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 was the first month I participated in Daring Cooks, and I must say I am so glad I joined. I’d never made homemade Chinese food before, mostly because all the recipes I found called for lots of uncommon, expensive ingredients that I didn’t want to buy for just one recipe. But this recipe was awesome! There weren’t any really “out there” ingredients and the resulting dish was fabulous. I made this together with my mom, and it really was a fun project. Making everything (the pancakes, filling and Hoisin sauce) from scratch was an involved and time-consuming process, but it was a great way to spend an afternoon and the Moo Shu was really tasty. So if you have a free afternoon and want to make some yummy homemade Chinese food, try this recipe. Below is the recipe as Mom and I made it, adapted slightly from the Daring Cooks Challenge Recipe. (For more info on the Daring Cooks Challenge, here is the link)
Pancakes (makes 24 pancakes)3 cups flour 1 1/2 to 2 cups boiling water 3/4 tsp vegetable oil Sesame oil, for brushing on pancakes
Measure the flour into a large bowl and add 1 1/2 cups of the boiling water while stirring. Add in the vegetable oil, and additional water as needed to make a soft but firm dough. I needed almost 2 full cups of water, and also used my hands to finish mixing the dough and getting it to come together. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
Dust work surface with flour and knead dough 5-10 minutes or until smooth. Divide into 3 equal portions. Work with one portion at a time and keep the rest of the dough under a damp cloth.
Roll each piece of dough into a ball and then roll out into a long cylinder, about 10 inches long. Cut into 8 equal pieces. Take two pieces of dough and flatten each into a 2-3 inch disk. Brush the top of each with sesame oil, using a pastry brush. Place one disk on top of the other, sandwiching the oiled sides together. Use a rolling pin to roll into a 6-8 inch pancake.
Heat a dry skillet over high heat and when hot lower heat to medium-low (you might need to adjust heat. You want the pancakes to cook quickly without drying out but without browning). Cook each pancake individually, about 1 minute on each side until blistered but not browned (it took me several pancakes to get the timing right). Remove from pan and (carefully!) use your fingers to separate the pancake in two (since you used two pieces of dough to make each one). Cover the pancakes with a damp cloth until ready to serve. If you need to reheat them before serving, place a damp paper towel on a plate, place the stack of pancakes on top, and then cover with another damp paper towel. Microwave for 30 seconds to 2 minutes as needed.
Hoisin Sauce (makes enough to serve the Moo Shu and have some left over)8 tbs low sodium soy sauce 4 tbs creamy peanut butter 2 tbs honey 4 tsp distilled white vinegar 1/4 tsp garlic powder 4 tsp sesame oil 1/4 tsp black pepper
Stir all ingredients together in a bowl. You might have to stir for a while to break down the peanut butter, but it will come together. I finished the stirring with a whisk.
Moo Shu Pork (serve 4)1 lb. pork tenderloin 2/3 cup thinly sliced baby portabella mushrooms 1 can bamboo shoots, thinly sliced 3 cups cabbage, thinly sliced 3 eggs 8 tbs vegetable oil 3 scallions 1-2 tbs low sodium soy sauce 2-3 tsp sherry* 1/2 tsp sesame oil *The original recipe called for rice wine, which I didn’t want to buy for just this recipe. I found that cooking sherry is listed as a substitute for rice wine, so we used that instead.
Thinly slice the pork tenderloin. Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Heat 1-2 tbs oil in a wok and scramble the eggs just until set.
Heat the remaining vegetable oil in the wok and stir fry the pork until the color changes. Add the mushrooms, cabbage, scallions, and bamboo shoots and stir fry about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and sherry, and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the eggs, stirring to break up large chunks and add in the sesame oil. Check seasoning and add more soy sauce, salt, or sherry to taste.
To serve, fill a hot pancake with 2 tbs of the pork mixture, and add Hoisin sauce to taste. Roll up pancake like a burrito and eat with your hands. Enjoy!