Chicken with Mushrooms (Moogoo gaipan)

Pronounced mogu jipian in Mandarin, but probably best known as “moogoo gaipan,” this is a basic stirfry that appears on many restaurant menus but is, as most dishes are, infinitely more healthful and tasty when made at home. In the interest of taking out processed/dried ingredients and using fresh, local ones, I replace the dried woodear and/or canned straw mushrooms that many recipes call for with fresh shiitakes, but you could use whatever mushrooms you find fresh at the market. For a bit of color, you can add a green vegetable to the mix – I recommend broccoli or green pepper, but it’s particularly delicious with snow peas, which are already appearing at the farmers’ market in Southern California. (Maybe our 80+ degree heat wave is good for something?!)

ingredients:

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, approximately 6 oz – try to find pastured chicken if you can – you’ll do your body, your tastebuds, the environment, and the chicken a favor!
  • 1/2 lb fresh snow peas
  • 8 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems reserved for making broth, caps cut into 1/4″ slices or quartered
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 T oil

marinade:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 T water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt

method:

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Slice the chicken breast against the grain into wide slices, approximately 1/8″ thick, then add to the marinade and let it rest for 20 m, then strain out as much marinade as possible.
  3. Rinse the snow peas, snap the ends off, pulling off the strings that will come off with the ends. If the peas are large, cut them in 1/2 on a slight diagonal.
  4. Heat a wok over medium high heat, then add 1 T oil and heat just until it shimmers.
  5. Stirfry the mushrooms and snow peas briefly, add the salt, and stir to combine, then remove to a plate.
  6. Heat the remaining tsp of oil until it shimmers, then add the chicken and stirfry quickly until the pieces separate and lose their pink color. Return the vegetables to the wok and stirfry quickly to combine.
  7. Adjust the seasoning and serve.
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