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
  • 1 H
  • 1 H
  • Serves 4
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  • For the marinade
  • 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, or flour
  • A healthy pinch kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless white meat, such as chicken, turkey, pheasant, or grouse, thinly sliced into strips
  • For the sauce
  • 1/2 cup canned chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup Shaoxing wine or white wine
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, flour, potato starch, or tapioca starch
  • For the moo goo gai pan
  • 2 cups peanut or other vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 1/2 pound assorted fresh mushrooms, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup canned chicken broth or homemade chicken stock
  • 1/2 pound fresh vegetables, cut into bite-size lengths (such as snow peas, very thinly sliced carrots, bamboo shoots, green or white asparagus, or a combination)
  • Sesame oil, for garnish
  • Chopped scallions, for garnish
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
  • Steamed rice, for serving


  • Make the marinade
  • 1. 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
  • 2. In a smallish bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients.
  • Make the moo goo gai pan
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. 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.
  • 5. 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.
  • 6. 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.
  • 7. Serve immediately with plenty of steamed rice to soak up the plentiful sauce.

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