Tenderizing meat for stir-fries with a special marinade process.

What are the fundamentals of velveting?

Velveting is a cooking technique that involves meat in a mixture of cornstarch, egg white and/or baking soda, and additional flavorings. Once marinated, the meat is briefly or in water or oil before stir-frying.

  • Often, the meat is thinly sliced, rinsed in water, and aggressively massaged to loosen the meat fibers and allow the marinade to better tenderize the protein.
  • Some recipes skip the par-cooking step and just rely on the marinade for tenderization.

This method helps to tenderize the meat and create a soft, exterior texture on the pieces, which is where the technique gets its name. Velveting ensures that the meat remains juicy and tender throughout the process.

How does it work?

  • The rinsing and massaging break down the fibers (mechanical tenderization). The egg white and baking soda are basic (alkaline), which prevent the meat fibers from tightening back up.
  • When cooked, the egg white and the starch in the marinade to create a protective coating around the meat, preventing it from drying out and allowing it to absorb sauces more effectively during stir-frying.

💡 Kitchen Tool: Bowl and wok
🔥 Heat Type: Conduction w/ fat or water
🌡 Temperature: 180-212°F (82-100°C) for water blanching, 300°F/148°C for oil par-frying
🧪 Food Reaction(s): ,

Example Foods

  • Chicken in Pad See Ew
  • Beef in broccoli beef stir-fry
  • Shrimp in Pad Thai or fried rice

Velveting in Action

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