Here’s a secret every Chinese cook keeps that makes stir fry crispier and sauces in noodle dishes thicker, richer and more creamy. As well, this Veteran Move guarantees juicier meat that is also more tender. It’s called velveting and mastering it will immediately up your game in the kitchen when stir frying beef, pork chicken or even when fish is called for.
In the early days of my cooking career I could never understand how dishes served in Chinese restaurants delivered such tender, moist meat even though budget cuts were being used. Try as I might I always served dried out, overcooked dishes that I just didn’t enjoy. Then I came across a few recipes that had me add cornstarch to beef and chicken and stir fry both in a combination of oil and water before finishing the dish in a stir fry of vegetables and/or in a sauce. As I used the technique I started to enjoy the results more and more.
So, I did some research and stumbled across velveting. While I admit most of my recipes call for what I might call ‘partial velvet’ I have tried the full technique as described by seriouseats.com and I urge you to give this move a try. Whether you choose the more traditional route or, if you decide to follow my partial technique, I know you’ll be happy.