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Old 09-11-2008, 09:27 AM   #81
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I hate to say it, but the tender thing is lots of pounding and ...... MSG. it is one ingredient that many restaurants claim not to use because a few are allergic to it. I always make sure none of my guests are allergic. but it does make the meat meltingly delicious. I use Maggi with beef or pork. With chicken or turkey I just beat the living daylights out of it. Even my husband doesn't know how I get it restaurant-tender. Beat it up. To make it a little easier, buy cubed steaks.
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:27 PM   #82
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They use a technique called velveting.
Can you explain a bit more about this technique, please.
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:48 PM   #83
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Charlie - "Velveting" is a preparatory method that results in an unbelievably silk-like texture with poultry & seafood destined for ultimate cooking in a stirfry.

It involves placing the cut meat (sliced, shredded, diced, etc.) in a coating of dry sherry, egg white, cornstarch, oil, & salt & then gently but quickly giving it a quick (like 1 minute tops) "bath"/simmer in either low-temp (like 275 degrees) oil or slow-boiling water. The meat comes out light, sort of fluffy, & "velvety" - thus the name of the term.

There's absolutely nothing like it for preparing chicken for virtually any stir-fry dish. You'll swear you're in the best restaurant in Chinatown - lol!

If I have the prep time, I try to use this method as often as possible when I'm planning on stirfrying chicken. Haven't tried it with seafood yet.
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Old 09-11-2008, 12:51 PM   #84
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I have done it where I just dipped the meat in a cornstarch and water slurry before sitr frying. I know that is not the actual velveting method, but it worked amazingly well. My wife couldn't stop talking about it. She wanted to know why I never did that before and wants me to always do it now.
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:06 PM   #85
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GB - the "slurrying" isn't "velveting". "Slurrying" is how pretty much all meat is (or should be) treated before stir-frying. Just like flouring in regular recipes, it helps the sear. "Velveting" is totally different.

If your wife likes the "slurrying", she'll LOVE "velveting".

(Gee - talk about "food porn". Do I need to wash my mouth out after saying that? )
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:16 PM   #86
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Quote:
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Can you explain a bit more about this technique, please.
Here ya go, Charlie:

Velveting Chicken - Chinese Cooking Techniques – What is Velveting Chicken

I find it a little bland myself. Years ago it came with mixed veggies, or we ordered a side dish of chow mein etc.
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:39 PM   #87
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I enjoy my Chinese food best when eaten at home right out of those square take out paper boxes. Seriously.
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Old 09-11-2008, 01:54 PM   #88
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I enjoy Japanese food a little bit more than Chinese but DH only like Chinese so that's what I end up eating! But I like General Tso's chicken, Sesame chicken, lo mein, and beef and broccoli. I've never had authentic chinese food but I am very curious how different it is from what we have here. What does Thai food consist of? What are some of the spices that are used in it? Also, what does MSG do? Is it a spice or a "filler"?
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Old 09-11-2008, 02:08 PM   #89
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Thai food is a totally different "animal" from Japanese & Chinese. Difficult to encapsulize, but if you like Asian cuisine in general, do give it a try. Many dishes do use ingredients like coconut milk, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, etc., that aren't present in Chinese/Japanese dishes, but the preparation types are similar.

MSG is an enzyme (papaya-derived, if I'm not mistaken) that's used as a meat tenderizer & flavor enhancer. It was extremely popular back in the 60's thru 80's, but lost that popularity when many folks experienced allergic reactions to it, including migraine headaches. These days, it's pretty much gone from the cooking scene, including restaurants, although due to past prejudice & old wive's tales that everyone still uses it, many restaurants do put a disclaimer on their menus that they definitely don't use it.
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Old 09-11-2008, 02:20 PM   #90
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the latest studies shows that msg is not bad for you, i mean for people.
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