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    Moo Goo Gai Pan

    I’ve always had a soft spot for Chinese food, especially dishes like Moo Goo Gai Pan. There’s just something about the mix of tender chicken, mushrooms, and fresh veggies in a tasty sauce that I love. When I’m craving those flavors, I skip the takeout and cook it up myself at home.

    Making Moo Goo Gai Pan is easy and doesn’t take long. With just a few ingredients and a hot pan, I can whip up this delicious dish in under 30 minutes. Plus, being able to control what goes into my meal and adjust it to my taste makes it even better.

    This easy Moo Goo Gai Pan recipe whips up in about 30 minutes, and tastes even better than your local Chinese takeout!

    What could be better than a stir fry? They’re so tasty, and so quick and easy!

    From classics like my Beef with Broccoli and General Tso’s Chicken, to lesser known dishes like Korean Squid Stir Fry and Vietnamese Shaking Beef, I make sure our wok is well used.

    What is Moo Goo Gai Pan?

    Moo Goo Gai Pan is a beloved staple from American-Chinese cuisine. Originating from the Cantonese classic, Mah Gu Gai Pin, this dish has been adapted to Western palates while retaining its essence.

    This tasty stir fry combines chicken with vegetables like snow peas, carrots, mushrooms, and water chestnuts.

    The name “Moo Goo Gai Pan” comes from the Cantonese language. When translated, it quite literally describes the core ingredients of the dish. “Moo goo” means button mushrooms, “gai” means chicken, and “pan” refers to slices.

    This easy Moo Goo Gai Pan recipe whips up in about 30 minutes, and tastes even better than your local Chinese takeout!

    Ingredients Needed

    • Boneless skinless chicken breast – You can also use thighs, but breast meat is more traditional in this recipe.
    • For marinating the chicken – Cornstarch, soy sauce, oyster sauce, Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine), baking soda, sesame oil.
    • Veggies and aromatics – Carrots, mushrooms, green onions, snow peas, water chestnuts, garlic.
    • Moo goo gai pan sauce – Soy sauce, oyster sauce, Chinese cooking wine, chicken broth.
    • Cornstarch and water – For thickening the sauce.
    plate of cut up veggies

    Easy Moo Goo Gai Pan Recipe

    1. Velvet the chicken: First, I slice the chicken into ¼ inch slices, cutting against the grain. Then, I combine it well with the marinade ingredients. I let it marinate for 30 minutes, or while I prep the rest of the ingredients.

    chicken marinating in a bowl

    2. Stir fry chicken: When ready to cook, I heat oil in a wok or large skillet, then cook the chicken slices for 30 seconds per side. I continue cooking for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until they’re cooked through. Then, I plate it out.

    cooked chicken on a plate

    3. Add veggies: I add the carrots, mushrooms, and white parts of the green onion. I stir-fry them for about 3 minutes, then add the garlic for 30 seconds, followed by the water chestnuts.

    stir frying the vegetables

    4. Add chicken and sauce: I add the stir-fry sauce and return the chicken to the skillet. I cook for a minute, then mix cornstarch with water to create a slurry. I add it to the stir-fry and cook for another minute.

    chicken and sauce added in with snow peas on top

    5. Finish the stir fry: Finally, I add snow peas and combine everything well. Once the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through, I add the green parts of the green onions. Then, serve it immediately, garnishing with sesame seeds.

    finished stir fry

    Serving Suggestions

    While I usually eat moo goo gai pan just with simple white rice, sometimes I’ll whip up a quick batch of Fried Rice, or skip the rice altogether and pair it with Spicy Noodles.

    For a full on Asian night, I like to serve it with cup of Wonton Soup and a side of Asian Cucumber Salad.

    Alpana’s Tips

    • Freeze the Chicken: I find that partially freezing the chicken makes it much easier to slice very thinly.
    • Marinate the Chicken: I always make sure to marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This process, called velveting, is key for tender, flavorful chicken.
    • Prep in Advance: I’ve learned that having all my ingredients sliced, diced, and ready to go makes the cooking process smoother and faster. After all, stir-frying is a quick process!
    • Cook in Batches: If I’m using a smaller pan, I avoid overcrowding. Cooking in batches ensures each piece of chicken and vegetables gets cooked evenly.
    • Add Vegetables Based on Cooking Time: I add hard vegetables like carrots first and delicate ones like snow peas later. This way, everything is perfectly cooked at the end.
    This easy Moo Goo Gai Pan recipe whips up in about 30 minutes, and tastes even better than your local Chinese takeout!

