This recipe for moo goo gai pan is a classic dish of chicken and vegetables stir fried with a savory sauce. Plus secret tips on how to make your stir fries taste like they came from a restaurant!

Moo Goo Gai Pan Recipe | Chicken Stir Fry | Chicken and Mushroom Stir Fry | Take Out | Chinese Food | Easy Chicken Recipe #stirfry #chinesefood #chicken #healthy #dinner #dinneratthezoo

Moo goo gai pan with chicken and vegetables in a skillet.

Have you ever ordered moo goo gai pan at a Chinese restaurant? It’s a simple chicken and vegetable stir fry that’s super flavorful and also on the healthier side. I first tried this fabulous dish about 15 years ago while on a date with my now-husband. I had never had it before but he insisted we order it and I’m glad that he did.

Chicken, mushrooms, snow peas and carrots in a savory sauce.

What is moo goo gai pan?

Moo goo gai pan is essentially chicken with mushrooms, along with some other veggies that seem to vary depending on who is preparing it. When I order a chicken based dish at a Chinese restaurant, the meat is always very thinly sliced and super tender, but I could never figure out how to replicate that at home. Luckily, after a little research, I realized that it’s actually quite easy to get thin and tender chicken pieces in your own kitchen. The first step to getting restaurant-style chicken is to cut your chicken into very thin slices. The easiest way to do this is to freeze the chicken breasts for about 20 minutes, or just until they firm up – you don’t want them frozen solid, but you do want them hard enough to easily slice. Cut your chicken against the grain (width wise) into strips.

The next step in the process is a technique known as velveting – the chicken takes a quick dip in a cornstarch and egg white mixture which makes it extra tender. This extra little step is well worth it for a restaurant style end result.

A skillet of moo goo gai pan with a serving spoon in it.

The sauce for this stir fry recipe is so incredibly simple, but it really ties all of the flavors together nicely. Serve this dish with a side of rice and skip the take out menu tonight!

Chicken, vegetable and mushroom stir fry in a pan.

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Moo Goo Gai Pan Video

4.94 from 127 votes

Moo Goo Gai Pan

AuthorSara Welch
This recipe for moo goo gai pan is a classic dish of chicken and vegetables stir fried with a savory sauce. Plus secret tips on how to make your stir fries taste like they came from a restaurant!
This recipe for moo goo gai pan is a classic dish of chicken and vegetables stir fried with a savory sauce. Plus tips on how to make your stir fries taste like they came from a restaurant!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Serves 4 servings


  • 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of cornstarch divided use
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil divided use
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 cups of sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup of snow peas
  • 1/2 cup of thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 8-ounce can of sliced water chestnuts drained
  • 1 8-ounce can of sliced bamboo shoots drained
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • In a medium bowl whisk together the egg white and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Add the chicken slices and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then strain and discard any excess liquid.
  • In a large saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon of oil over medium high heat. Add the carrots and 1 tablespoon of water and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes or until mushrooms are browned and tender.
  • Add the snow peas and cook 1-2 minutes more or until tender. Stir in the water chestnuts and bamboo shoots. Season the vegetables to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Remove the vegetables from the pan and place on a plate. Cover the plate with foil to keep warm.
  • Wipe out the pan with a paper towel. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over medium high heat.
  • Add the the chicken to the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds more.
  • In a small bowl whisk together the chicken stock, sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Whisk in 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of cornstarch.
  • Add the vegetables back to the pan and heat through, approximately 1 minute. Pour in the sauce and turn the high to heat. Bring the sauce to a boil and boil for approximately 1 minute or until sauce has just started to thicken, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve immediately, over rice if desired.


Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 420mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I made this for dinner tonight and just had to stop mid-bite to come here and comment! The flavor was subtle but delicious and the technique to velvet the chicken was amazing! My husband really liked it and commented on liking the evenly thin sliced vegetables. I went the extra mile and used my mandolin. Who would have thought he’d notice! Ha. This is simple, delicious and something I will make again and again

  2. 5 stars
    I made this today with a few minor adjustments, and it was fantastic. Like another commenter mentioned, white pepper is a must. The rest was down to personal preference. I doubled the mushrooms because I omitted the bamboo shoots. I cooked the mushrooms first to get crips edges, removing them from the pan while I did the veggies. I added a splash of white wine as the chicken was finishing.

    The velveting worked beautifully – I’d never tried it before and was a little anxious – and I got really nice browning on the chicken.

    Served without rice or any other sides it made three very portions.

    I’m really glad I found this and will be adding it to my rotation.

  3. 5 stars
    Loved this recipe! And the velveting step made the chicken awesome! I have been making stir-fry and Asian dishes for years and have many Asian cookbooks none of them ever mentioned this step! Thank you so much!

  4. 5 stars
    This was delicious. I thought it tasted like what I order out. I don’t care for bamboo shoots or water chestnuts so I added celery. It was perfect. Thank you for a wonderful recipe.

  5. 5 stars
    I parboiled snow peas and Bean sprouts.
    I used what what was on hand, shredded zucchini and carrots
    This is kind of a labor-intensive recipe, a lot of chopping and mixing.
    I don’t like having to add things at different times and having to remove and return the veggies but it is what it is.
    In the end, you get a tasty, succulent dish.

  6. I made the Moo Goo Gia pan, wonderful. I added diagonal sliced celery thin slice, and a little Chinese cabbage. I did not get the thickening to the sauce so should have put all from the chicken in to thicken. I also did 1/2 tablespoon baking powder in the chicken marinade. With that being said, it is so good, no picture though, because it is dark so the pictures you see must be before the soy sauce added in. Will do this again thank you darc

  7. 5 stars
    I make Chinese food all the time (for over 50 years). I love this recipe….very tasty.

    I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t have chicken and used pork….it was marvelous. I didn’t have water chestnuts and used fresh bean sprouts. Another good choice.

    Everything else was per the recipe. Excellent process and taste. I will be makes it again.

  8. I just made this and it was delicious! I did not change a thing. I will be making this a lot! Thank you for this great recipe.