How To Velvet Beef For Stir Fry


Learn how to velvet beef for stir fry. Learn how to make a delicious stir fry with velvet beef and a selection of other ingredients. Velvet Beef is a classic Cantonese dish and can be found on the menus of many local Chinese restaurants. If you’re looking for a beef stir fry recipe, velvet beef is an ideal option as it involves marinating and frying the meat in such a way that leaves it tender and succulent.

How to Velvet Chicken, Pork, and Fish for Stir Fries: An Introduction to Water-Velveting

Velveting meat is a common practice in Chinese stir-fries: By marinating strips of meat with egg white and cornstarch, then dipping then in a hot oil bath before finally stir-frying them, the meat develops a texture that is tender, silky, and smooth.

Water-velveted fish. Shao Z.

Velveting meat—the practice of marinating slices of meat in egg white, wine, and cornstarch—is a Chinese cooking technique that we’ve covered here on Serious Eats before.

Typically, after the meat is marinated, it is quickly blanched in a bath of hot oil and then drained, at which point it’s ready to be stir-fried. The end result is meat that’s tender, silky, and smooth in texture. But while easy for restaurants, oil-blanching, also known as “passing through oil,” can be cumbersome to do at home, since it requires using enough oil to fully cover the meat.

Oil-blanching is the traditional method, but at home it means using a fair amount of oil for just one step in a stir-fry recipe.

If you don’t regularly oil-blanch or deep-fry at home, trying to figure out what to do with half a cup or more of used oil can be an annoyance. Also, if you’re just starting to stir-fry, the task of working with a large amount of oil can be off-putting. My solution is to use a method called water-velveting instead.

“With water-velveting, you marinate the meat just as you would if it were being oil-blanched. But instead of briefly cooking it in hot oil, you blanch the meat in boiling water with a little bit of oil added to it.”

With water-velveting, you marinate the meat just as you would if it were being oil-blanched. But instead of briefly cooking it in hot oil, you blanch the meat in boiling water with a little bit of oil added to it. It’s simple, quick, and much more home-kitchen friendly. The main question is whether there’s a significant difference in taste and texture.

The main ingredients for the velveting marinade.

The Water vs. Oil Test


To test this out, I took slices of pork, chicken, and cod fish, and then marinated them in the standard velveting mixture of egg white, cornstarch, rice wine, and salt. Next, I blanched half of each type of meat using both the oil-blanching and water-blanching methods.


For the pork and chicken, the taste and texture of the water- and oil-blanched samples were almost exactly the same.

Water-blanched and oil-blanched pork and chicken were nearly identical to each other.

The only difference I noticed was that when I ran my finger along a piece of the water-blanched meat, sometimes a little bit of cornstarch and egg-white residue would come off.

Water-blanching did produce meat with a slight residue.

It’s very minor, though, and after stir-frying, I could hardly see any difference.

Stir-frying was all it took to make the residue disappear.

For the cod fillets, the oil-blanched pieces were a little bit firmer than the water-blanched ones, but as long as you’re a little more careful not to break the pieces up when stir-frying, I would still recommend water-blanching for the ease it provides.

The water-blanched cod was a little more delicate than the oil-blanched sample, but if you’re careful while stir-frying, it still isn’t a problem.

Water Velveting: Step by Step

Here are the basic steps for water-velveting. This works with all kinds of meat and stir-fry recipes.

Beating the egg white makes it easier to measure.

I start by measuring out my egg white precisely. Estimating the amount of egg white here (or assuming eggs are consistent enough in volume) isn’t a great idea because too much can interfere with how the cornstarch interacts with the meat. To make egg whites easy to measure, beat them first with a fork to break their cohesive structure.

Once the egg white is measured, combine it in a small bowl with cornstarch, rice wine, and salt. Mix until the cornstarch dissolves and there are no lumps left.

Dry the meat well—wet meat will dilute the velveting marinade and reduce the effectiveness of the coating.


Place the dried meat in a bowl and pour the velveting mixture on top. Mix everything together well, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.


After 30 minutes, take the meat out. Fill a wok or a large pot with water. Bring the water to a boil and add about 1 teaspoon of oil. Then add the velveted meat and, with a long chopstick or spatula, break apart the meat into individual pieces.

Stir it around for about 30 to 40 seconds. White meats such as chicken and pork should be opaque but still raw on the inside.


Remove the meat with a strainer or drain it in a colander. The important thing here is to shake the meat well to remove any excess moisture, since sopping wet meat will be a problem once it comes time to stir-fry it.


Overall, water-velveting is an easy technique that works wonderfully for home cooks. Try it instead of oil-blanching the next time you see a recipe for stir-frying velveted meat, or check back in throughout the week as I share some of my favorite recipes using the water-blanching method.

How To Velvet Beef?

