Authentic Moo Shu Pork is a tenderly marinated pork dish, stir fried with a mix of savory and sweet vegetables and tossed in a thick sauce. Roll it up in a pancake like a wrap and eat it like a burrito, serve it with some rice, or enjoy it on its own!
Moo shu pork is a Northern Chinese meat and vegetable stir fry that’s full of authentic Chinese spices and seasonings. You might see it listed on the menu as “mu shi,” or “mu xu,” or “mu shu” pork. Spellings aside, the dish remains relatively consistent: marinated, thinly-sliced pork stir fried with bright, crisp vegetables and smothered in a savory sauce.
It wasn’t until around the 1960s in America when moo shu pork found itself wrapped up like the Chinese version of a Mexican burrito. Though not traditional, that’s the version I’m working with – wrapping all of the fillings up in a pancake for easy serving and eating.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Pork - Julienned thin to absorb the sauce and marinade. I use a lean cut such as the loin, tenderloin, or a boneless pork chop.
- Marinade - This quick marinade is thickened with cornstarch and flavored with:
- Shaoxing Wine - A dark, sweet, and fragrant Chinese cooking wine. Dry sherry could be used as a substitute.
- Light Soy Sauce - Salty without the strong soy flavor in regular soy sauce, though that would work as a substitute.
- White Pepper - For a slightly milder, mustier heat.
- Minced Garlic & Ginger - These basic Chinese seasonings are also thrown in to both tenderize and flavor the meat.
- Stir Fry Vegetables - Thinly cut cabbage, shredded carrots, and sliced green onion are a basic mix with plenty of flavor. Throw in some cucumber if you’d like, as well as:
- Dried Black Wood Ear Fungus - This mushroom is soft, mild, and crunchy. Substitute with shitake mushrooms if preferred.
- (Optional) Rehydrated Lily Buds - Also known as “golden needles,” these edible flowers have a crisp texture and a sweet, tart flavor.
- Eggs - A couple of eggs beaten, fried, and sliced thin.
- Sauce - A chicken stock base, thickened with cornstarch and seasoned with oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
- Assembly - Serve with moo shu pancakes, hoisin sauce, and cilantro.
HOW TO PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS FOR MOO SHU PORK
- Prep the Mushrooms and Sauce. Place the wood ear fungus in hot water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together all of the sauce ingredients with a whisk and set aside.
- Marinate. Place the thin pork slices into a bowl with all of the marinade ingredients. Toss the meat in the marinade until thoroughly coated and set aside.
- Slice the Vegetables. Thinly slice the fungus and cabbage. Place in a bowl with the carrots, green onion slices, and other optional stir fry ingredients as desired. Set aside.
- Beat the Eggs. Beat the eggs with a whisk and set aside.
HOW TO MAKE MOO SHU PORK
1. Make the Omelet. Heat the wok on high for a couple of minutes before coating with a tablespoon of oil. Pour in the eggs and swirl to cover the bottom of the wok. Let sit for a minute before carefully flipping. Cook on the other side for another minute, remove from the heat, and thinly slice. Set aside.
2. Cook the Meat. Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok and saute the meat for a few minutes until it turns white. Remove from the wok and set aside with the eggs.
3. Stir Fry the Vegetables. Throw all of the vegetables into the wok and fry for 8 minutes.
4. Fry the Meat and Vegetables in Sauce. Take the prepared sauce, stir lightly, and pour into the wok with the vegetables. Return the meat and eggs to the wok and stir everything into the sauce for a couple of minutes while the mixture thickens.
5. Assemble & Serve. Warm the moo shu pancakes and coat each with a tablespoon of hoisin sauce. Divide the mu shu pork filling among the pancakes and garnish with the fresh cilantro.
What does moo shu pork taste like?
Mu shu pork is quickly marinated in a mix of rice wine, pepper, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Since the meat is cut thin, it doesn’t need to marinate for long, and quickly soaks up all of that savory and salty flavor.
It’s served with a fast veggie stir fry, still crisp and sweet, a thin omelet, and covered with a thick, sweet, and salty sauce.
How do you eat moo shu pork?
Traditionally, mu shu pork was not served with pancakes. However, that’s how you’ll find it in restaurants across America, and that’s how I prefer it.
You can buy them, but I highly recommend making them fresh. You can try my moo shu pancake recipe, they are easy to make. Then a nice smear of hoisin sauce on the pancake before filling and you'll be thanking me!
You could always eat this saucy stir fry over a bed of rice, or simply on its own.
What is moo shu pork sauce made of?
The sauce for mu shu pork is very simple: chicken stock, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Stir in just a bit of cornstarch for thickness and to coat the meat, and it’s done.
Moo Shu Pork
Pork / Marinade
- 8 ounces pork julienned thin strips (See Note 1)
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce (or soy sauce)
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger minced
- 1 ounce dried rehydrated black wood ear fungus (or 8 shitake mushrooms)
- 20 dried rehydrated lily buds (optional)
- 2 cups green cabbage cut thin
- 1 cup carrot shredded
- 4 green onions cut 45° slices
- 1 cucumber halved and cut 45° slices (optional)
- 3 eggs beaten lightly
- 2 tablespoon oil
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 8 moo shu pancakes
- ½ cup hoisin sauce (8 tablespoons, 1 per pancake)
- cilantro leaves (optional)
- Rehydrate the wood ears or mushrooms by submerging in hot water for 10 minutes. Whisk together the Sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aide.
- In a bowl add the julienned pork and then add Marinade ingredients. Use you hands or spatula and toss pork in marinade. Set aside.
- Cut your wood ears or mushrooms and cabbage into thin strips. Add to a bowl with carrot, green onions and cucumber (if using). Set aside.
- Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Set your wok over high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the 1 tablespoon oil and swirl around to coat wok. Add the beaten eggs and swirl to coat bottom of wok, cook 1 minute. Carefully using a spatula, try and flip it over and cook another minute. Remove from wok and cut into thin strips. Set aide.
- Set your wok over high heat for 1 minutes and add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat bottom of wok again. Add the pork and cook until pork is no longer pink and turns white (2-3 minutes). Remove from wok and set aside. Add all the vegetables and stir fry for 8 minutes.
- Stir the Sauce and pour the mixture over the vegetables and add the pork and eggs back to the wok. Stir for 2 minutes for sauce to thicken and coat all.
- Spread a tablespoon of hoisin sauce on each warm pancake and divide filling for 8 total. Top with optional cilantro leaves. Roll up like a burrito and serve.
- I use a lean 4 ounce piece of pork, either pork loin, pork tenderloin, a boneless pork chop.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.