Velveting the chicken

No, not a novel by Sarah Walters, not a euphemism… velveting is a great way of cooking chicken when you’re making a stir-fry. It doesn’t affect the flavour so much as the texture – in fact it seals the chicken in a kind of velvet jacket, so it works best with a very strongly-flavoured sauce.

  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • splash of mirin (optional)
  • splash of clear  rice vinegar (optional)
  • chicken breast meat
  • 1 cup of peanut oil or similar

Whisk the cornflour and salt into the egg white with a fork. I added a bit of mirin and rice vinegar purely because I had some in the cupboard and hadn’t found a use for them yet.

Cut the chicken into stir-fry-sized chunks and marinade in your gloop for up to half an hour. Then fry the chicken in quite a lot of oil – I used sunflower oil with a dash of toasted sesame oil added. Once the chicken pieces are white on the outside, you can drain it and add it back to the main stir fry wok to continue cooking – or in our case we cooked it longer in its own pan as we were making separate veggie and meat stir-fries.

The chicken was a huge hit – beautiful texture, and it stays moist inside.

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