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Old 02-03-2012, 03:25 PM   #1
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Velveting meat

This is something that I only heard of recently and have been trying to learn about. From what I understand it's mostly a Chinese technique. It keeps the meat tender in a stir fry. The meat is sliced thin, marinated for approximately half an hour, and then briefly poached in hot liquid or hot oil. The marinade usually has rice wine (or dry Sherry), water, and corn starch (though I have seen recipes with potato starch instead), and soy. The marinade may contain other seasonings, often ginger and/or garlic. After poaching, the meat is ready to stir fry.

So, if you know about this method, please correct what I wrote. I would also like to read any hints as well as opinions about when to poach in oil and when in water.

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Old 02-03-2012, 03:54 PM   #2
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TL, I too am interested in this technique but have also yet to try it.

Several months ago I ran across this video and although it's very informative the girl is quite annoying. I keep wanting her to hurry up. Anyway, take a look and see what you think.

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Old 02-03-2012, 06:21 PM   #3
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I recently posted a recipe for chicken chop suey in a topic; I think it was tired of the same old chicken, or something like that. In the recipe, I gave the technique for velveting meat, but marinating in a corn starch, soy sauce, garlic, and water mixture, seasoned with Chinese 5-spice powder. I used the water poaching method as some of the cornstarch comes off of the meat and thickens the water. And my poaching liquid was home made chicken broth instead of water. The resulting, thickened broth was then used to make a sauce for the chop suey. Only a bit of seasoning correction was required.

I have used the oil poaching method several times, when making stir fries, and have used thinly sliced strips of pork, chicken, and beef, depending on the dish. I would use the oil poach method for making spicy pork with a honey-sesame glaze, or sweet and sour sauce. The oil poach method would be great for making ginger beef or orange chicken.

And yes, the meat comes out so tender, its ridiculous. It was almost like firm paste, especially the chicken breast. Fortunately, stir frying the meat into the dish firms it up just right.

I have never tried the technique with sea food or fish.

I have concluded that the poaching method barely cooks the meat through, and that this accounts for much of the texture. The cornstarch slurry coats and seasons the meat, and hold in most of the natural juices, as does the low temperature cooking. The same texture can be achieved using sous-vide techniques.

If you were to use a cornstarch-flour mixture, with egg, then you have a tempura batter with which to coat cubes of meat to make tempura chicken, or pork. The cubes come out every bit as tender as does velveted meat, but with that delectable tempura coating. You just have to be careful not to overcook the meat, which is harder to gauge.

With the velveting technique, especially using thin meat strips, when the cornstarch coating turns opaque, the meat is done through just right, and is removed and set aside.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 02-03-2012, 06:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
TL, I too am interested in this technique but have also yet to try it.

Several months ago I ran across this video and although it's very informative the girl is quite annoying. I keep wanting her to hurry up. Anyway, take a look and see what you think.

You are right. She is annoying

That is the only place I have heard of putting the individual marinade ingredients on the meat, one at a time. I wonder if that works better than mixing them and then plopping the meat into the marinade. I wonder what the egg white does.
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:45 PM   #5
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You are right. She is annoying

That is the only place I have heard of putting the individual marinade ingredients on the meat, one at a time. I wonder if that works better than mixing them and then plopping the meat into the marinade. I wonder what the egg white does.
From what I can gather, the egg white is important for the silky finished product. She seems to think this whole process with all the ingredients one at a time is necessary, although I have no idea if it's really important or not. It could be, that she just likes more camera time.
As silly as some of it appears to be, I think I'll be following her recipe and directions.
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:49 PM   #6
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Are the recipe and directions available without the video?

Honestly I don't have the patience to follow videos. I can skim reading stuff but you have to just sit through videos. I'd rather just cut to the chase scene.
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
From what I can gather, the egg white is important for the silky finished product. She seems to think this whole process with all the ingredients one at a time is necessary, although I have no idea if it's really important or not. It could be, that she just likes more camera time.
As silly as some of it appears to be, I think I'll be following her recipe and directions.
I have tried velveting meat with some success. I didn't use any egg white or soy, just Sherry, cornstarch, and water. I used the oil method. I will have to try with the water/stock method.
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Old 02-03-2012, 10:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Gourmet Greg View Post
Are the recipe and directions available without the video?

Honestly I don't have the patience to follow videos. I can skim reading stuff but you have to just sit through videos. I'd rather just cut to the chase scene.
Actually Greg, you have to suffer through it like the rest of us.

You could always fast forward through the overly "wordy" parts.
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:20 AM   #9
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Everyone, this is really easy stuff. Simply make a cornstarch slurry, with a couple tbs. of cornstarch added to a half cup of liquid, be it water and cornstarch, chicken broth and cornstarch, water, sherry and cornstarch, or whatever flavor you want. The slurry should be thick enough to coat a spoon. Flavor it with the flavors you want on your meat. Onion, garlic, wine, various herbs and spices, pepper, soy, ginger, Worcestershire sauce, whatever you want, as long as the slurry is thick enough. Slice your meat into small cubes or thin strips and marinate in the slurry for between 15 and twenty minutes. Place in 325' oil, or water that is not quite boiling yet until the cornstarch turns opaque. Remove the meat to a plate, and use in whatever recipe you are making. Once you do it, you will be amazed at how easy it is to do, and how tender the meat comes out.

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Old 02-04-2012, 03:23 AM   #10
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Thanks for the simple and concise, Chief! Copied and pasted. I see this in my Bento future
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