Saturday, October 11, 2008

Moo-shu inspired

Several years ago, when I did such things regularly, one of my favorite things to order from junky Chinese takeout places was moo shu. A pork version when I was in the mood to eat meat; vegetable when I wasn't. Now I know (or rather, now I care) how terrible the dish can be, health-wise. So when the craving hit me one afternoon, I decided to create my own.

I say moo-shu inspired because what I came up with is extremely bastardized. Because I didn't have them, mine lacked most of the vegetables that normally go into the dish, such as bean sprouts, wood-ear mushrooms, carrots, and green cabbage, and I took only wild guesses at the flavoring. What I ended up with was garlic, thinly sliced napa cabbage, thinly sliced red onion, pieces of chicken breast (pre-marinated in sesame oil and soy sauce), and scrambled eggs; I did a stir-fry of these and added in oyster sauce, sesame oil, and a lot of hoisin sauce, since that always seemed like the predominant flavor to me.

What ended up in my pan was something that approximately mirrored the flavor of moo shu, but lacked the different textures and thicker sauce I was hoping for. Still, I enjoyed my pseudo moo shu over rice, and I liked it later, too, folded into small flour tortillas as a substitute for the pancakes that usually come with an order from Chinese takeout. It was less oily, less salty, and cheaper. Maybe I'll come back to this again sometime, and give re-creating moo shu a real try.


  1. well, I did homemade egg foo yung last night (also a chinese takeout guilty pleasure); easy enough though since you just crack some eggs over some chopped up chinese leftovers in the pan and serve over toast. cover, don't flip and you've got a chinese frittata!

  2. Hey I do that too! I eat it with pita bread. Doesn't egg foo yung typically come with some kind of gravy, though?