The Secret To a Better Stir-Fry
Stir-Fry dishes are a great way to add more healthy vegetables into your diet, and they’re usually pretty quick and easy to make – especially if you take advantage of precut veggies at the supermarket and quick-cooking chicken breast.
However, if you’re usually less than thrilled with your version of “homemade Chinese food” because of tough, rubbery chicken, here's a great tip...
The secret to really great chicken stir-fry is a classic Chinese cooking technique called velveting. It's so easy, and it makes a huge difference in the texture of the chicken.
How to Make Velvet Chicken
All you need to "velvet" your chicken is some egg white, oil, and cornstarch.
- First, slice your chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Next, combine lightly beaten egg white, oil and cornstarch in a bowl.
- Add the chicken and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Cook the chicken in simmering water
The result is smooth, tender, and velvet-like chicken that tastes like it came from your favorite Chinese restaurant.
Here’s the technique, step by step:
Chinese Velvet Chicken
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, trimmed of any fat and cut into thin slices
- 1 egg white slightly beaten
- 2 Tbs sesame oil
- 1 Tbs cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups water
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- Combine egg white, oil, cornstarch and salt, and stir well until smooth.
- Pour mixture over chicken and stir to coat all pieces.
- Marinate uncovered, in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Pour 4 cups water in saute pan, and mix in 1 Tbs canola oil.
- When chicken is almost finished marinating, bring water/oil mixture to a simmer.
- Carefully add chicken to the simmering water; gently stir so it doesn't clump together.
- Cook just until opaque, about 1 minute.
- Carefully drain chicken in a colander to remove excess water.
- Add chicken to stir fried vegetables and sauce and finish cooking through.