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I love vegetable moo shu. Since I was a kid, it’s always been one of my favorite Chinese take-out dishes – it’s light and tasty, but more importantly, you get to roll things up in pancakes, which, when you’re a kid, is just so much better than chopsticks. Even better is that it’s ready to go in just 20 minutes!

completed Moo Shu Vegetables on mandarin pancakes against a white surface

Sure, the pancakes never stay together and the whole thing usually ends up falling apart, but that’s also part of what makes it great.  

If you love take-out fake-out recipes, you’re going to love this vegetable fried brown rice, tofu pad thai, and yellow tofu curry.

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What is Moo Shu Vegetable?

Vegetable moo shu is a plant-based take on moo shu pork. The dish originated in northern China but has been Americanized greatly with the addition of serving it with mandarin pancakes.

In the US it is usually made with julienned pork, cabbage, scrambled egg, carrots, and wood ear mushrooms. We’ve swapped the mushrooms for regular and eliminated the pork and egg to make this dish vegan. 

Why This Recipe Works

  • Moo shu vegetables are pretty simple and fun to make at home.
  • Use up whatever vegetables you’ve got hanging around your fridge. 
  • Kid-friendly recipe the whole family will enjoy!
  • An inexpensive way to enjoy your favorite vegan Chinese takeout meal.

What Goes Into This Recipe

Fresh veggies and some pantry staples are all you need to make this moo shu vegetable recipe. It’s simple, easy, and cooks in a flash.

Moo Shu Vegetable ingredients measured out against a white surface
  • Flavor: Fresh ginger, scallions, garlic, and onion are cooked first to add flavor to the vegetables.
  • Vegetables: Cabbage and mushrooms are standards in the classic moo shu recipe. I’ve also added carrots. 
  • Sauce: Made with soy sauce, water, hoisin sauce, and cornstarch. 
  • Mandarin Pancakes: For authentic moo shu, take the time to make the moo shu pancakes but if you don’t have the time you can sub flour tortillas.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Add some marinated or plain tofu to the dish. Make some extra sauce to marinate it in and then cook it on its own and then add it right at the end.
  • Tempeh also works as a protein option in this dish.
  • Swap out the veggies. Zucchini would work, as would bean sprouts, bell peppers, celery, cucumber, or whatever you have on hand!

How To Make Moo Shu Vegetable

Let’s get started cooking up our vegetable moo shu. Be sure to check the detailed instructions in the recipe card.

  • 1) Prep all your ingredients, measure out the sauce ingredients, and have everything in small bowls by the stove – before you do anything. 
  • 2) Heat a nonstick skillet (or wok) on the stove on high heat and add the oil to the pan. When the oil’s hot, add the ginger, minced scallion, and garlic to the pan, and stir-fry until fragrant, around 15 seconds. 
  • 3) Add the onion, cook for 30 seconds or so, then add the carrots, and cook again, tossing and stirring, for another 30 seconds. 
  • 4) Add the cabbage and mushrooms to the skillet. Then dump the soy sauce mixture over everything, and stir-fry until the cabbage begins to wilt and the mushrooms start to brown, around 1 minute. 
  • 5) Give the cornstarch and water a quick stir to reincorporate, then add that to the pan, and quickly stir it in. Cook for another 30 seconds to a minute, still stirring, until the cabbage and mushrooms are both cooked through and greatly reduced in bulk. Remove from the heat, and stir in the cut scallion.

TOP TIP: As this is kind of a classic stir-fry, you absolutely have to have everything ready to go before you start cooking. It can seem like a lot of prep – all that chopping, measuring, and portioning into little bowls – but everything cooks in around 5 minutes over high heat, so there’s just no time to do any cutting or measuring while everything is cooking. So make sure you have everything ready before you turn on the stove.

Expert Tips 

  • Prep everything prior to cooking. The whole dish cooks in five minutes so you won’t have time while things cook to get anything ready.
  • Swap out the veggies to use what you have on hand! Cabbage and mushrooms are generally considered classic ingredients in moo shu though!
  • Serve up your vegetable moo shu with mandarin pancakes for a fun and more authentic experience.

FAQs

Is moo shu vegetable healthy?

Yes, it is! This vegan moo shu is made with vegetables, minimal oil, and just a few processed ingredients for a dish you will feel good about serving.

Is moo shu vegetable vegan?

This recipe is vegan but some recipes and restaurants may include eggs or other non-vegan ingredients so be sure to check or ask.

What does moo shu vegetable taste like?

