Paleo Moo Shu Stir-Fry

Moo shu pork was my “usual” for Chinese take-out until I became a paleo devotee. Well Fed 2 includes a recipe for this dish that’s truer to the original and, therefore, takes far more time. But this version—this magical, friendly version from Well Fed Weeknights—is equal to the big flavors of the original…

… but this one is ready in half an hour!

My updated recipe uses ground pork and skips the marinating step to expedite the whole process.This is messy, sticky, crunchy, chewy, crazy-delicious, and super-fun to eat. Enjoy!

Moo shu is most fun when it’s served family style so everyone can roll their own wraps, but you could also serve it in bowls on a bed of cauliflower rice.

Paleo Moo Shu Stir-Fry

Serves 2–4 | Total time: 25–30 minutes | Whole30 compliant

  • 1 ounce dried, shredded wood ear (Chinese black) mushrooms

  • 1/2 medium head green cabbage

  • 4 scallions

  • 1 (8-ounce) can bamboo shoots

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 5 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms

  • 2 heads fresh butter or Boston lettuce

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground pork

  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

Hoisin Sauce:
  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 medjool date or dried fig

  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos

  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter

  • 4 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Prep. Place the wood ear mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with hot water; set aside to rehydrate. Get the veggies ready for the speed round of the stir-fry: thinly slice the cabbage and scallions. Drain the bamboo shoots.


Start the pork. Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Crumble the pork into the skillet and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until it is just pink, about 3 minutes. While it cooks, make the sauce.


Make the sauce. Smash and peel the garlic and place it in a pint-size Mason jar. Remove the pit from the date and drop the date into the jar, then add the coconut aminos, sunflower seed butter, rice vinegar, sesame oil, hot sauce, and black pepper. Blitz with a stick blender until smooth; set aside.


Finish the pork. Add the arrowroot powder to the pork and stir to combine. Peel and crush the garlic; add it to the pan with the coconut aminos and sesame oil. Stir to combine and continue cooking until the liquid is mostly evaporated and the meat is cooked through, 5–7 minutes. Transfer the meat to a large bowl.


Cook the veggies. Place the oil in the same skillet you used for the pork and reheat it over medium-high, 2 minutes. Add the cabbage and shiitake mushrooms to the pan and toss with two wooden spoons until the cabbage has wilted, 1–2 minutes. Drain the wood ear mushrooms and add them to the skillet along with the bamboo shoots and scallions; toss to combine. Return the pork to the skillet with any accumulated juices and stir-fry until heated through, 1–2 minutes.


Serve family style with a platter of butter lettuce leaves, a big bowl of moo shu, and the hoisin sauce for drizzling.

You Know How You Could Do That?

Add eggs: After cooking the meat, beat and fry 4 eggs and add to the meat in the bowl—or replace the ground pork with ground beef or chicken or whole shrimp. If you made Cauliflower Rice during a Cookup, this is an excellent deployment.

Cookup Tips

Make the hoisin sauce, stir-fry the pork, and cut up the raw veggies in advance; store everything in separate airtight containers in the fridge. When it’s time to eat, cook the veggies and follow the instructions for the final stir-fry.

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