You're sure to enjoy the amazing flavors in this easy moo shu chicken recipe that uses shredded pre-cooked chicken.
The first time I made this recipe, it was because I had some leftover baked chicken breast and pre-shredded coleslaw mix that I wanted to use up.
It was so good, the flavor combination so delicious, that I have made it many times since. It's one of those recipes that everyone likes, and it's also very easy to make.
What is Chinese moo shu?
Moo shu pork is a dish of northern Chinese origin. It consists of sliced pork tenderloin, cucumber, and scrambled eggs, stir-fried in peanut oil together with mushrooms. The dish is seasoned with ginger, garlic, scallions, soy sauce, and rice cooking wine.
As you can see in the recipe card below, my own recipe departs from tradition quite a bit. But it's delicious nonetheless.
Chicken vs. pork
Moo shu chicken is an interesting variation on the traditional recipe. I like pork, but I almost always use chicken in this recipe because I make a lot of baked chicken breasts. So I often have leftovers that I want to use up.
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make moo shu chicken. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
For the sauce: soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, and red pepper flakes.
Oil: I use either refined coconut oil or avocado oil.
Aromatics: Minced garlic and ginger. You can mince them yourself, but it's absolutely fine to use the stuff that comes in a jar.
Shredded cabbage: To make life easy I use pre-shredded bagged cabbage. But it's not difficult to shred it yourself.
Shredded cooked chicken: I usually use shredded chicken breasts. You can also use rotisserie chicken - just make sure to remove the skin. Its texture won't work in this recipe.
For garnish: Sliced scallions, sesame oil, and sesame seeds.
How to make moo shu chicken
It's so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
1. Start by whisking together the sauce ingredients.
2. Cook the garlic and ginger in the oil, then add the sauce and the shredded cabbage.
3. Next, add the chicken and half the scallions.
4. Remove from heat. Stir in the sesame oil and top with the remaining scallions and the sesame seeds.
As with most stir-fry recipes, the cooking itself is very quick. It's the prep that takes most of the time. And when using precooked chicken and pre-shredded cabbage, even the prep isn't too bad.
How to serve this dish?
The traditional recipe is served with little savory pancakes. Instead of those, I use cabbage or lettuce wraps. Another option is to serve this dish on a bed of cauliflower rice, to soak up the yummy sauce. And of course, you can simply serve it in pretty bowls!
What to do with leftover moo shu chicken?
Leftover chicken should keep for 3 days in the fridge. But if you used pre-cooked chicken that already spent a day or two in the fridge, I wouldn't keep leftovers longer than the day after making this recipe.
To reheat the leftovers without over-drying the chicken, it's best to heat them covered, and use the microwave on a low setting.
More Asian inspired chicken recipes you might enjoy
A few other Asian inspired recipes that use up chicken breast are:
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Moo Shu Chicken
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce (or use a gluten-free alternative and add salt as needed)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Moo shu chicken ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
- 1 (14 oz) package shredded cabbage
- 2 cups cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts, shredded (10 oz)
- ½ cup sliced green onions, divided (1 oz)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds for garnish
- In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, vinegar and red pepper flakes.
- Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Add the coconut oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, 30 seconds.
- Add the soy sauce mixture and the shredded cabbage. Cook 1 minute, until just wilted, stirring constantly to coat all the cabbage with the sauce.
- Add the chicken and ¼ cup green onions. Cook 1 more minute, stirring. Off heat, stir in the sesame oil.
How to serve:
- Serve, garnished with the remaining green onions and sesame seeds, over cooked brown rice, on top of shredded lettuce, or in lettuce/cabbage cups, as shown.
To create lettuce or cabbage cups:
- Rinse a head of green cabbage or iceberg lettuce; dry well. Discard damaged outer leaves. Cut in half through the core, remove the core with a sharp knife, then carefully separate into cups, using 2-3 leaves for each cup.