Moo Shu Pork?

Something (can’t remember exactly what) this week got me thinking about this. Back in my So. Cal. days we had a local spot that made a terrific version. It was served with the pancakes and Hoisin on the side. You spread a little sauce on a pancake (which were very thin - almost translucent) and rolled your own.

So I looked online… but found quite a bit of disparity between recipes, and none from folks that have been tried and trusted.

So do any of you have a favorite recipe/method for both the filling and the pancakes?

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Don’t Laugh.
Chinese Cooking for Dummies. Martin Yan has written the recipes and he includes one for Mu Shu Pork (that’s how he spells it). Really really good. Actually I’ve made nearly all the chicken and pork dishes as well as many of the sauces and they are all as good or better than the “good” takeout places near me.
The pancakes can be easily found in Asian markets–if you have an H-Mart nearby they usually stock them.

What was different about the So Cal version vs the recipes you’ve found? I imagine there’s a lot of variance even though it seems like a standard American Chinese offering.

I vaguely recall someone looking for NY-style Chinese food somewhere in CA, but of the style that had been adapted, not the original NY version… convoluted, but I get it. (Might have been back on Chowhound. Might also have been in Boston not CA, lol.)

All to say - even Moo Shu might be localized enough for a very narrow search.

Thanks… can’t find it online, but did find a chicken version so will give that a look.

Yeah… but there is nothing remotely close, which is why I need to make them.


They were all over the map. Marinate - don’t marinate - different marinades - different ingredients. While it has been many years, my memory was cabbage, sprouts, carrots, shrooms, scallions, maybe garlic and/or ginger, and a sweet and savory pork possibly marinated in hoisin, soy, citrus, sesame, rice wine/vinegar… but am not confident trying to replicate this from memory if I can find someone’s “best” recipe that feels good.

I made the pancakes two ways for Peking duck a while back - two dough balls rolled out together and separated, and a batter painted on to the pan and lifted off when set. I preferred the (bizarre to me at the time) painted version. The rolled out ones always end up thicker, in case you prefer that (and I can roll dough pretty thin from lifetime chapati practice).

Most recipes call for boiling water for the rolled dough, but I find it harder to handle than normal temp water dough, and the outcome wasn’t that different imo.


Your first photo looks to be what I am after for the pancakes, and that is the “Woks of Life” link, right? It is also very similar to other methods I have found online.

The Woks of Life also have a Moo Shu recipe. It is legit.

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There was an enormous Boston Chinese food thread! Who knew it was so different from other locales? I grew up with it, so I never really thought about it.

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Had a look at which is titled a Moo Shu chicken recipe… unfortunately, not even close!

Thanks… looks pretty good, but the cucs seem weird. Think I would replace them with cabbage, carrots, and sprouts.

Still looking for your favs here so bring it on!

You might find their Moo Shu Chicken recipe more similar to what you are looking for then. Certainly you can make that and swap in pork loin for chicken. If wood ear, bamboo shoots, or lily bulb are not in your remembrance of the dish, add what does resonate, bean sprouts for example. But, those were key in my childhood (Boston area) memories of the dish.

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Martin Yan is a great reference for this kind of dish.

Take a look at his ingredient lists, will probably tell you right away if it’s along the lines of what you’re looking for:


I think Mu Shu Pork is like the Chinese fast food equivalent of Texas chili.

There are more recipes and “best” renditions than there are stars in the night sky.

Best course of action is to try out as many as you like, experiment along the way, and no doubt you will stumble upon your favorite rendition.


The first is painted. The second is rolled (you can tell the top one is folded back on the pan).

On the plate, 3 and 9 are painted, 6 and 12 are rolled.

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I grew up with moo shu now and then (made by my dad) and I liked it but wasn’t my favorite. I then eventually learned that what I really enjoyed about it was the thin pancake itself, and the filling was just kind of there. You can actually buy those pancakes too (experimenting with making my own is a goal one of these days), so I usually will grab a pack and leave it in my freezer. When I’m making duck confit, or any other duck dish, it’s great with the pancakes like peking duck - add a bit of scallion and hoisin sauce. If you want something a bit different, sub out the hoisin for a cranberry sauce; it’s still pretty good! I bet you a filling of turkey and cranberry would go nicely too. It’s definitely all about the pancake for me!


Yes… bamboo shoots were definitely there, but have no idea what a lily bulb is.

It is literally the bulb of a lily plant. When you stir fry it the bulbs break apart into tiny white leaves and have a subtley sweet taste. They are delicious!

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Lily buds, actually. Hello, typo! Lily bulbs are tasty too, though.

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Interesting that they translate these as lily buds too. It’s not what I think of as lily buds, but I never looked into exactly what these plants were. The Chinese name for this is just “yellow flower vegetable”.

I tend to think of these are lily buds in Chinese cooking as this, which is what I described in my reply:

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