By Vicky McDonald

Ever wondered how the meat from your Chinese takeout tastes so moist and tender? It's all down to a simple cooking technique called velveting. You can use this process with any kind of meat, and it will ensure succulent and tender results every time. It's a technique you can easily master at home, and will change the way you make stir-fry recipes.

What is velveting?

Velveting meat is essentially a process where you coat the meat in egg white, rice wine vinegar, corn starch, and salt and leave to marinade for about 30 minutes before cooking. The meat is then briefly cooked in a mixture of boiling water and oil, then strained and dried before stir-frying. The method works by locking in the juices and keeps the meat moist when you cook it over a high heat. It is a little more work, but the combination of the marinade and the quick blanching in hot water ensures moist and succulent chicken pieces.

Photo by Allrecipes

Here's how do it:

This technique works with any type of meat. Here is a recipe that uses chicken.

Velveting Chicken Breast, Chinese Restaurant-Style

Here are some Asian stir-fry recipes where velveting would enhance the flavor and texture:

Sweet and Spicy Stir Fry with Chicken and Broccoli

Garlic, crushed red pepper, and chili paste add heat; the hoisin sauce and ginger sweeten the deal. Great served over jasmine rice!

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

Quick Beef Stir-Fry

"Quick and easy," says inesgosner. "I make this on my busiest weeknights."

Photo by naples34102

Pork Lo Mein

"I was inspired by another recipe that I changed to add more vegetables, ginger, and sesame oil," says Kendra.

Photo by linda2d

VIDEO: Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken

This quick-and-easy sweet-and-sour chicken is on the table in 30 minutes. See how it's done:


Check out our collection of Stir-Fry Recipes.


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