Velveting Yo’ Chicken, the “Not So Ancient” Chinese Secret.

For the longest time I wondered what exactly it is that Chinese restaurants did to their meats to make them so tender, and moist, and just so god damn tasty.

Well the secret is out and apparently its a technique known as “Velveting” which is basically just marinating sliced meat in a cornstarch/vinegar/egg/salt/water/oil mixture for at least 30 minutes then flash cooking it.

I decided to give it a shot and see how the results turned out.

First things first the mix.

1 Pound of sliced meat, can use Beef/Chicken/Pork or whatever.  For the sake of this trial I’m using Chicken.

2 Tsp Seasoned Rice Vinegar

1 large egg white

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons Canola or Peanut Oil

Just mix it up in a bowl and you’re good.

Velvet Ingredients

Velvet Ingredients

Then I got to slicing the meat as thin as possible.  The thinner the better.  I’ve learned to keep the knuckle against the blade with my fingers pulled back, here I am executing my new slicing mode.

20150817_183458

Slicing as thin as possible.

Sliced up two Chicken Breasts.

20150817_184221

All Sliced Up

After that its pretty simple, juts throw it in a bag or container and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.  Honestly I think letting it sit longer would be better but from everything I’ve read thats enough time.

20150817_184347

The next step is a bit of a personal decision.  You can either fill a sauce pan with water and add a couple tablespoons of oil if you want to keep it healthy, or if you want you can do the “Not a single shit is given” approach and just use all oil, which I assume makes it alot more tasty but I always feel like a turd when I waste that much oil for a quick fry.

20150817_192544

Oil and Water

Bring it to a roiling boil, the hotter the better.  When you drop the chicken in the temperature will plummet so get it as hot as you can.

20150817_192956

Drizzle in the meat.

20150817_193010

Let it sit there for like 1 minute, the perfect result would be for it to be not 100% cooked through so you don’t overcook it when you’re pan frying it or whatever.

20150817_193050

Then just drain it and there it is…you have this meat that is a nice moist texture ready to go for whatever recipe you need it for.

20150817_193511

Finished Product

Its pretty obvious that this is the key to stir fry, chow mein, or any other type of “Chinese” food that calls for this type of meat.  I will be using this article as reference from here on out when I refer to “Velveting”.