Friday, October 14, 2011

The Daring Cooks October 2011 - Moo Shu

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.

I was intrigued by this month's challenge. We eat lots of Chinese and go to lots of Chinese restaurants and I have never heard of Moo Shu. I don’t think it is a thing in Australia. But I love pancakes of any description, so I was keen to give it a go. In fact on the day I made this I also made pancakes for breakfast - a truly excellent day.

So this challenge had three components – pancakes, filling and sauce. The pancake dough was easy to work with and I found I could roll it very thin, but I was not completely happy with the results. In short, the pancakes were hard. I found they were only pliable enough to wrap after a short zap in the microwave. A minute or so in a steam basket would probably have the same effect. Also the favour was quite bland. Next time I would follow the suggestion of some of the other Daring Cooks and add salt to the dough.

The stir-fry was very simple to prepare, but I had never used wood ear fungus before, so that was fun. It is amazing how much it puffs up when re-hydrated and I loved the unique rubbery texture. I still have most of a bag of dried fungus in the cupboard so I am on the lookout for ideas to use it up.

When it came to the hoisin sauce recipe I was very sceptical. Why would you make your own hoisin sauce, especially with inauthentic Chinese ingredients like peanut butter and honey? But I am a (mostly) obedient Daring Cook, so I gave it a whirl.

The overall effect was a perfectly tasty dinner, but for me it didn't quite have the wow factor of other challenges. I would love to try Moo Shu in a good Chinese restaurant and see how it compares.

Thanks to Shelley and Ruth for introducing me to something new. I especially enjoyed reading about the history and etymology of Moo Shu.


  1. Delicious looking stirfy! Great job!

  2. Well it looks really good anyway. I had also never heard of Moo shu before and my pancakes all puffed up like a pita bread almost. A bit weird as I have no heard anyone else complain about that.. I did like the flavor a lot and didn't miss the salt probably because my hoisin sauce was too salty!

  3. I also didn't heard of Moo Shu before and also am very curious if it tastes the same in a real restaurant. Looks great.

  4. So glad you enjoyed, and I am with you about pancakes! :) I will be curious to see if you try Moo Shu in a restaurant what you think. I am glad that it was a fun challenge for you. And I LOVE that last picture at the bottom of your post!! :) Thanks for cooking with us this month!

  5. Like you, I'm also curious to know what "real" Mu-Hsu tastes like. I loved the result of the Hoisin sauce, but it didn't taste like any I'd had before (granted, I'd only had the grocery store jarred ones we can get here in Canada). Great job on the challenge!