Moo Goo Gai Pan

Moo goo gai pan is a Chinese stir-fry dish featuring marinated chicken, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, and fresh vegetables that is finished with a sauce made from wine, oyster sauce, and soy sauce. Better than takeout.

A blue and white plate filled with moo goo gai pan

You may know “moo goo gai pan” as an item on the Chinese takeout menu that’s safe for less adventurous eaters. This recipe adheres to the traditional ingredients of poultry and mushrooms to accommodate those diners yet the author also encourages you to be a little adventurous regarding your choice of ingredients.–Angie Zoobkoff

Moo Goo Gai Pan

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 1 H
  • 1 H
  • Serves 4
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  • For the marinade
  • For the sauce
  • For the moo goo gai pan


Make the marinade

In a mediumish bowl, whisk together the egg whites, starch or flour, salt, and pepper, mixing completely until the starch or flour is completely incorporated into the mixture. Add the meat and mix to thoroughly coat each piece. Let this rest at room temperature while you chop the vegetables and up to 30 minutes.

Make the sauce

In a smallish bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients.

Make the moo goo gai pan

In a wok or large saucepan, heat the oil to about 350°F (175°C). (If you don’t have a thermometer, you want the end of a wooden chopstick to sizzle immediately when you place the tip in the oil.) Line a plate with paper towels. Add about 1/3 of the meat to the wok or pan, using chopsticks or tongs to separate the pieces as they hit the hot oil and turn them occasionally. Stir-fry until almost cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining meat, working in batches.

Remove the skillet from the heat and very carefully drain the oil into a dry container. Wipe out the wok. Add back a tablespoon or so of the oil and heat it over high heat.

When the oil starts to shimmer but not quite smoke, add the sliced garlic and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant but not burnt, about 20 seconds. Stir in the mushrooms and the stock and stir-fry for about 30 seconds longer. Cover the wok and cook for 1 minute.

Return the meat to the wok along with the vegetables and stir-fry 30 seconds. Stir the sauce well, then pour it into the wok. Stir-fry this for 1 minute, turn off the heat, and add the sesame oil, green onions, and, if desired, cilantro.

Serve immediately with plenty of steamed rice to soak up the plentiful sauce.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

Finally a recipe for Moo Goo Gai Pan that is a close match to my favorite Chinese takeout dish!

I used black pepper, button mushrooms, and chicken to cut down on cost. I did use the asparagus and it was tasty!

Next time, to make it even more like my favorite take out, I will add sliced carrots and snow peas to the mushrooms rather than the asparagus. I am also going to try to hunt down Shaoxing wine to replace the white wine. Finally, to save time and calories, I am going to skip the marinade and simply use the cornstarch and the pepper to coat the chicken and saute rather than fry.

I expected to like this recipe but, to be honest, I was quite surprised at just how good it was. I don't cook grouse very often but it is plentiful here and really easy to get fresh.

I sliced the grouse quite thinly so it only took 2 minutes to deep fry, before being finished off in the wok.

I used a mixture of mushrooms—cremini, chanterelles, and chicken of the woods—as well as the asparagus. I didn't have any grouse or pheasant broth so I just used my own chicken broth and I think it was fine. The only change I made was to serve it with rice noodles rather than rice.

I think the part of the recipe that I liked the most was the egg white marinade. It makes the meat crisp without being too heavy. The coating also retains its crispiness when the sauce is added. I will definitely use this marinade for other Asian dishes that require "breading" in the future.

I will definitely make this again with chicken or even grouse when I have the opportunity. The sauce is velvety and flavorful and the marinade really makes this dish. There was enough for leftovers the next day and the coating stood up to being in the fridge overnight covered in the sauce.


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  1. This recipe is the Fermenter’s Company Dish! Ferment any and all the vegetative ingredients and use any protein in your gunsights. It will be different, because you don’t want to remove the probiotics by cooking too long. A handful of shredded cabbage or Brussel’s Sprouts is warranted. I have a freezer full of Boletes, known to you as Porcini or Cep. What else would I use except them? This and recipes like this can be made ten ways from high tide and is a basic technique that should be memorized for life. I’ve been using the egg white for many years…make Twice Cooked Pork and prepare to say yer prayers, pilgrims!

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