make traditional moo shu pancakes (I’ll let you know when I do), I serve my Moo Shu Chicken with either crisp Romaine lettuce leaves, warm flour tortillas or both.  Depends on my mood!

Moo Shu Chicken

Moo Shu Chicken Recipe (Version 1)

Print Recipe

Print Recipe

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 16-ounce package shredded cabbage with carrots/coleslaw mix
1 8-ounce package sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small head of lettuce (washed and separated) or 8 6-inch flour tortillas

Remove excess fat from chicken.  Place chicken between two sheets of waxed or parchment paper; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using the flat side of a meat tenderizer mallet, rolling pin or other tool of choice.  Cut chicken into thin strips; season with salt and pepper.  Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Coat saucepan with cooking spray.  Add chicken; cook 4-6 minutes, or until browned and almost cooked through.  Remove from pan; set aside.  Add cabbage, mushrooms and hoisin sauce; stir to combine.  Reduce heat to medium and cover.  Cook until cabbage is tender, 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Return chicken to pan; stir to combine.  Cook an additional 2-3 minutes, or until heated through.  Season to taste to salt and pepper.  Serve by wrapping 2-3 tablespoons of Moo Shu Chicken in a lettuce leaf or flour tortilla.  Makes 4 servings.

Moo Shu Chicken Recipe (Version 2)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
3 green onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon ginger puree*
1 tablespoon lemon grass puree*
1 16-ounce package shredded cabbage with carrots/coleslaw mix
1 8-ounce package sliced mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small head of lettuce (washed and separated) or 8 6-inch flour tortillas

Remove excess fat from chicken.  Place chicken between two sheets of waxed or parchment paper; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using the flat side of a meat tenderizer mallet, rolling pin or other tool of choice.  Cut chicken into thin strips; season with salt and pepper.  Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Coat saucepan with cooking spray.  Add chicken; cook 4-6 minutes, or until browned and almost cooked through.  Remove from pan; set aside.  Add onions and garlic to pan; saute until tender, 3-5 minutes.  Stir in hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger puree and lemon grass puree.  Add cabbage and mushrooms; stir to combine.  Reduce heat to medium and cover.  Cook until cabbage is tender, 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Return chicken to pan; stir to combine.  Cook an additional 2-3 minutes, or until heated through.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.  Serve by wrapping 2-3 tablespoons of Moo Shu Chicken in a lettuce leaf or flour tortilla.  Makes 4 servings.

Moo Shu Chicken

Moo Shu Chicken Recipe (Version 3)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
3 green onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon ginger puree*
1 tablespoon lemon grass puree*
1 16-ounce package shredded cabbage with carrots/coleslaw mix
1 8-ounce package sliced mushrooms
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small head of Romaine lettuce (leaves separated) or 8 6-inch flour tortillas

Remove excess fat from chicken.  Place chicken between two sheets of waxed or parchment paper; pound to 1/4-inch thickness using the flat side of a meat tenderizer mallet, rolling pin or other tool of choice.  Cut chicken into thin strips; place in a medium bowl.  Add soy sauce, rice wine, cornstarch and black pepper; toss until chicken is well coated.  Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Coat saucepan with cooking spray.  Add chicken; cook 4-6 minutes, or until browned and almost cooked through.  Remove from pan; set aside.  Add onions and garlic to pan; saute until tender, 3-5 minutes.  Stir in hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger puree and lemon grass puree.  Add cabbage and mushrooms; stir to combine.  Reduce heat to medium and cover.  Cook until cabbage is tender, 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Return chicken to pan; stir to combine.  Cook an additional 2-3 minutes, or until heated through.  Serve by wrapping 2-3 tablespoons of Moo Shu Chicken in a lettuce leaf or flour tortilla.  Makes 4 servings.

*I use the Gourmet Garden ginger and lemon grass spice blend purees that come in convenient tubes located in the refrigerated produce section of most grocery stores.

Genêt

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