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This moo shu chicken is just as good as the one from your favorite Chinese takeout spot, if not better. Thin slices of seared chicken, tender julienned veggies, and slices of cooked egg come together in a flavorful umami sauce to make a truly delightful entree.
Moo shu chicken made at home? Yes, please! So what’s it like? A smooth sauce coats a delicious combo of perfectly cooked, thin slices of chicken, julienned carrots, sliced cabbage, mushrooms, and cooked egg. The sauce is the perfect combination of umami, tangy, and ever so slightly sweet. This moo shu is loaded with veggies and protein and makes for a fantastic lunch or dinner.
I love figuring out that I can make my favorite takeout dishes at home. It saves so much time and money and has got to be better for your health. This recipe is the perfect example. Not only is it cheaper and healthier than restaurant versions, but it’s also insanely delicious AND easy to make. So start cooking! Your taste buds will be celebrating within the hour.
Why You’ll Love This Moo Shu Chicken Recipe
There are so many things to love! Here are some that stand out to me most.
- Quick and easy. Ready in just over half an hour, this moo shu chicken only requires a few simple steps. It’s perfect for every level of culinary expertise.
- Plenty of flavor. This recipe doesn’t require anything fancy in terms of ingredients. But golly does it deliver a hefty punch of flavor. The sauce is the perfect combination of umami and tangy with just the right amount of sweetness.
- Veggie loaded. No need to make a side salad here. You will get your full dose of veggies from the carrots, cabbage, and mushrooms in this moo shu.
- Better than takeout. Mu shu chicken is one of my favorite things to order at a Chinese restaurant. For takeout or dine-in. This recipe does a wonderful job of recreating all of the magical flavors and textures in this traditional dish but with none of the additives and mystery ingredients often found in takeout.
What Is Moo Shu Chicken?
Moo shu (or mu shu) chicken is a popular Chinese entree made of simply marinated, thinly sliced chicken that has been seared to a crispy golden brown. The meat is then tossed with a mixture of al dente, thinly sliced veggies (usually carrots and cabbage), and finished in a flavorful, umami sauce. Slices of cooked egg are mixed in at the very end for a little extra flavor, texture, and protein.
Moo shu chicken is often served with very thin wheat pancakes meant to be wrapped around the moo shu, burrito style. This recipe uses chicken but can just as easily be applied to another protein. Check out my post on Moo Shu Pork.
So what goes into mu shu chicken? It doesn’t take much. Here’s a grocery list for you. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for exact measurements.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts – They should be thinly sliced. You can use chicken thighs instead if you’d like.
- Soy sauce – Liquid aminos would work as well.
- Hoisin sauce
- Rice vinegar
- Cornstarch – Arrowroot is another option here.
- Vegetable oil
- Shiitake mushrooms – You can use sliced white or bella mushrooms instead but shiitakes are my favorite.
- Green cabbage
- Green onions
Can I Make This With Other Protein?
Absolutely. Moo shu pork is probably the most popular variation but you could easily use beef as well. Vegetarian? Tempeh or tofu would work well here too. Whatever you use, be sure to slice the meat nice and thin so that all it needs is a quick fry in the pan to crisp up.
How to Make Moo Shu Chicken
Here’s a brief overview of how to make moo shu chicken. For more detailed instructions, take a look at the recipe card below.
- Marinade the chicken. Let chicken marinate in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce for 15 minutes.
- Make the sauce. Whisk together the hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, and the rest of the soy sauce.
- Cook the eggs. Pour the beaten eggs into a pan over medium heat. Cook until mostly firm, flip, and cook until set. Slice into strips.
- Cook the chicken. Sauté the chicken in some oil over medium heat until browned and cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan.
- Sauté the veggies. Sauté the garlic and ginger in vegetable oil until aromatic. Add in the cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and green onions and sauté until tender.
- Put it all together. Stir in the cooked chicken and the sauce. Stir and cook until the sauce thickens. Stir in the eggs and serve warm.
Tips for Success
Here are some words of wisdom to set you off on the right foot. This moo shu chicken recipe is pretty foolproof if you follow the recipe and keep these tips and tricks on hand.
- Slice the chicken thin. Be sure to slice the chicken quite thin. If it isn’t thin enough, you will have to cook it for longer, causing it to toughen.
- Don’t crowd the pan. When browning the chicken, it is important that you do not crowd the pan as this will drop the temperature of the cooking surface. The chicken will not sear properly and will also release its juices, leaving you with a tough protein. Cook the chicken in batches if necessary.
- Don’t overcook the veggies. You want the veggies to be tender, not mushy. So don’t cook them for too long. 4-6 minutes should be plenty.
- Let the sauce thicken. Once you add the chicken and the sauce back to the pan, let it cook for a bit. The cornstarch in the sauce will activate with the heat and thicken it nicely but it will take 2-3 minutes.
What to Serve with Moo Shu Chicken
This moo shu chicken’s got a lot going for it on its own but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it even more enjoyable by serving it alongside some other Chinese favorites. Here are some ideas to get you inspired.
- Burrito style. Traditionally, this dish is served with paper-thin wheat pancakes that are meant to be wrapped around the moo shu and eaten with your hands.
- Other yummy carbs. Let the flavorful sauce soak into some steamed white rice,
Take-Out, Fake-Out: Chicken Fried Rice (feel free to leave out the chicken), or these Chinese Steamed Buns.
- Veggies side. Serve a refreshing veggie side next to your mu shu chicken. Try my Chinese Cabbage Stir Fry, Spicy Chinese Cucumber Salad, or this Smashed Asian Cucumber Salad.
- Following a delicious appetizer. Enjoy this authentic Chinese favorite after snacking on some Shrimp Shumai, Crispy Golden Spring Rolls, or Crab Rangoon.
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Refrigerator: Allow the mu shu chicken to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Close the container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat this Chinese classic, transfer the desired portion to a pan and sauté over medium heat until warm. You could also zap it in the microwave at 30-second intervals until heated through.
Freezer: Once the mu shu chicken has cooled to room temperature, seal it in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you are ready to dive in, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator before reheating just as you would from the refrigerator.
More Chinese Recipes to Try
I love making my favorite Chinese dishes at home. It’s so much healthier, more affordable, and often quicker than takeout. Here are some of my other favorites. Give them a try!
- Chinese Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings
- Chinese Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Hunan Beef
- Beijing Beef Panda Express Copycat
- Orange Beef and Broccoli
- Instant Pot General Tso’s Chicken
Moo Shu Chicken
- 1 pound (454 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten (season with salt and pepper)
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, can also use arrowroot powder as well
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger, grated or finely minced
- 1 cup (226 g) shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 cup (70 g) green cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 cup (128 g) carrots, julienned
- 1 cup (100 g) green onions, thinly sliced
- In a large bowl, combine the chicken with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Let marinate for about 15 minutes.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, and cornstarch. Set aside.
- Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium. Once heated, add in the beaten eggs. Let cool (undisturbed) until the edges and top are mostly cooked, then carefully flip and cook until just set.
- Remove from heat and slice into thin strips.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the marinated chicken and cook until seared on all sides and cooked through (~6-8 minutes). Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add the remaining tbsp of vegetable oil. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add in the cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and green onions. Sauté for 4-6 minutes until the vegetables start to get tender.
- Return the cooked chicken to the skillet along with the sauce. Stir well and continue cooking for 3-5 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Stir in the eggs and serve warm.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.