Better-than-takeout Moo Goo Gai Pan is filled with chicken and veggies covered in a delicious Asian sauce.
You know how much I love Chinese food! This stir-fry style Moo Goo Gai Pan is a lot milder than some of our spicier Asian chicken recipes—like Kung Pao Chicken or General Tso Chicken—but it’s just as tasty!!
What is Moo Goo Gai Pan?
What does Moo Goo Gai Pan mean? It’s pronounced móh-gū gāi -pin which translates to mushrooms with sliced chicken
Such a funny name but one I have always remembered because it’s one of my mom’s favorite recipes to enjoy whenever we go out for Asian food.
Moo goo gai pan is the Americanized version of a Cantonese dish, usually a simple stir-fried dish consisting of sliced or cubed chicken with white button mushrooms and other vegetables.
Does it sound familiar at all? We have a feeling you will love the taste!!
These are the typical ingredients used in making Moo Goo Gai Pan:
- fresh mushrooms
- straw mushrooms
- broccoli florets
- snow peas
- bamboo shoots (optional)
- water chestnuts
As with most dishes, this can be customized to your liking so adding or omitting veggies is a personal preference. It’s great on its own or served with rice or noodles. No matter how you have it, we think it will be enjoyed!
How to Make Moo Goo Gai Pan
This better-than-takeout Moo Goo Gai Pan Recipe is easier than you think!
VEGGIES. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, or sesame oil, in a wok or large skillet over high heat until it begins to smoke. Stir in the fresh mushrooms, broccoli, water chestnuts, snow peas, and straw mushrooms.
Cook and stir veggies for about 5 minutes. Remove veggies from the wok, and set aside. Clean off the wok/skillet.
CHICKEN. Heat the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil in the wok until it begins to smoke. Stir in the garlic, and cook for a few seconds until it turns golden brown.
Add the chicken, and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until there is no pink in the center of the chicken.
SAUCE. In a small bowl, stir together cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chicken broth or chicken stock. Pour over the chicken, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for about 30 seconds until the sauce thickens and is no longer cloudy.
SERVE. Return the vegetables to the wok/skillet, and toss with the sauce until all coated. Serve immediately.
For perfectly cooked chicken:
- Keep the stir-fry pan consistently hot and do not overcook the chicken.
- For even thin sliced chicken: Freeze the boneless skinless chicken breast for 20 minutes or until firm, but not frozen. Remove from the freezer and slice against the grain into even strips.
Vegetable variation. This dish is pretty forgiving. Easily substitute or add in your favorite veggies such as carrots, baby bok choy, Chinese cabbage, celery, sugar snap peas, shiitake mushrooms, or bell peppers.
Velveting the chicken
Velveting the chicken is a method used in Chinese cooking that helps tenderize the chicken. It is not necessary to make Chicken Moo Goo Gai Pan, but you can give it a try.
Different cooks may use other ingredients, but here is a good recipe that works well. Note this method will replace the instructions in step 3.
PREP. Slice the chicken and place it in a medium bowl along with 2-3 tablespoons of water and 2 teaspoons of soy sauce (or oyster sauce). Mix until evenly coated and let it marinate for about 10 minutes.
MARINATE. Add 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil to the bowl and toss the chicken. Marinate for another 15 minutes.
COOK. To cook the chicken, either sear or blanch it.
- Sear: Turn the wok to high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is hot, place the chicken strips in a single layer. Sear for 20 seconds and then continue to stir and fry until the chicken is white, but not cooked through.
- Blanch: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the sliced chicken to the water and cook until the chicken is white, but not cooked through.
Note that in both cases the chicken will not be cooked all the way through. It will finish cooking when the sauce is added in step 4.
STORE any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
To retain the best flavor and texture, reheat on the stovetop. Put 1 teaspoon of oil in a stir fry pan, dump in leftover Moo Goo Gai Pan Chicken, and stir while heating. Remove when it reaches the desired temperature.
If you’re in a hurry, reheat it in the microwave. Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between, until hot.
Make ahead of time. This is also a great dish to make ahead and store for lunches throughout the week. Make a batch and put it in different Tupperware containers to enjoy over the next few days for a quick lunch.
There are so many great dishes that pair well with Moo Goo Gai Pan. Choose any of these favorites:
For more Asian chicken recipes, check out:
Moo Goo Gai Pan Recipe
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup fresh mushrooms sliced
- 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
- 1 cup snow peas
- 1 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts drained
- 1 15 oz can whole straw mushrooms drained
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast cut into strips
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt (with parsley flakes)
- Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat until it begins to smoke. Stir in the fresh mushrooms, broccoli, water chestnuts, snow peas, and straw mushrooms.
- Cook and stir veggies for about 5 minutes. Remove veggies from the wok, and set aside. Clean off the wok/skillet.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of vegetable in the wok until it begins to smoke. Stir in the garlic, and cook for a few seconds until it turns golden-brown. Add the chicken, and cook for about 5 minutes or until there is no pink in the center of the chicken.
- In a small bowl, stir together corn starch, sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar and chicken broth. Pour over the chicken, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for about 30 seconds until the sauce thickens and is no longer cloudy.
- Return the vegetables to the wok/skillet, and toss with the sauce until all coated. Serve immediately and ENJOY!
This dish has all my favorite ingredieNts. I love chinese food because its always loAded with vegetables and this dish taste pretty authentic!
we love Asian food & this was incredible! we left the mushrooms out, but other than that, it was a hit!
Made this for lunch today. SO good, thank you 🙂
Love trying something new for dinner and this was a huge hit with the whole family.
No more take out with this yummy dish. My favo is goo goo gai pan.
Oh my gosh I loved this! THank you so much!
My wife and i sTumbled across your page today and we love CHINESE so we went for it and iM so glad we did! Its nice to know we WEREN’T eating all that msg like in takeout!! Thanks TIMES A MILLION for this recipe 🙂
You are so welcome!! Thank you for trying it!! I am happy you stumbled on my page!
I can’t wait to try this! what would be a good SUBSTITUTE if i can’t find straw mushrooms?
Any mushrooms or leave them out & add your favorite veggies 🙂
Can this be made with pork or beef the same way, or are there different ingredients for those dishes and called another name?
No, it sure could! You could use whatever you like 🙂
This is way better than what you get at a restaurant or takeout. My husband already wants me to make it again!
This was the best homemade Chinese food I’ve had! The chicken in it was super tender and moist.
This is such a great recipe! My family loved it and it will be making a regular appearance on our menu.