    Whip up my easy version of Moo Goo Gai Pan tonight. With its great flavors and easy cooking, this can be your new weeknight best friend!

    Make sure to save or pin this recipe so you always know where to find it. And don’t forget to subscribe to GypsyPlate, we’re always cooking up new recipes for you!

    Moo Goo Gai Pan, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!

    bowl of moo goo gai pan on the Gypsy Plate

    Try these other great stir fry recipes!
    Hunan Shrimp
    Nasi Goreng
    Beef Bulgogi
    Orange Chicken
    Pork Stir Fry
    Beijing Beef
    Kung Pao Chicken
    Easy Chicken Stir Fry

    featured image for moo goo gai pan recipe

    Moo Goo Gai Pan

    Yield: 4 servings
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 30 minutes

    My easy Moo Goo Gai Pan recipe whips up in about 30 minutes, and tastes even better than your local Chinese takeout!


    Chicken Marination

    • 1lb boneless skinless chicken breast
    • 2 tsp cornstarch
    • 1 tsp soy sauce
    • 1 tsp oyster sauce
    • ½ Tbsp Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine)
    • ½ tsp baking soda
    • ¼ tsp sesame oil

    Stir Fry Sauce

    • 1.5 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 1.5 Tbsp oyster sauce
    • 2 Tbsp Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine) (see note 1)
    • ½ cup chicken stock

    Stir Fry

    • 3 Tbsp oil, divided
    • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced
    • 8oz mushrooms, sliced
    • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 5 green onions, sliced into long stems
    • 1 cup snow peas
    • 5oz can of water chestnuts, drained
    • 1 tsp cornstarch
    • 1 Tbsp water
    • sesame seeds, for garnish


    1. Slice the chicken breast in half widthwise, then cut it against the grain into pieces approximately ¼-inch thick (see note 2). Transfer chicken slices to a mixing bowl and combine with cornstarch, soy, oyster sauce, Chinese cooking wine, baking soda and a dash of sesame oil. Use hands to coat chicken pieces well. (see note 3)
    2. Add all ingredients for the sauce (soy sauce, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, and chicken stock) to a small mixing bowl. Whisk well to combine. Set aside.
    3. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in large, heavy-bottomed skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces in a single layer and cook for approximately 30 seconds. Flip the chicken and cook for another 30 seconds. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally until chicken is almost cooked. Remove it onto a plate and set aside.
    4. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add the carrots, mushrooms and white parts of green onion to the skillet, mixing well to combine. Cook, stirring often until the vegetables start to turn soft, approximately 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add water chestnuts, mixing well to combine.
    5. Add the stir fry sauce and return the chicken to the skillet. Cook for a minute. Mix corn starch with water to create a slurry, then add to the stir fry. Cook for a minute.
    6. Add snow peas and combine well. When the sauce is thickened and chicken is cooked through, add green parts of green onions. Serve immediately, garnishing with sesame seeds over a bed of warm rice.


    1. You can use any cooking rice wine as well.
    2. Tip for cutting chicken into thin slices: Freeze chicken breasts in the freezer for 15-30 minutes, or just long enough to solidify slightly. Remove from the freezer and slice.
    3. Allow your chicken to marinate for 30 minutes, or while your prep the recipe and cut the veggies. This allows the meat to tenderize.
    4. Leftovers: Store the leftovers in an air tight container and place in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. When you’re ready to eat, simply reheat it in the microwave until the stir fry is heated thorough. You can also reheat on the stove top over medium-high heat in a skillet.

    Nutrition Information
    Yield 4 Serving Size 1
    Amount Per Serving Calories 438Total Fat 19gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 97mgSodium 931mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 5gSugar 6gProtein 42g

    Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Picture of Alpana, blogger and recipe developer at GypsyPlate

    Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.

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