Moo Shu is a fun dish to share with family and friends. It comes with warm light soft thin crepes that you use to scoop a wonderful assortment of julienne vegetables in a rich dark sauce. The original dish is said to have originated in Northern China in Shandong. It always contained eggs, pork, and a special flower blossoms from an Osmanthus tree. I had to look it up because I had never heard of it before. Turns out it is a shrub also called sweet tea olive. But don’t worry you don’t need any nnzse special blossoms to make an amazing Moo Shu vegetables.
I called this dish deluxe because it has 2 types of proteins. You heard it, not one but two. It also has 2 parts, the pancakes and the filling so it is a good idea to make them a day before. Once everything has been cooked, you only need to keep them warm and serve. Make extra because both filling and pancakes can be frozen. You will thank me!
One is Black fungus, a.k.a. wood ear mushroom because of its ear like shape. It has a soft and chewy texture. If you have ever had hot and sour soup, you have tasted it. These mushrooms are very cheap and you only need a few pieces for most dishes.
You will need to rehydrate it in hot water for 5-10 minutes. Then drain. The texture will have completely changed. It is now softer, with a nice leathery texture.
If you don’t have access to wood ear fungus, you can replace them with any other sliced mushroom like shiitake, baby bella, etc.
The second ingredient is Hoisin sauce. It is mostly made with fermented soy bean paste, molasses, and a few other ingredients. You now can find it in the International section of most grocery stores. It is the star of the Moo shu sauce!
The third one is mushroom Oyster sauce
What do you do when you don’t eat fish or shellfish? You get mushroom oyster sauce! It is the closest thing to the real thing without the fishy taste! You are going to love this sauce. It is so versatile and yummy that you can pour it straight onto your food. The sauce is a little thick so you may want to thin it with a little water.
Mu Shu Pancakes, a.k.a. Mandarin pancakes
For the longest time I made Moo Shu pancakes that were more like thin Indian chapati. What’s wrong with chapati? They tend to be too hardy, crispy, and blistery to be able to grab and hold vegetable filling. I tried under cooking them but that didn’t work either.
That is, until a dear Chinese friend showed me how she made hers. She showed me her technique and the result was amazing: thin, soft, light pancakes just like the one you get at a Chinese restaurants.
Mu Shu pancakes only use 3 ingredients but making them does take a little time. No worry, it is totally worth the effort. The recipe yields 22-24 thin pancakes. Use what you need and wrap the rest in some parchment paper then aluminum foil and freeze. Just reheat in a pan or place in an oven covered for 2 minutes. You want to keep them nice and soft.
Can I use Mexican tortillas?
Yes, as long as you warm them first so that they are nice and pliable. They are a little thicker but they will work.
For added texture you can also bake some tofu until it become really crispy. Pat dry it well, spray some oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper and bake on a lined tray at 400 F for 10-12 minutes until golden crisp.
Deluxe Moo Shu Vegetables
- Cast iron pan
- Rolling Pin
- silicone brush
- Cookie cutter or mason jar ring.
Moo Shu Pancakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
Moo Shu sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp mushroom oyster sauce (optional but recommended)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 piece finely minced ginger
- 1 clove garlic
- 2-3 tbsp white sesame seeds
- Salt & pepper
- 1 large carrot julienned
- 2 cups green and/or red cabbage
- 1 cup snap peas or young green beans diced
- 1 bunch chopped scallions
- 3 pieces wood ear mushrooms (optional)
- 1/2 cup Just Egg
- 1 cup extra firm tofu cut in matches
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- Salt & pepper
Prepare the Moo Shu Pancakes
- Mix 2 cups of all-purpose flour with a pinch of salt and 1 cup of boiling water. Use chopsticks and mix until the liquid has been absorbed.
- Knead until your get a smooth ball occasionally dusting with flour to prevent from sticking to the board. This can take 3-5 minutes.
- Place in a bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes.
- Put 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a small bowl and set a silicone brush next to it.
- Split the dough ball in half. Put one half back in the bowl covered.
- Roll out a large circle, dusting with a little flour.
- Cut 8 rounds and collect the unused dough. Roll out again and cut 4-5 more circles.
- Use a cookie cutter or the ring of a mason jar.
- Brush a little sesame oil onto one circle and place another one on top.
- Repeat with all remaining circles.
- Dust your working surface and roll each double circle until you have a pancake the size of your hand. Repeat with all stacks. Set aside.
- Heat up two frying pans and add a few drops of vegetable oil.
- Place one pancake in each and cook for a minute or two and flip as soon as you see a few blisters appear.
- Using a spatula in one hand and a wood spoon in the other, gently peel of one pancake from the other. Quickly flip the inside part so that it is heated. Remove from heat.
- Repeat with all remaining circles. Should yield about 22-24 thin pancakes.
- Consume immediately or place in an oven set at 300 F covered.
- Store in parchment paper wrapped in aluminum. Freeze what is not needed.
Prepare the eggs
- Pour 1/2 cup of Just Egg into a small frying pan and cook on medium heat until the bottom comes loose.
- Flip the omelet. Cut into small strips and set aside.
Prepare the tofu
- Turn the oven to 400 F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Cut the extra firm tofu into strips, drizzle some oil, soy sauce.
- Bake the tofu for 15 minutes until crisp. Set aside.
Make the Moo Shu sauce
- Whisk the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, mushroom oyster sauce (if using), rice vinegar, salt and pepper in a small pan.
- Heat up on low just to combine all the ingredients. Set aside.
Prepare the vegetables
- Julienne the carrots, finely slice the cabbage, the black fungus,
- Chop the scallions, cut the snap peas or green beans into small bits.
- Heat up a wok or large frying pan and add a tablespoon of oil.
- Quickly stir in the minced ginger and garlic making sure it doesn't burn.
- Add all the vegetables and stir as they start to sweat. It should only take a minute or two.
- Add the moo shu sauce and stir until everything is well coated.
- Serve immediately with warm pancakes.