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"Velveting" chicken.

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I remember this as a pre-cooking technique prior to stir-frying which produces a particular texture to chicken (and other meats?) and I know it involves cornflour but I've forgotten the details. Can anyone help please?

"Cornflour" is the name here in the UK of the thickening agent used mixed with cold liquid. Is it "cornstarch" in the US?

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  1. Look here:

    I've also velveted in broth or water, rather than oil.

    1. Yes, its cornstarch in the US( and Canada)

        1. Hi Robin,

          I have always used Barbara Tropp's method with great success, it involves corn flour, egg white and a bit of salt. I don't have the recipe here at work but will try to remember to post it later. I velvet chicken in water and beef in oil.


          1. I use corn starch and sesame oil for chicken, corn starch and a dab of rice vinegar for beef and pork. Of course other ingredients such as garlic, ginger, chilies, onion, soy sauce, fish sauce may make the marinade merrier depending on the recipe.

            1. Hi,

              I learned this technique from my chinese college roomates, and I have always felt that the emphasis was as much on the cooking part as the ingredients. I usually use cornstarch and Shaoshing rice wine- make a slurry, then add the cubed chicken.

              But the key is to cook it on high heat while moving it about- but only until the exterior is just barely cooked, then remove back to the bowl where it marinated. Then cook the other ingredients, the sauce, then add the chicken back to cook through.

              1 Reply
              1. re: caviar_and_chitlins

                Yep, forgot the shaoshing wine. Barbara Tropp's recipe (From the China Moon Cookbook, 1992) is:
                1 egg white
                1 T Chinese rice wine
                1 t kosher salt
                1 T corn starch (flour)

                per pound of chicken. Cooking instructions as caviar_and_chitlins describes above, although she recommends barely simmering water, cooking until 90% white.