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Moo Shu Beef – Extraordinary Comfort Food from China [with Recipe]

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It’s amazing the number of things you could do with the different types of meat around. If you’re a big fan of beef then you’ve probably tried it in different variations, but it’s hard to exhaust the many different possibilities. Have you ever heard of the moo shu beef? Have you ever tried the moo shu beef before?

Moo shu is a dish that was traditionally made with pork, although today it exists in different variations. The name changes depending on the type of meat you use. With pork, it’s moo shu pork, with chicken it becomes moo shu chicken and when it comes to beef, the name changes to moo shu beef.

If you hadn’t already heard of the moo shu beef dish, no worries. In this article, we tell you more about the origin of this dish, the different variations, a great recipe you should try and lastly, some nutrition points on it.



What is Moo Shu Beef

As has already been mentioned, moo shu is traditionally a Chinese dish. It’s was initially made of pork but in this case, to make the moo shu beef, it’s made of beef. It also includes other ingredients such as green onions, cucumbers, scrambled eggs and some mushrooms, all stir fried.

You can season the dish with some garlic, scallions, ginger, soy sauce and rice cooking wine. That said, all these ingredients are rolled up into little pancakes after which, you eat each one like a roll. Over time, the dish has transformed into a stir fry that can be served over your rice.

It is said that this old Chinese dish was first served in American restaurants in 1966. It was first seen in New York and Washington DC. This dish was served in some of the most popular restaurants in the two cities. When the moo shu beef was first introduced, it was made in the traditional style. However, with time it was modified. This was because it was becoming increasingly difficult to get day lily buds and wood ears that the traditional style required. Those who would prepare it came up with what is known today as the modern recipe.

In the modern recipe, the main ingredient in the dish is green cabbage. It however still includes scrambled eggs, scallions, carrots and bean sprouts. The two ingredients, day lily buds and the wood ear mushrooms that are more difficult to find are then used in smaller quantities. Generally, the vegetables you will be using for this dish will be sliced preferably into long, thin strips before you start cooking.

That said, today different chefs will have their own different twists added to this dish depending on where you find yourself eating it. The beauty of a dish is partly determined by how much you can customize it to suit your tastes.




Moo Shu Beef Bowl (Recipe)

By now you must be longing to have your own share of the moo shu beef bowls. Well, rightfully so because those who’ve had this dish can attest to just how delicious it is. It’s also quite the winning dish because of the fact that it’s easy to make and will only take you a few minutes to get a couple of servings for yourself or for other people who might be with you. The ingredients are readily available so you can go to your local store, pick them out and get straight to work. Below is a simple moo shu recipe that you can follow:



3 tablespoons hoisin sauce

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

Kosher salt

2 garlic cloves (minced)

Ground pepper(fresh)

1 ¾ pounds beef (trimmed and cut into strips)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

8 ounces shiitake mushrooms (stemmed and sliced)

1 bag coleslaw mix (14-ounce)

12 bib lettuce leaves



  1. Grab a large bowl and in it, carefully whisk the hoisin sauce together with the garlic, vinegar, a half teaspoon of salt and a half teaspoon of pepper together. After it’s been well mixed, add in the pork and allow it to marinate for about ten minutes.
  2. In a large skillet, grab your vegetable oil, heat a tablespoon of it over some high heat. Using a pair of tongs, remove the beef from the marinade and stir fry it until it’s nice and brown. This should just take you a few minutes but remember to reserve the marinade.
  3. Transfer the beef to a plate. Take 3 to 4 tablespoons of water and then add it to the skillet to make some pan juice which you should then pour over the beef that’s on the plate.
  4. Add your remaining vegetable oil to the skillet and once it’s hot enough, add the mushrooms then stir-fry them. Ensure they turn nice and golden. This process should take about two minutes. Add in your coleslaw mix and then cook it till wilted for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add your beef and also the marinade you had reserved earlier and just half of the scallions. Stir fry these for 2 minutes. Season with some salt and then sprinkle the other remaining half of the scallions.
  6. Serve the dish in a nice bowl in the lettuce leaves alongside hoisin sauce.




Moo Shu Beef Wraps (Recipe)

Moo shu beef wraps are also very delicious and easy to make. It does notably have similar ingredients to moo shu bowls but there are some different ones too. The ingredients needed to make this amazing Chinese dish include:

  • Hoisin sauce. This is made with fermented soybean paste.
  • Some minced fresh ginger. Using this as part of the ingredients is such a great idea because ginger is packed with antioxidants that keep different illnesses aside. Ensuring that you use only fresh ones will give you the maximum benefits.
  • The moo shu wraps dish also includes honey for sweetening, some mirin and chili garlic sauce to give it that much-desired rich taste.
  • Beef top sirloin. It’s a great idea to use top sirloin in making your wraps because sirloin is such a versatile beef cut. It is also rich in flavor and so easy to cook. Besides, it cooks fast too just like a steak. It is also an affordable option if you are on a budget.
  • Wheat tortillas. Going for the 8-inch option ensures you are more precise with your measurements.
  • You will also need some water for the slaw.
  • White miso. Using white miso will give your moo shu beef wraps better flavor. The white variation of miso is also lighter and is made with more grains and a lesser amount of soybean. Usually, this type of miso is best for lighter dressings.
  • Rice vinegar. While there are different types of vinegar you can use in cooking, rice vinegar is particularly great for moo shu beef wraps because it is mild. It is also just slightly sweet and as such, it balances out well with the rest of the ingredients in your wraps. Rice vinegar is considered a staple in several Asian countries. Therefore, moo shu wraps being of Chinese origin would also explain why rice vinegar is preferred.
  • Coleslaw mix. To come up with some great coleslaw mix much faster, it is advisable to use a pre-packaged cabbage mix. It should be shredded. Using this means all you have to do is tear the packaging, rinse the mix and use a nice simple dressing to top it. That said, a great tip for those who do not like store-bought slaw is to slice your cabbage thinly as well as some carrots and radish. Using a V-slicer or a mandolin will make your job faster and easier.
  • Chopped scallions




Moo Shu Beef Nutrition

The thing about food is that while you eat it for flavor, it should also be of some kind of benefit to your body and its overall well-being. Otherwise, you actually risk being unhealthy. When you get your serving of moo shu beef you will benefit from a number of nutrients. A serving contains the following:

  • Saturated fat
  • Cholesterol
  • Sodium
  • Carbs
  • Fiber
  • Protein


So, if you are a big lover of trying out different foods, then we’d highly recommend that you try out the moo shu either in bowls or wraps forms. They both work, they’re both tasty and the best part is that despite this dish being of Chinese origin, you won’t really have to travel there to get a taste. How about making it yourself using the above recipe.

While we only shared the ingredients of the wraps and a few tips on how to use them, it’s not really difficult to prepare. Just like the bowls, it will only take you a short amount of time to prepare. It will have you full for quite a while.

So next time you’re looking for something to do with beef, prepare some moo shu beef and you’re good to go!



Other Popular Articles About Traditional and Authentic Asian Food


Hunan Beef – What it is, History, Calories and Authentic Recipe.


Banh Canh – Discover this tasty Vietnamese staple comfort food [with Recipe]

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