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LivingFood and DrinkMoo Goo Gai Pan

Moo Goo Gai Pan

by Susan Hanna

This recipe for Moo Goo Gai Pan from NYT Cooking rivals your favourite take-out version of the dish. Slice chicken breasts into strips and marinate briefly before browning and setting aside. Add the remaining ingredients in stages and stir fry them, return the chicken to the pan and add the sauce. Cook until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked through and serve over rice. Cook’s note: I used snow peas instead of sugar snap peas and omitted the water chestnuts.

Serves 4.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I have never been able to find additive-free oyster sauce, so I make my own by combining 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of tamari sauce with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of sugar and 3 teaspoons (15 ml) of cornstarch. I made chicken broth with Better Than Bouillon paste and used tamari instead of soy sauce. Lee Kum Kee sesame oil and M’Lord bamboo shoots are additive-free. I used Yoshi mirin instead of Shaoxing wine or sherry. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.


  • 1 pound (454 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) oyster sauce
  • 5 tablespoons (75 ml) neutral oil, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) cornstarch
  • 1 cup (250 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) ground white pepper (optional)
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced into coins
  • 1 (2-inch/5-cm) piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced into matchsticks
  • 12 ounces (340 g) white button or shiitake mushrooms, or a mix, stemmed and sliced
  • 4 ounces (113 g) sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved crosswise
  • 1 (8-ounce/227 g) can sliced bamboo shoots, drained
  • 1 (8-ounce/227 h) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) Shaoxing wine, or dry Sherry
  • Steamed white rice, for serving


  1. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then cut crosswise into ¼ -inch- (0.6-cm) thick slices. Place in a medium bowl and add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil and 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water. Toss, sprinkle on 1 tablespoon (15 ml) cornstarch and toss again until each piece of chicken is fully coated. Let marinate for at least 10 minutes or up to 2 hours; refrigerate if marinating longer than 30 minutes, but bring to room temperature 15 minutes before cooking.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk ¾ cup (187 ml) chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, white pepper (if using), the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) oyster sauce and the remaining 1 tablespoon (5 ml) cornstarch until combined. Set aside.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the oil in a wok or large (12-inch/30-cm) cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high. Once the oil starts shimmering, add the marinated chicken in an even layer, cooking in batches and adding more oil, if necessary. Cook until the edges of the chicken are slightly golden brown and the meat no longer sticks to the pan, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook until golden, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the oil, carrot and ginger to the wok. Cook, stirring occasionally, until ginger is golden brown, about 30 seconds. Stir in the mushrooms. Add the remaining ¼ (60 ml) cup chicken broth and toss until everything is well combined. Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half. (This happens very quickly, about 30 seconds.) Add chicken and any reserved juices, sugar snap peas, bamboo shoots and water chestnuts, tossing until combined. Increase heat to high. Add Shaoxing wine and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Reduce heat to medium. Whisk the reserved chicken broth mixture once more and add to the wok. Stir until everything is well combined, the sauce is slightly thickened and the chicken is fully cooked, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve alongside steamed white rice.

From NYT Cooking






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