MOO SHU - Daring Cooks' Challenge - October / 2011


The ceramic plate was made by myself at the pottery classes I'm attending here in Korea  :o)

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.

Moo Shu is a Chinese dish I had never heard about before this month's DC's challenge. The dish itself is a stir fry, and stir fries are very frequent in my kitchen, not only because they are so easy to put together, but also because they are delicious! This one is made with pork, vegetables and eggs and served with a side of very thin pancakes and Hoisin Sauce which is amazing!

The pancakes suggested for this challenge were really interesting to make. It's a dough made with flour and  boiling water, and it is smooth and very easy to work with. I was pleasantly surprised. I also learned a technique for rolling this dough very thinly, but better than trying to explain, I highly recommend that you watch this VIDEO to see what I'm talking about.

And last, but not least, the Housin Sauce that accompanies the dish is delicious and can be used in many other dishes to give them an Asian touch :o)

The ingredients:

I followed the recipe exactly as given by Shelley and Ruth, and one of the ingredients was dried black fungus (aka Wood Ears). It was mainly the only ingredient that I was not familiar with, but being a resident in Korea I was sure to have no problems finding it. Well, I found not only the right fungus (which here was translated as "Tree Ears"), but the fresh one! It isn't exactly a very attractive mushroom, but I'm a Daring Cook, ain't I? 

How does it look? Not very attractive, huh?

I didn't let the looks of the fungus put me off and dared to use it anyway, but in the final dish it was almost tasteless and the texture was not very pleasant for my liking. However, it didn't make the Moo Shu less delicious, but next time I will use other types of mushrooms.

Other ingredients that I was familiar with but had never used were  the Bamboo Shoots,

and the black bean paste

All the others were very well known and easy to find.

Please click on the VIEW RECIPE link below to continue reading the recipe.

I loved to learn this new dish and I would like to thank Shelley and Ruth for hosting this challenge in such a lovely and supportive way.

If you would like to see the delicious dishes that the other Daring Cooks prepared, please visit THE DARING KITCHEN where you will also find the original recipes and guidelines for this challenge.

(Adapted from The Chinese Kitchen by Deh-Ta Hsiung)

Makes 24-30 pancakes
Preparation time: about 10 minutes plus 30 minutes' standing time
Cooking time: 45-50 minutes


4 cups (960 ml) (560 gm) (19¾ oz) all-purpose flour
About 1½ cup (300ml) (10 fl oz) boiling water
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vegetable oil
Dry flour for dusting


1. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Gently pour in the water, stirring as you pour, then stir in the 
oil. Knead the mixture into a soft but firm dough. If your dough is dry, add more water, one 
tablespoon at a time, to reach the right consistency. Cover with a damp towel and let stand for 
about 30 minutes.

2. Lightly dust the surface of a worktop with dry flour. Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes or until 
smooth, then divide into 3 equal portions. Roll out each portion into a long sausage and cut 
each sausage into 8-10 pieces. Keep the dough that you are not actively working with covered 
with a lightly damp dish cloth to keep it from drying out.

3. Roll each piece into a ball, then, using the palm of your hand, press each piece into a flat 
pancake. Dust the worktop with more dry flour. Flatten each pancake into a 6 to 8 inch (15 cm 
to 20 cm) circle with a rolling pin, rolling gently on both sides. OR use the technique from this VIDEO

4. Place an un-greased frying pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot, lower the heat to low and 
place the pancakes, one at a time, in the pan. Remove when little light-brown spots appear on 
the underside. Cover with a damp cloth until ready to serve.

(Adapted from The Chinese Kitchen by Deh-Ta Hsiung)

Serves 4
Preparation time: 25-30 minutes
Cooking time: 6-8 minutes


2/3 cup (1 oz) (30 gm) Dried black fungus ('wood ears')
½ lb (450 gm) pork loin or butt
¾ cup (3½ oz) (100 gm) bamboo shoots, thinly cut
3 cups (6 oz) (170 gm) Chinese cabbage (Napa cabbage), thinly cut
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt (I omitted the salt because the sauce was already salty)
4 tablespoons (60 ml) vegetable oil
2 scallions
1 tablespoon (15 ml) light soy sauce
2 teaspoons (10 ml) rice wine
A few drops sesame oil
12 thin pancakes to serve


1. Soak the fungus in warm water for 10-15 minutes, rinse and drain. Discard any hard stalks, then thinly 

2. Thinly cut the pork, bamboo shoots and Chinese cabbage into matchstick-sized shreds.

3. Lightly beat the eggs with a pinch of salt.

4. Heat about 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil in a preheated wok and scramble the eggs until set, but not too 
hard. Remove and keep to one side.

5. Heat the remaining oil. Stir-fry the shredded pork for about 1 minute or until the color changes. Add 
the fungus, bamboo shoots, Chinese cabbage and scallions. Stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes, then add the 
remaining salt, soy sauce and wine. Blend well and continue stirring for another 2 minutes. Add the 
scrambled eggs, stirring to break them into small bits. Add the sesame oil and blend well.

