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

4.91 from 80 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. I tried this recipe and used sugar snap peas instead. It was delicious. The only time I ate leftovers more than once.

  2. 5 stars
    My doctor has put me on a vegan diet and I made this omitting the egg, substituting the chicken for tofu and the chicken stock for veggie stock and it was pretty good.

  3. 5 stars
    So this is my first time making Moo Goo Gai Pan and the only thing I did different with this recipe was I used a slice sorry instead of the snow peas I didn’t use the bamboo , but everything was as the recipe specified the only thing I noticed unlike the restaurants the chicken breast seem to have more of a yellow Sheen after cooking or yellow color than the restaurant but the taste in the flavor is so much better than the restaurant this is my go-to recipe for moo goo gai pan it’s absolutely wonderful and this is my first time

  4. 5 stars
    I just love how you include the nutrition facts for every recipe. That’s a great addon you got there. Thanks for this delicious recipe

  5. 5 stars
    Hi There! I found your recipe on Pinterest and wanted to stop by to thank you for sharing it! It was sooooo good! I made some substitutions to make it vegetarian & gluten free. Instead of chicken I used extra firm tofu that I sauteed for a few minutes. I also omitted the chicken broth & soy sauce and used veggie stock along with a lower sodium Tamari sauce instead. I love how quickly this tasty meal came together. I’ll definitely be making this again!

  6. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and loved it with a side of
    Jasmine rice. My husband is not a fan of
    veggies, but these crisp tender veggies in this
    recipe made him scarf it right up. 5 stars.

  7. Just wondering if this Velveting method works for Beef strips as well? We have a favorite chinese restaurant where we have beef and broccoli and the beef is soooo tender that it puzzles us how they do it. Would love to know how restaurants get the beef to basically melt in your mouth. Thanks for the recipe, looking forward to trying this with chicken and shrimp as well as beef on occasion.

  8. 5 stars
    Made your Moo Goo Gai Pan tonight for supper. It came out great. I doubled the recipe so we have leftovers. The was delicious and with all the vegetables, healthy.

  9. What does this mean “2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of cornstarch, divided use
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided use”. It says “divided use” what does that mean?

    1. It just means that ingredient is used in two places in the recipe. So the total amount is listed in the ingredients, but in the directions I specify to use it in two different places!

  10. 5 stars
    This was amazing! Tastes just like the real deal! Thank-you for the “velveting” method tip. My only addition was fresh jalapeño to spice it up a bit.

  11. No I have never heard of it before. It looks so rich and filling! And I love that extra step of velvet-ting technique.

  12. I can’t wait to try the “velveting” method with the chicken – it sounds wonderful. Love all those beautiful fresh vegetables too.

  13. I don’t think I’ve ever really known what was in Moo Goo Gai Pan. But now I do and I want some 😉 Beautiful!