Archive for May, 2009

Moo Shu Vegetables

I had to look up what “moo shu” (actually “muk sui” in Cantonese) meant in Chinese since it doesn’t translate in any way that makes sense… like “hot dog.” According to the wikipedia entry on the etymology, it doesn’t make literal sense and there’s some dispute over how the name came about. Anyways I don’t think we ever made these at home but I have fond memories of eating them in restaurants. There’s just something about going out to a restaurant only to make your own food…

You can play with the ingredients according to what you have in your fridge and what you like.  Each moo shu burrito will take about 3/4 – 1 cup of filling.

Basic ingredients:
moo shu pancakes (store bought or make your own)
white pepper
soy sauce and/or shaoxing cooking wine
sesame oil for stir-frying
lots of hoisin sauce

And for the filling, you can use any combination of:
tofu, drained and cut into slices
veggie chicken cutlets, shredded
green onions, greens cut into 1-inch pieces, whites into rings
chinese chives
regular onion, sliced
carrots, julienned
shitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced
dried tiger lily bulbs, soaked and cut into 1-inch pieces
canned bamboo shoots
scrambled eggs (pre-scrambled)
bean sprouts
cabbage, shredded thin
baby corn, sliced

I got about 6 moo shus worth of filling with 1 carrot, 1 can seitan (chai pow yu), 1/5 head cabbage, 2 cloves garlic, 3 big mushrooms, 2 green onions, 3/4 cup dried tiger lily bulbs, and 1/3 of an onion.
moo shu veggies

Store-bought moo shu pancakes:
moo shu pancakes

Tiger lily buds, which are the closed buds of the bright orange tiger lily plant and readily available at any Asian grocer (very common in hot & sour soup):
tiger lily buds
Preheat your pan to med-high with 1-2 tbsp oil and add the ingredients in the order they need to fry– tofu, carrots, onions (both kinds), cabbage, then garlic. You can time each addition about 2 minutes apart, and then add the rest of the ingredients that don’t need to be cooked– mushrooms, tiger lily bulbs, seitan, bamboo shoots, etc. But NOT the bean sprouts or they will turn to mush.  Add 2 tbsp shaoxing wine, 2 tbsp soy sauce, and a generous dash of white pepper.  These aren’t key, since most of the flavor will come from your veggies and the hoisin sauce anyways.  Once everything is cooked but not soggy, turn off the heat and make sure everything is mixed.  Add bean sprouts at this point.
stir-frying the moo shu filling

Take a pancake, smear generously with hoisin sauce, fill with veggies, and wrap it like a burrito but with one end open. Keep the pancakes moist and only fill/wrap moo shus as you eat them or the liquid from the veggies will soak through the pancakes and they’ll turn to mush. Also, when you scoop the filling from your pan, try to avoid as much liquid as you can. Enjoy!

moo shu veggies


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