Friday, October 14, 2011

October Daring Cooks' Challenge - Moo Shoo

The October Daring Cooks' Challenge was hosted by Shelley of C Mom Cook and her sister Ruth of The Crafts of Mommyhood. They challenged us to bring a taste of the East into our home kitchens by making our own Moo Shu, including thin pancakes, stir fry and sauce.
This is one of those recipes I must try again.  I was not happy with the results, even though my victims seemed to have enjoyed it especially the chicken. The pancakes (recipe provided by Shelley) were very simple to make and so was the sauce. However my friend Ann does not eat pork so I switched to a chicken recipe instead and it seems the recipe I chose omitted some of the ingredients of a true Moo Shu recipe.

MOO SHOO CHICKEN (Adapted from Lynn Nelson's recipe)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
1 lbs. chicken breast - cut into 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick strips
1 tablespoon peanut oil for stir-frying 
(optional if using non-stick fry pan instead of Wok)
1 package coleslaw mix 
2/3 cup green onions
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (use more if you'd like)
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
1/3 cup hoisin sauce (recipe below)
2 tablespoons soy sauce - reduced sodium is fine
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sesame oil - Olive oil works fine too
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Slice chicken into thin strips. In a medium bowl combine marinade ingredients and add chicken, tossing to coat. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 10 - 15 minutes.

Remove chicken from marinade, discard marinade. Heat wok and add peanut oil, or just heat large non-stick frying pan. Add chicken and stir-fry until it turns white...about 3 - 5 minutes.

Add coleslaw mix, green onions, ginger, and cornstarch mixture. Cook and stir until sauce is thickened and bubbly.

Thin Pancakes:

Makes 24-30 pancakes
Preparation time: about 10 minutes plus 30 minutes' standing time
Cooking time: 45-50 minutes
4 cups (960 ml) (560 gm) (19¾ oz) all purpose flour
About 1½ cup (300ml) (10 fl oz) boiling water
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vegetable oil
Dry flour for dusting
  1. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Gently pour in the water, stirring as you pour, then stir in the oil. Knead the mixture into a soft but firm dough. If your dough is dry, add more water, one tablespoon at a time, to reach the right consistency. Cover with a damp towel and let stand for about 30 minutes.
  2. Lightly dust the surface of a worktop with dry flour. Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes or until smooth, then divide into 3 equal portions. Roll out each portion into a long sausage and cut each sausage into 8-10 pieces. Keep the dough that you are not actively working with covered with a lightly damp dish cloth to keep it from drying out.
  3. Roll each piece into a ball, then, using the palm of your hand, press each piece into a flat pancake. Dust the worktop with more dry flour. Flatten each pancake into a 6 to 8 inch (15 cm to 20 cm) circle with a rolling pin, rolling gently on both sides.
  4. Place an un-greased frying pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot, lower the heat to low and place the pancakes, one at a time, in the pan. Remove when little light-brown spots appear on the underside. Cover with a damp cloth until ready to serve.
Alternate method for preparing the pancakes:
Once the dough has rested and been kneaded again, divide it into an even number of small pieces, rolling each into a ball. Working with two balls of dough at a time, dip the bottom of one ball lightly into sesame oil and press it onto the top of the second ball. Press the double layer flat, then roll the doubled pancake layers into 6 to 8 inch circles. In a dry pan, cook on each side until dry and lightly blistered (but without browning). Separate pancakes after cooking.

Hoisin Sauce:

While most restaurants, or at least those at which I have ordered the dish, serve this with plum sauce, none of the cook books or online recipes that I have seen have referred to that as being traditional. Most that reference serving it with a sauce call for it to be served with hoisin sauce.
4 tablespoons (60 ml) soy sauce
2 tablespoons (30 ml) peanut butter OR black bean paste
1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey OR molasses
2 teaspoons (10 ml) white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon (⅔ ml) garlic powder
2 teaspoons (10 ml) sesame seed oil
20 drops (¼ teaspoon) Chinese style hot sauce (optional, depending on how hot you want your hoisin sauce)
1/8 teaspoon (⅔ ml) black pepper
Simply mix all of the ingredients together by hand using a sturdy spoon.
At first it does not appear like it will mix, but keep at it just a bit longer and your sauce will come together.


shelley c. said... Best Blogger Tips

I am glad that your guests enjoyed the meal, and I hope you have a chance to try again so that you can enjoy it just as much. I must say, your Moo Shu looks wonderful and delicious. Thanks for cooking with us this month!