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Moo Goo Gai Pan {Chicken and Mushroom}

Chinese Chicken and Mushroom Stir Fry

by Shirley
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Moo Goo Gai Pan {Mo Gu Ji Pian}

Moo Goo Gai Pan, or Mo Gu Ji Pian {蘑菇鸡片} in Chinese mandarin, is a popular Chinese restaurant take-out food in the west. It features tasty bite-size thin-sliced chicken stir-fried with mushroom and other vegetable assortments in a velveting sauce. Naturally yummy and perfect to go with freshly steamed rice for a dinner rice bowl.

Moo Goo Gai Pan {Mushroom and Chicken Stir Fry}

What is Moo Goo Gai Pan {Mo Gu Ji Pian 蘑菇鸡片}?

Moo Goo Gai Pan is a Cantonese phenetic word, that literally translates as “mushroom (and) chicken slices”. It corresponds to Mainland China’s Pinyin phenetic word “Mo Gu Ji Pian” {蘑菇鸡片}. It features chicken thin slices, either chicken thighs or breast, stir-fried with mushroom slices along with other vegetable assortments.

Speaking of vegetable assortments, we usually pick one with green color and one with orange/red color. Snowpeas are a popular green-colored vegetable choice. I also like celery or long green pepper. Carrots are the default choice for the orange-colored vegetable.

Moo Goo Gai Pan {Mo Gu Ji Pian}

The trick of using celery is to cut it in an angel to get consistently thin slices. That is the same way we slice napa cabbage for Beijing-Style Stir-Fried Napa Cabbage with vinegar sauce or a fish fillet for Huai Yang Style Sauteed Fish Fillet.

How to make a tasty Moo Goo Gai Pan?

Ingredients to make Mushroom and Chicken Stir Fry

Moo Goo Gai Pai Ingredients

Tip No.1 is to marinate bite-size chicken thin slices

For this recipe, you can use either chicken breast or chicken thighs. Cut the chicken in an angel to get thin slices.

Since the chicken breast is not as tender as chicken thighs, I recommend you marinate chicken breast slices with 1/4 tsp baking soda first thing first for one pound of chicken. Using a meat tenderizer to pound chicken breast first also helps.

marinate chicken slices

For one pound of chicken, add 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tbsp of Shaoxing wine, 1 tbsp dark soy sauce, and 1 tbsp arrowroot flour for marinating the chicken slices. Use a pair of bamboo or wooden spatulas to toss and mix well.

Arrowroot is my go-to superfood starch. You can substitute it with your choice of starch.

Tip No.2 is to make a yummy stir fry sauce for Moo Gu Gai Pan

Use chicken broth or water and then whisk in the black pepper and coriander seeds. Following that, add 2 tbsp of light soy sauce and whisk to blend well. The light soy sauce makes the flavor pop which also adds a little color to the dish.

Making Stir Fry Sauce for Moo Goo Gai Pan

By the way, a spice/coffee grinder is a very handy kitchen gadget that can easily turn your preferred organic wholesome herbs into powder. I use this method to make Homemade Chai Spice Mix and Detox Tea Mix.

Moo Goo Gai Pan {Mo Gu Ji Pian}

Moo Goo Gai Pan Recipe {Mushroom and Chicken Stir Fry}

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Moo Goo Gai Pan, or Mo Gu Ji Pian {蘑菇鸡片} is popular Chinese takeout food. It features tasty bite-size thin-sliced chicken stir-fried with mushroom and other vegetable assortments in a velveting sauce. Naturally yummy and perfect to pair with rice for a rice bowl.


  • 1 lb chicken meat, thigh is preferred but chicken breast is OK too, boneless and skinless, see notes
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil, or other types of cooking oil
  • 0.5 lb fresh mushroom, sliced
  • 0.3 lb green vegetables such as celery, long green pepper, or snow peas
  • A small piece of carrot, about 2 oz, optional
  • 1 stalk of green onion, chopped
  • 1 small piece of ginger, organic preferred, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or minced

For Marinating the Chicken

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda, optional, only if using chicken breast. No need for chicken thigh
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan Pink salt, or sea salt
  • 1/2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot flour, or other types of starch

For Moo Goo Gai Pan Stir Fry Sauce:

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground preferred
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds, freshly ground preferred
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup broth or water


Gather Ingredients:

Moo Goo Gai Pai Ingredients

Prep Work:

  • Wash, rinse and pat dry the chicken. When using chicken breast, pound the chicken using a meat tenderizer. You can skip this if you use chicken thigh meat.
  • Cut the chicken in an angel to get consistent bite-size thin slices and add to a glass mixing bowl.
  • For the chicken breast optional step, add 1/4 tsp baking soda, toss and mix well using a pair of bamboo or wooden spatulas. After that, add the rest of the ingredients under "For Marinating the Chicken" - salt, Shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, and arrowroot flour. Toss and mix well before you add the next ingredient. Set aside.
    marinate chicken slices
  • Prepare vegetables and herbs. Wash and rinse the mushroom, then cut it into slices. Wash and rinse the carrot, trim both ends, and peel, then either use a mandoline slicer or knife to cut it into thin slices. Wash and rinse the celery, trim both ends, and then use a knife to slice an angle into thin slices. If the celery is very wide, then cut vertically in the middle first before slicing.
    Moo Goo Gai Pan ingredients
  • Chop green onion into small pieces, and cut ginger and garlic into thin slices.
  • Add everything under "For Moo Goo Gai Pan Stir Fry Sauce" into a 2-cup measuring cup or bowl, whisk to mix well, and set aside.
    Making Stir Fry Sauce for Moo Goo Gai Pan
  • Blanch celery and carrots for better taste. Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil and then add the carrot and celery slices. Use a stainless skimmer to separate the vegetables and then wait for them to reach a boil again. Once it reaches a boil, use the skimmer to remove them from the water and place them on a large plate. If you are using long green pepper, it doesn't require blanching.
    blanch carrot and celery slices

Stir Fry Moo Goo Gai Pan:

  • Turn the heat to medium-high and heat a hard-anodized fry pan for 1 minute.
  • Add 1 tbsp avocado oil to the frying pan, along with chopped green onion and minced ginger, and garlic, stir for about 15 seconds or till fragrant and then add the marinated chicken slices.
  • Try to lay them flat and cook for 2 minutes, and then flip and cook the other side for 1 minute. Toss the chicken using a pair of wooden spatulas for another minute or till the chicken is fully cooked. Remove the chicken from the frying pan and set it aside.
    sear and cook marinated chicken slices in the fry pan
  • Add the mushroom to the frying pan, and toss for about 2 minutes or till wilt.
    stir fry mushroom slices in the fry pan
  • Add blanched carrot and celery, and toss for about 30 seconds.
    stir fry mushroom, celery and carrot slices in the fry pan
  • Add the chicken back to the frying pan and toss for about 30 seconds.
    stir fry chicken and mushroom
  • Quickly remix the sauce to make sure the arrowroot flour is not settling in the bottom and pour it into the pan in a circular motion. Use a wide turner to fold the sauce into the chicken and vegetables. Keep doing so until the sauce bubbles and thickens about 30 seconds.
  • All done! Enjoy a naturally yummy Moo Goo Gai Pan!
    Moo Goo Gai Pan {Mo Gu Ji Pian}
Nutrition Information
Yield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 504Total Fat 26gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 19gCholesterol 199mgSodium 1672mgCarbohydrates 17gFiber 4gSugar 6gProtein 52g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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