This Chinese-inspired dish has a crisp texture thanks to the quickly cooked veggies and a salty, tangy, and sweet flavor.

completed Moo Shu Vegetables on mandarin pancakes against a white surface

How to Serve Moo Shu

  1. Take a mandarin pancake (or tortilla), and smear a line of hoisin (and sriracha, if you want some heat) across the bottom. 
  2. Spoon in some vegetable moo shu, and roll the thing up like a tiny burrito – fold the sides in over the filling, then roll it all up from the bottom. 
  3. Roll it and eat it like a taco (which is what I usually end up doing after my rolls fall apart). 

Skip the pancake and serve it over rice or noodles! But that kind of defeats the whole purpose of the moo shu experience.

Ideas for side dishes to add on include these crispy tofu wontons, hot and sour soup, and these tofu spring rolls.

More Takeout Recipes to Make at Home

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed Moo Shu Vegetables on mandarin pancakes against a white surface

Moo Shu Vegetable

5 from 42 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
I love vegetable moo shu. Since I was a kid, it's always been one of my favorite Chinese take-out dishes – it's light and tasty, but more importantly, you get to roll things up in pancakes, which, when you're a kid, is just so much better than chopsticks. Even better is that it's ready to go in just 20 minutes!

Ingredients 

  • 1 Tablespoon of neutral (canola, vegetable, grapeseed, etc.) oil
  • 1 teaspoon of minced ginger
  • 2 scallions, 1 minced and 1 cut on the diagonal into ½' pieces
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • ½ onion thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
  • ¼ head of green cabbage thinly sliced or shredded
  • 3 ounces of mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of water
  • 1 teaspoon of hoisin sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 teaspoon water
  • Mandarin Pancakes or tortillas
  • hoisin sauce (and sriracha, if you're so inclined) for serving

Instructions 

  • Make sure you have everything ready to go – prepped, measured, chopped, and in small bowls by the stove – before you do anything. I can't stress this enough. Once you start cooking, everything happens really quickly, so there's no time to chop something else while things are on the stove. Just saying. Put your ginger, garlic, and minced scallion in one small bowl, onion in another, carrots in yet another, and cabbage and mushrooms in a slightly larger bowl. Whisk together the soy sauce, sake, hoisin, and salt. Stir the cornstarch and water together. Get it all in an accessible place by the stove. Okay. Here we go.
  • Put a nonstick skillet (or wok) on the stove, turn the heat up to high, and add the oil to the pan. When the oil's hot, add the ginger, minced scallion, and garlic to the pan, and stir-fry until fragrant, around 15 seconds. Add the onion, stir-fry for 30 seconds or so, then add the carrots, and cook, tossing and stirring, for another 30 seconds. Add the cabbage and mushrooms, then dump the soy sauce mixture over everything, and stir-fry until the cabbage begins to wilt and the mushrooms start to brown, around 1 minute. Give the corn starch and water a quick stir to reincorporate, then add that to the pan, and quickly stir it in. Cook for another 30 seconds to a minute, still stirring, until the cabbage and mushrooms are both cooked through and greatly reduced in bulk. Remove from the heat, and stir in the cut scallion.
  • To serve, take a mandarin pancake (or tortilla), and smear a line of hoisin (and sriracha, if you want some heat) across the bottom. Spoon in some moo shu, and roll the thing up like a tiny burrito – fold the sides in over the filling, then roll it all up from the bottom. Or you can eat it like a taco (which is what I usually end up doing after my rolls fall apart). Or you can serve it over rice, but that kind of defeats the whole purpose of the moo shu experience.

Notes

  • Prep everything prior to cooking. The whole dish cooks in five minutes so you won’t have time while things cook to get anything ready.
  • Swap out the veggies to use what you have on hand! Cabbage and mushrooms are generally considered classic ingredients in moo shu though!
  • Serve up your vegetable moo shu with mandarin pancakes for a fun and more authentic experience.

Nutrition

Calories: 184kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 8gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 2199mgPotassium: 593mgFiber: 6gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 10452IUVitamin C: 51mgCalcium: 94mgIron: 2mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Stefan
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Method: Stovetop
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Awesome! I used to love moo shu veggies growing up, but now I’m so happy to have a vegan-friendly version. They’re SO good!

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe was so fun and delicious! Eating moo shu vegetables in pancakes is my new favorite way to enjoy this dish!

  3. This looks great! I’m so glad to find this recipe.

    I’ve been missing moo shu since the few Chinese restaurants near me that had vegan menu sections have all closed.

    And my diet has become more strict, so I can tweak this the way I want.

    One request, please express cabbage in weight 🙂
    I was in Whole fFoods yesterday and the cabbages were twice the size of my head. Then went on to Trader Joe’s where they were less than half the size. A quarter of either would make a very different recipe. Thanks!!!