6. To serve: place about 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of hot Moo Shu in the center of a warm pancake, rolling it 
into a parcel with the bottom end turned up to prevent the contents from falling out. Eat with your 

(Adapted from epicurian.com)


4 tablespoons (60 ml) soy sauce
2 tablespoons (30 ml) peanut butter OR black bean paste (I used black bean paste)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey OR molasses
2 teaspoons (10 ml) white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon (⅔ ml) garlic powder
2 teaspoons (10 ml) sesame seed oil
20 drops (¼ teaspoon) Chinese style hot sauce (optional, depending on how hot you want your hoisin 
1/8 teaspoon (⅔ ml) black pepper


Simply mix all of the ingredients together by hand using a sturdy spoon.
At first it does not appear like it will mix, but keep at it just a bit longer and your sauce will come 


  1. Renata, you are so VERY daring!! I don't know that I would have proceeded if I'd seen the actual (non-dehydrated) wood ears first! LOL. The good thing about this recipe is that the vegetables are totally adaptable to your own tastes, so you can experiment with any mushrooms you want, or even omit them and play around with other combinations, as well! You did an amazing job and I am so honored that you cooked with us this month. As always, your photos and your food look delectable. Great, great job!!

  2. Lovely homemade plate! It eally sets off the Moo Shu very well. It all looks delicious}:P

  3. Thank you so much for cooking with us this month! Your moo shu looks fabulous, and you out-Daring'ed us all with those fresh wood ears! I am glad that you enjoyed the challenge, and I look forward to lots more yumminess from you!

  4. I like your homemade plate, this Chinese pancake looks delicious too. You done a great job.

  5. I was just thinking the plate was very pretty when I read you made it, great job! And your Moo Shu Pork looks so delicious. Excellent job and beautiful pictures!

  6. Hi dear! Your dish is amazing, I dindn't knew you were a talented potter as well, congratulations!
    I agree, the hoisin sauce is sooooo delicious. I made it with peanut butter and with no sesame oil, but I'm gonna get it because I'm sure it would totally change the sauce.
    Great job an wonderful pics as usual. Big hug sweetie!

  7. Oooo those mushrooms do look a bit... hmm, not so attractive! Lol... Great that you found them fresh and fresh bamboo too! I didn't find the right mushrooms (which was not a bad thing I think seeing those!) but used a couple of asian mushrooms instead (shiitake and such) Your dish looks great and I'm so gonna use black bean paste for the sauce next time!

  8. As always you did an amazing job!
    I remember seeing your pictures in the form and thinking that is one pretty plate..I loved the styling and the pictures so much!(I am always in love with your pictures)
    At first I only took the pictures with the whole plate.. you were my inspiration to add other vegetables and take the pictures of the wraps the next day..thank you :)

  9. I love the picture of your sauce. It's a work of art.
    Great done.

  10. I love your plating and your plate! Nice job!

  11. Lucky you, to find fresh bamboo shoots! I'm glad you tried the fresh wood ears, though, so now I don't have to! I think your photo is my favourite... such lovely colours, and great job on the platter!

  12. Renata, your moo shu is beautiful! I too was a bit alarmed by the tree ears. Mine weren't fresh like yours, but when I re-hydrated them - woah! I didn't mind them in the dish, but I can see why they aren't to everyone's taste. I love the name though. They definitely remind me of ears!

    Anyway, your photos are absolutely gorgeous. Stunning presentation as always! I just love your glossy hoisin and the pattern on the top.

  13. Beautiful Renata! I ate a whole bunch of my own, but seeing yours is making me want to eat more!

  14. Renata, great job on the challenge. Your photos are stunning (except of the mushrooms, but there's not much to be done about them!!) I love the fresh bamboo - yum!

  15. I'd never heard of moo shu pork either until a little while ago when i read about it on a blog (and I'm chinese!! haha...) This looks delicious- especially with the hoisin sauce (I love almost anything with hoisin sauce)! The plate looks awesome! Now I want to attend a pottery class just to make my own plates....is it difficult? :D

  16. I nixed the wood ear 'shrooms, and now I'm even happier I did so lol I never liked the gelatinous feel of them on my tongue anyway. You are amazing - one of my fav blog cooks and bakers = your moo shu, pancakes and sauce are stunning!

  17. Great job - wondeful photos. Lucky you were able to find the mushrooms too. Well done - looking forward to next month's project!

  18. Wow! Such a gorgeous and delicious-looking dish makes me want to join the Daring Cooks!

    Lovely work! I ♥ moo shu pork.

  19. I'm with you on that funky fungus, and would like to be along too in Korea doing pottery (an old love of mine). Good job with the challenge.

  20. Your moo shu looks fantastic and that plate really sets it off. Great job this month!

  21. Renata, this looks like a great tasting dish. I am curious to taste this mushroom.

    Have a wonderful week :)

  22. Renata, you are very daring! I have never heard of moo shu nor seen the fungus (nor would have been daring enough to use it!). I have to say the finished dish looks delicious. I imagine my teenage children would think this was fun to eat. I must try it - minus the fungus!!!

  23. Wow! Renata, this looks delicious! I do not cook very often so I admire you for cooking something this beautiful! I'd love to taste the pancakes!

  24. We learned to love this dish too. Yours looks delicious! I also love the beautiful plate you made. So pretty!

  25. Love Moo shu very very much absolutely yumm. I always replace with Tofu.. U r really daring Cook as well as Baker Renata. Hats off to you.

  26. You go girl being all daring like that. It is a weird looking mushroom indeed. now I am very curious to try these pancake. I have eaten them but not made them. You final dish look just stunning!

  27. Renata yours look wonderful. I truly enjoyed this challenge. The ingredients would have been easy for your to source as well :)


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