Take care of yourself! Make a decision on the direction of your nap and follow through with it.

How do you Velvet beef?

Keep an eye on the clock! Set an intention for yourself during your slumber and follow through on that intention!

What is a velveted meat?

The method of ″velveting″ meat is a Chinese cooking technique that is commonly utilized in Chinese restaurants. It is possible to get a smooth, slippery, velvety texture by marinating raw meat in a mixture of cornstarch, egg white, or bicarbonate of soda for a few hours. For years, I stood by and watched my mother’velvet meat’.

How do you Velvet meat for stir fry?

How to Prepare Velvet Meat When it comes to stir-frying, velveting is a Chinese culinary method that is often utilized. Meat or seafood is marinated in an egg white, cornstarch, and rice wine combination before being quickly blanched in oil or water before being finished in the stir-fry process with the rest of the vegetables and other ingredients.

How to tenderise beef (velveting beef)?

What is the best way to tenderize beef? (velveting beef) 1 Set of instructions. Using a thin knife, cut the meat against the grain. (Note 3) Place the ingredients in a mixing dish. Sprinkle baking soda over the top and mix with your fingers to coat evenly. Refrigerate 2 Notes on the Recipe: 3 Information on the nutrition facts label:

How long does it take to velvet beef?

If you’re not sure what cut of beef to use, cook it for 35 minutes.When I under or over tenderized it, it retained its tender and juicy texture and flavor.If you change the marinating periods up and down by 10 minutes at a time, you’ll rapidly discover out the ideal marinating times for your favourite cuts of beef.A word of caution: the meat will turn an abnormally intense crimson when cooked.

How do you make velvet beef with baking soda?

1 Dissolve baking soda in water (for every 12 ounces of meat, use 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 12 cup of water). 2 Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. 2 Cover and soak the meat for at least 15 minutes in the solution. 3 Remove the item and rinse it. ④ Cook the meat according to your preferences, and then bite into a very tender piece of flesh.

Can you velvet beef with cornstarch?

Making a slurry is the first step in the velveting process: Pour one cup thinly sliced meat or alternative protein (it can be anything really: chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, tofu, or even mushrooms) into a large mixing bowl, whisk together one tablespoon cornstarch and one tablespoon vegetable or light sesame oil until smooth.

Is Velveting meat healthy?

Is velveting meat beneficial to one’s health? – Quora Cooking with water velveting is a Chinese technique that produces the most soft chicken breast possible. A healthy method of cooking boneless chicken breast, it is also a terrific technique to assure that your chicken will not be overcooked and dry. I’ve also used this approach to cook salmon filets, and the results have been wonderful.

Does soy sauce tenderize meat?

Is it true that soy sauce tenderizes steak? Yes, soy sauce has the ability to tenderize beef. This is accomplished by the breakdown of the proteins in the meat. After marinating for 30 minutes, the meat becomes softer and easier to chew, which is why you could notice that your steak is somewhat more tender after marinating for 30 minutes.

How do you make beef soft and tender?

How to make beef softer in eight easy steps

  1. Use the meat tenderizer to make the meat more tender. Meat tenderizers are a simple and convenient technique of preparing meat.
  2. Cover the meat with coarse salt
  3. marinate in an acidic solution.
  4. Fruit purée is used to marinate the meat.
  5. Cooking over a low heat in a pan
  6. grilling
  7. Halfway through the cooking process, add the coarse salt.
  8. Make use of baking soda.

Can you velvet meat overnight?

It is possible to prepare the velveting well in advance of the stir-frying, but if you intend to refrigerate it at all or overnight, you must do so in water rather than oil because the oil approach gets ‘funky’ in the refrigerator.

What cut of beef is best for Chinese stir fry?

Flank steak is the most common piece of beef utilized by Chinese restaurants in all of their stir-fry meals, and it is also the most expensive. Our stir-fry recipes call for this particular cut of beef, which also happens to be the most popular among our customers. Besides being delicious, flank steak is economically priced and easily accessible.

How do Chinese restaurants get their meat so tender?

The method of ″velveting″ meat is a Chinese cooking technique that is commonly utilized in Chinese restaurants. It is possible to get a smooth, slippery, velvety texture by marinating raw meat in a mixture of cornstarch, egg white, or bicarbonate of soda for a few hours.

Is baking soda harmful?

Drinking tiny amounts of baking soda is not normally considered harmful by health authorities. This can offer short-term relief from indigestion in individuals who are suffering from it. Drinking significant amounts of baking soda, on the other hand, is harmful, and it is not recommended for long-term usage, use during pregnancy, or use in children under age 12.

What are 3 ways to tenderize meat?

If you want to chemically tenderize meat, according to our dependable ″Food Lover’s Companion,″ there are three options: long, slow cooking; the use of a commercial meat tenderizer (Ac’cent is perhaps the most well-known brand); or marinating in an acid-based marinade that contains enzymes, which break down connective tissue.

