Oh hey. I’m a Daring Cook! If you aren’t familiar with the concept, it means that every month (hopefully), I will be making something deliciously challenging, along with a whole bunch of other blogging folk, and posting about my forays. Veeerrry few of their past challenges involve things I’ve made before, so, business just got real.
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.
Honestly, I can’t say I’ve ever ordered Moo Shu at a Chinese restaurant, and I can boil it down to two reasons: pork and mushrooms. While pork is no longer categorically off-limits for me, mushrooms, especially the black fungus kind, are sort of a dealbreaker. I’m trying to like them. I’m on an earnest journey, and I can honestly say that I love me some mushroom ravioli… So I assume it’s a texture thing, which is understandable, right? So, for this challenge I made pancakes and hoisin sauce basically as directed, and exercised a little creative license with my stir-fry. First up, the pancakes. There was flour, oil and water–no rising, just mixing, resting and rolling.
The dough was smooth, stiff and elastic, and there was LOTS of it. I cut it into thirds, then eighths, and rolled each piece thin.
3 x 8 = 24… I probably should have halved this, at least, but I wasn’t thinking ahead. Next time, I’ll settle myself down with a cup of tea and some deep thoughts first. And make a timeline and a chart… Or not.
I know these aren’t tortillas, but they’re pretty close. I’ve attempted to roll out tortillas before, and as embarrassing as that was, I think I’ve redeemed myself. They puffed up with little brown spots beautifully, and I definitely ate one (or more…) while preparing the rest of this dish. I think that is truly why I chose to do the pancakes first. I’ve got needs, you know!
The sauce part, obviously, was much less time consuming and much simpler. Sidenote: since starting this blog, I get a bajillion little dishes dirty for basically each meal I prepare. I used to just measure and plop it all into one thing. Do you like the ingredients-in-little-dishes shots? I must know.
Looks a little gross, smells and tastes awesome. Salty peanut butter and salty soy sauce… It’s magical heaven.
I used chicken as the protein component of the stir fry (along with the egg). Slightly frozen chicken is much easier to slice neatly and evenly. And easily! Easy is good.
I didn’t think much of using chicken in this stir fry, until I made this graphic. Is there something wrong with this? Nevermind; I don’t care. I like wrong.
In went the Napa cabbage, scallions and bamboo shoots, as directed by the classic recipe. I also added some snow peas, because they’re mad delicious. Plus, some soy sauce splash action.
The stir-fry is supposed to be consumed by folding it into neat little pancake packets and dipped into the sauce, but it didn’t quite work that way for me. The pancakes were too small and somewhat too stiff to do that, so I resorted to eating this whole delicious mess like tacos. All in all, I made a tasty dinner and learned a lot so… Thumbs up.
You can barely see it, but there was also wine. I needed a drink after all that work, and a crisp white rounded this situation out perfectly. Delicious food to put in my face also helps.