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
  • 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.

14 thoughts on “Moo Goo Gai Pan

    1. Hi Andrew, I don’t use a particular brand, I tend to grab it at my local Asian market based on price and ingredients (avoiding wheat and added sugar, as you mentioned). For mirin we use the Eden Foods brand, which you can find pretty easily in health food stores or on Amazon.


  1. This was wonderful! Very light and flavorful. The only change I made was to sub another tbs of soy for the oyster sauce. We had this with fried rice and store-bought egg rolls. Excellent!


  2. Made this for the second time tonight–this time doubling the sauce. It tastes so delicious and nourishing! We thoroughly enjoyed it. So appreciative for your blog and books with all their great recipes.


  3. OMGosh this was so good !!! I made double the sauce recipe for mine I like my food extra saucy . My kids had seconds it was so good !! Can’t wait to make this again and again. :)


  4. Thanks Russ! First time poster here. Interestingly, I didn’t think it was successful the day I made it, but this made spectacular leftovers. I’d probably decrease the chicken to 1.5 lbs and add more vegetables (especially mushrooms). With Moo Gai Pan, you’re expecting a goopy sauce, but this one was very light, more like a coconut flavored chicken and vegetable stir fry.


  5. Wow. This was absolutely fantastic. I made the AIP version. And I made it with grass-fed sirloin cap beef, because that’s what I had on hand. The breakfast re-heat was also great, although the snap peas don’t stay crunchy. Thanks so much for this recipe!


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