Moo Goo Gai Pan

I’m out of town for work this week and next, slumming it in Spain, Sicily, and Italy! If you’re interested, you can follow some of my adventures via Instagram. In order to keep my “new recipes every Tuesday” theme going (something I’ve proudly maintained since 2011), I’m sharing a favorite from my second cookbook, Paleo Takeout.

Here’s what I wrote in the book about this dish:

Moo Goo Gai Pan (蘑菇雞片) is an Americanized version of a Cantonese stir-fried chicken and mushroom dish, which translates literally (“Moo Goo” = button mushrooms, “Gai” = chicken, and “Pan” = slices). I like this recipe because it’s a cinch to put together and has a light, refreshing body to it. Feel free to experiment with adding more vegetables. How about a bit of cabbage or some bamboo shoots?

Moo Goo Gai Pan (Gluten-free, Primal, Paleo, Perfect Health Diet)

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy

2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 inch ginger, peeled and minced, or 1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine, Mirin, or dry sherry
2 tsp tamari or 3 tsp coconut aminos
1 tsp fish sauce
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper

1 tbsp arrowroot starch
1 tbsp cold water

1 tbsp coconut oil
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks
splash of tamari or coconut aminos
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 cup snow peas
5 oz white mushrooms, quartered
1 small (5 oz) can water chestnuts, drained and cut in half

1. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low to keep warm while you prepare the rest of the dish. In a small bowl, combine the arrowroot starch and cold water to create a slurry, then set aside.

2. In a wok or skillet, warm the coconut oil over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 1 minute. Add the half of the chicken chunks and sauté until mostly cooked through, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Add a bit of salt, white pepper, and tamari; sauté to caramelize the chicken pieces, about 1 minute, then transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the rest of the chicken and add to the bowl.

3. Add the carrots, snow peas, mushrooms, and water chestnuts to the wok, adding more oil if needed. Sauté until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.

4. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the wok, then stir to combine. Pour in the sauce and bring to a simmer; pour in half of the arrowroot starch slurry and stir until thickened, adding more slurry if needed. Taste and add salt if needed, then remove from the heat and serve.

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