Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mu Shu -ish (Leftover) Chicken Burritos (Quick Take)

When I was a little kid, I used to hate Chinese food.  Luckily, my parents' desire to expose us to new foods was undeterred.  My mom would bring a chicken sandwich along in a baggie when we'd go out to a Chinese restaurant.
I wasn't so nice the first time we brought our kids to an Ethiopian restaurant.  I figured they could find something to eat, and they did:  they subsisted on injera and copious amounts of water from their constantly replenished water glasses.  I had no idea how much water they were drinking until we had multiple potty emergencies during the subway ride home.
Eventually I learned to like Chinese food, and my favorite dish was Mu Shu Pork.  I'm not sure if I liked assembling and rolling my dinner or the flavor of the hoisin sauce best, but it was my favorite thing to order.  Now my favorite dish is Ma Po tofu from the Great Wall Szechuan House near Logan Circle in Washington, DC, and when my brother returns from overseas I bet he will pack some in a cooler, hop on a plane, and we'll enjoy some together.

You wouldn't think from the title of this recipe that this is a 'kitchen sink' dish, but it is.  I had leftover roasted chicken, half a savoy cabbage, some mushrooms that were on their last stems, and we needed dinner.  This came together quickly, tasted great, and was a big flavor difference from the original chicken meal--my favorite way to cook once and eat twice.  This is not true a true Mu Shu--the mushrooms are all wrong and there's no egg for starters, hence the addition of -ish to the title.  Consider this if you've got a roast chicken and want to change it up a bit.

Mu Shu -ish Chicken Burritos (serves 4 with a bit of filling leftover for a kid's lunch)

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1/4 cup (60 ml) prepared hoisin sauce + a bit more to spread on the tortilla
1 half a medium onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 fat carrot, peels and tips to the composting pigs, grated
6 button mushrooms, chopped
about 5-6 cups chopped savoy cabbage
soy sauce to taste
8 tortillas of your choice (Check out how Sarah makes them here!)

Pour hoisin sauce over chicken, combine--I did this on the cutting board with my hands--and set aside.  Preheat a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add a turn of oil.  Sauté the onion and celery for 5 minutes until they are starting to soften.  Add carrots and mushrooms, sauté another 5 minutes until softened.  Add in the cabbage and stir until combined.  Cover and cook 3-5 minutes until cabbage starts to wilt.  Add in chicken and heat through another 3-5 minutes.  If you like, shake a bit of soy sauce over top.  Spread a thin swipe of hoisin sauce on a warmed tortilla, then spoon half a cup or so of filling in the center and fold how you like.  My family has multiple ideas on how to fold tortillas so I leave it up to you.  Enjoy!

This post is shared with the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up at Gastronomical Sovereignty, What's Cookin' Wednesday at Buns In My Oven, What's In The Box at In Her Chucks, Taste and Tell Thursdays, the Farm Girl Blog Fest at Let This Mind Be In You, Food on Friday, and the Clever Chicks Blog Hop at The Chicken Chick.
Composting pigs crave cabbage cores.


  1. Oh my! I love love love your mu shu chicken burrito.

    1. Marlene,
      I could go for some Chinese food right about now. Must add more in my life, that's on the To Do list for this month.

  2. I can't resist adding this comment that my mom emailed me after skimming today's post:

    "I put your food in a little basket that is now by my sink. At McG, it was on the top of the toilet. Both instances, holding bath necessities, but not TP.

    When we’d do Chinese, what you’d eat was in the basket.

    What I recall is just darling.

    You’d open up a napkin/serviette [guess where I’ve been] on the booth, and unpack everything from the basket — just so — onto the napkin, and only then would you start to eat it, whatever it was, but not a sandwich in a baggie. We guessed that this is what you did at school lunch, rather than just grab and chew out of the paper bag."

  3. Oh those composting pigs are just adorable and I'm glad to see them getting down with the cabbage core.
    These burritos are really quite clever and I like the idea of using cabbage and carrots as part of the filling. I'll be sure to do that when we get cabbage in our CSA because I'm always at a loss what to do with cabbage.

    1. Meghan,
      My daughter's favorite way of eating cabbage is just sauteed with a bit of onion, then topped with salt and pepper. Works for me, too!
      The pigs are pretty excited about dandelion and chick weed season, their little minds have no idea about the upcoming CSA season.
      Can I just say that I appreciate your comments especially knowing that you're a vegetarian.

  4. I love repurposing leftovers into a totally new dinner. Especially if I can use up dribs and drabs of things in the fridge at the same time! Nice post!

    1. Sarah,
      Me too! I'm so glad my family is (mostly) happy to eat leftovers in many shapes and forms.

  5. Total fusion dish! Love the creativity...another great idea on how to tackle my cabbage :)

    Thanks for sharing and linking up!

    1. Heather,
      I'm now picturing you charging into a store display of a cabbage pyramid, tackling everything in sight . . . which just means I need to say a polite "thank you for hosting" and step away from the computer.


  6. Kathy,
    Thank you so much for hosting!