Moo Goo Gai Pan

January 27, 2022
2 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten, prop styling by Molly Fitzsimons, food styling by Ericka Martins
  • Prep time 40 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Since moving to the United States a few years ago, I’ve developed a new appreciation for Chinese-American food. While it isn’t the traditional Chinese cooking I grew up eating, the familiar seasonings and techniques used in Chinese-American cooking remind me very much of home. Over the years, I’ve come up with an assortment of dishes that perhaps aren’t “authentically” Chinese, but are delicious in their own right.

This is my spin on moo goo gai pan, the ever-popular Chinese takeout dish. It’s heavy on the vegetables, which is just the way I like my stir-fries, and made with a fragrant, savory sauce of Shaoxing cooking wine, white rice wine, soy sauce, and oyster sauce. For tender chicken that stays moist during cooking, I use skinless, boneless chicken thighs and cook them with a Chinese technique called velveting, where meat is marinated with cornstarch. This helps to create a luscious (and, if I may—velvety!) sauce. Traditionally, an egg white is used in the marinade, but for ease, I’ve gone with a mixture of Chinese cooking wine and soy sauce, which I’ve found works just as well as an egg white. But if you'd like to use an egg white here, go for it!

I recommend serving this alongside some crispy roasted pork, Grace Young’s stir-fried garlic eggplant, steamed fish, and a big bowl of rice—because that’s exactly the kind of dinner I’d like to eat. —Genevieve Yam

What You'll Need
  • Chicken Marinade & Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons Shaoxing cooking wine, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon soy sauce, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • Stir-Fry:
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (about 20 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3 1/2 cups (226 grams/4 ounces) shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups (160 grams) coarsely chopped or sliced baby bok choy
  • 1 1/2 cups (120 grams) snow peas, strings removed
  • 1 cup (60 grams/2 ounces) torn oyster mushrooms
  • Kosher salt
  • Cooked rice, for serving
  1. Chicken Marinade & Sauce:
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk 3 tablespoons of the Shaoxing wine, 2 teaspoons of the cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce, and the pepper to combine. Slice the chicken, removing any excess fat, and toss the chicken in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
  3. While the chicken is marinating, in a small bowl, whisk the water, rice wine, oyster sauce, and the remaining ¼ cup of the Shaoxing wine, 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce; set aside.
  1. Stir-Fry:
  2. In a large wok or pot over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil until hot and shimmering. Cook the chicken (leaving the marinade behind), tossing, for 3 to 5 minutes, until just cooked through.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic, ginger, and sesame oil and cook, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Add the shiitake mushrooms, bok choy, snow peas, and oyster mushrooms, and cook, tossing, for 6 to 8 minutes, until the mushrooms have shrunk and the bok choy and snap peas are tender but still have some crunch.
  4. Return the chicken and resting juices to the wok. Stir the sauce once more and add to the wok. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, until thickened and glossy. Season to taste.
  5. Remove from the heat and serve with the rice.

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