Does egg tenderize meat?

″ entails marinating the meat in egg whites, cornstarch, water or rice wine, and salt for many hours… the meat is tenderized by altering the pH of the meat due to the alkaline egg whites, which form a gossamer-thin layer on top of it during this time period

What does cornstarch do to meat?

Cornstarch: When combined with marinades, cornstarch creates a light coating on the meat that shields it from the strong heat of the wok to a certain extent. This helps to prevent overcooking and toughening of the meat’s outer layers throughout the cooking process.

How to Velvet beef or chicken for Chinese stir fry?

  1. Sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate soda) on 250g/8oz sliced cheap beef pieces
  2. bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.
  3. Toss with your fingers and set aside for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove extra water by rinsing thoroughly.
  5. Continue with the stir-fry recipe. It can be marinated with wet or dry spices, or it can be cooked in its natural state. The meat will be very delicate and supple, almost ″velvet″ in texture.

How to configure beef?

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How to Velvet Your Meat?

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how to velvet beef

how to velvet beef – and what a difference it makes!

beef with broccoli in a serving bowl

Gonna share with you how to velvet beef – and why absolutely WANT TO.

One of the very first dinners I attempted to make as a new cook was some sort of variation of beef and broccoli – a favorite take-out dish. And while the flavors were “fine”, it was definitely not the same as our go-to place down the block. And no matter how many recipes I tried over the years, they invariably disappointed every time.

what is velveting beef?

flank steak

Oh, you’ve never heard of it either? Allow me to introduce you – or rather, quote Cook’s Illustrated:

“Velveting beef involves marinating the meat in egg whites, cornstarch, water or rice wine, and salt…..during which time the mixture forms a gossamer-thin coating on the meat and the alkaline egg whites tenderize the meat by changing its pH. The meat is then blanched in simmering water or oil to set the coating, which will protect the meat against the blazing heat of the wok. The coating turns plush and silky as it cooks, delivering its namesake texture.”

flank steak in marinade

“Velveting”, “plush” and “silky” are not terms one often uses when referring to a stir-fry, yet you know that it’s not just the flavor, but the texture that makes that take-out-from-a-carton so unbelievably satisfying.

this technique is perfectly adapted for home cooking!

While this is a simple technique, the traditional blanch in hot oil – which is how the restaurants do it – is not super practical for the home cook. But this method yields a remarkably similar result from boiling water that has a little bit of oil added.

velveted beef

you can use this technique in any stir fry recipe!

I tried this out on a very basic beef and broccoli recipe from the New York Times and WOW. I could not believe the difference! Even better, you can do the velveting the night before, making a fast weeknight dinner totally doable.

And best of all, this technique will work on any protein – chicken, fish or pork. A bit more research revealed other methods for velveting beef involving baking soda, but I swear by this one. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

beef with broccoli in a serving bowl

Beef with Broccoli

“Velveting” the beef is the secret to the most mouthwatering results – just like your favorite take-out!

PREP TIME30 mins

COOK TIME30 mins


COURSEMain Course


CALORIES546 kcal


For velveting the beef:

  • 1 pound flank steak, patted dry and very thinly sliced against the grain
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

For the beef with broccoli:

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce, or to taste, optional
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 pound broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • rice to accompany


Velvet the beef:

  • Place steak in a large ziploc bag. Whisk the cornstarch, soy sauce and vinegar in a small bowl till smooth. Whisk in the egg white till well combined but not frothy. Add this mixture to the meat and squish the bag so that each piece is well coated. Refrigerate for 30 – 60 minutes.
  • Bring 4 cups water, salt and oil to a boil in a medium pot. Cook the meat in 3 batches, for 30 seconds each batch, removing with a slotted spoon and transferring to a colander. Make sure the water returns to a boil between batches. Use immediately in your recipe or refrigerate overnight.

Make the beef with broccoli:

  • Whisk the soy sauce, oyster sauce and chili-garlic sauce in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon water and whisk again; set aside.
  • Heat 1/2 cup grapeseed oil in a large pan set over high heat. Saute the steak in 2 batches, transferring to a plate or bowl when finished. Pour off the oil and wipe out the pan. Add the remaining tablespoon oil and heat till smoking. Saute the broccoli, stirring frequently, for 2 – 5 minutes – it should be lightly charred in spots. Add 2 tablespoons water and toss for another 2 minutes. Return the steak to the pan, followed by the sauce. Stir frequently till well coated, then add the butter and continue stirring. Serve with rice.


Serving: 1gCalories: 546kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 30gFat: 43gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 21gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 3109mgPotassium: 796mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 881IUVitamin C: 101mgCalcium: 88mgIron: 3mg

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