Velveting Chicken

  • Yield : Enough for two dishes.
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 5m
  • Ready In : 60m

Velveting Chicken.

Have you ever wondered how the chefs in a Chinese restaurant make the chicken so soft? It’s called velveting.

This technique is really just a method of of marinating and pre-cooking the meat to give it the soft texture prior to using it to stir-fry.

The best thing about this is that it can be made in advance thus reducing the frantic rushing around that always seems to happen when you are trying to cook more than one Chinese dish at a time.

Well here I will show you how.


  • 2 Large skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 Large egg white
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 Cups or 450ml vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cornflour
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine or dry (fino) sherry


Step 1

Cut the chicken breasts across the grain into slices. Place into a bowl and add the salt, rice wine and stir.

Step 2

Beat the egg white just until the gel is broken, it should not be frothy or it will cause the coating to puff up when pre-cooking.

Step 3

Add this to the chicken and sprinkle in the cornflour and stir well.

Step 4

Add the tablespoon of oil and stir until smooth, we are looking for a slimy texture here. Place the bowl in the fridge and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Step 5

Heat the 2 cups oil in a wok or heavy saucepan until warm, approx 275 fahrenheit or a cube of bread foams very slowly. Give the chicken a quick stir and scatter the chicken pieces into the warm oil. Quickly but gently using a wooden spoon or chopsticks stir the pieces to separate them, just do a few at a time.

Step 6

If the oil begins to sizzle the chicken then reduce the heat, once the meat has turned white, which only takes 30 - 45 seconds remove the chicken and drain on paper towels.

Step 7

The chicken is now ready to use in your favourite stir-fry. Store it in a covered dish until you need it. ***IMPORTANT NOTE: do not put the chicken in the fridge or it will become hard and tough***

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