Moo Goo Gai Pan (Mah Gu Gai Pan) Recipe

Moo Goo Gai Pan (Mah Gu Gai Pan) Recipe

Mah Gu Gai Pan means “fresh mushrooms cooked with sliced chicken.” This traditional Cantonese dish is typically served over rice and made by sautéeing together chicken, mushrooms, vegetables, and spices. This is a delicious dish to serve to friends and family.

You could even make a Cantonese noodle dish to serve on the side or a green salad with ginger dressing. If you prefer using chicken boneless skinless chicken thighs that is also an option. Don’t stray too far from the original recipe here, as this is a great ode to the Cantonese dish that you’ll want to honor.

Moo Goo Gai Pan/Tester Image

“This flavorful stir-fry doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. I’ve made it several times; once with chicken thighs, and once with pressed firm tofu. It’s a winner every time! This dependable recipe comes together fast when you need to get dinner made quickly .”—Danielle Centoni

A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce, divided

  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed and sliced into thin strips

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided

  • 3/4 cup chicken broth, divided

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • 5 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil

  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced

  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger

  • 1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts

  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots, optional

  • Steamed rice, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Moo Goo Gai Pan (Mah Gu Gai Pan) ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  2. In a medium bowl combine 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce, rice vinegar, and a few grinds of black pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat.

    Chicken strips with oyster sauce, rice vinegar, and pepper in a glass bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  3. Add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or up to overnight.

    Chicken strips, marinade and cornstarch in a glass bowl, covered with plastic wrap

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  4. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup chicken broth, the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and the remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Set aside.

    Chicken broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a bowl with a fork

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  5. Heat a wok or heavy-bottomed large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil. When the oil shimmers, add the chicken, leaving any liquid from the marinade behind (discard the marinade). Stir continuously until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate.

    Chicken cooking in a cast iron skillet

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  6. Add another tablespoon of peanut oil to the wok. When the oil shimmers, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring continuously, until the mushrooms begin to soften, about 3 minutes.

    Mushrooms cooking in a cast iron skillet, with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  7. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of chicken broth and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes more. 

    Mushrooms and sauce in a cast iron skillet, with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  8. Push the mushrooms to the sides of the pan to create a well in the center. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of peanut oil to the well in the pan.

    Mushrooms and sauce cooking in a cast iron skillet, with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  9. When the oil shimmers, add the minced ginger and water chestnuts to the well and stir continuously until warmed through, about 1 minute.

    Minced ginger and water chestnuts added to the cast iron skillet with the mushrooms, stirred with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  10. Create another well in the center of the pan. Add the chicken broth-soy sauce mixture. Stir the sauce quickly until thickened and beginning to bubble.

    Mater chestnuts, mushrooms and sauce in a cast iron skillet, with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  11. Return the chicken to the pan with the shredded carrots, if using. Toss the mixture until well combined.

    Chicken, shredded carrots, mushrooms and sauce in a cast iron skillet, with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  12. Continue cooking until the chicken is warmed through and the carrots are crisp-tender, about 1 more minute.

    Moo Goo Gai Pan (Mah Gu Gai Pan) in a cast iron skillet, with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  13. Serve over steamed rice.

    Moo Goo Gai Pan (Mah Gu Gai Pan) served over rice in a bowl, with a fork

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

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