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Old 10-06-2006, 06:42 PM   #1
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ISO Chinese Tenderizer

Somewhere on this forum, there was a discussion about something used as a meat tenderizer in Chinese cooking. Does anyone here remember what it was? I know it was something that surprised me.

The reason I ask, is that crazy girlfriend and I went to a Chinese restaurant today, and it was amazing how incredibly tender the meat was in the Beef & Broccoli and the Mu Gu Gai Pan.

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Old 10-06-2006, 08:01 PM   #2
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My memory fails me as well Constance, was it to do with Cornflour??
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Old 10-06-2006, 08:17 PM   #3
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It's a process called velveting. It involves egg white, cornstarch and cooking.
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Old 10-06-2006, 09:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thymeless
It's a process called velveting. It involves egg white, cornstarch and cooking.
please explain further... this sounds interesting.
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Old 10-06-2006, 11:08 PM   #5
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I've seen recipes for it in every combination imaginable. First the starch then the egg, or first the egg then the starch. Cooking is most often a gently deep fry, but I've seen recipes that proceed to poach it.

I suspect one of the keys is careful cutting of the meat in the first place, keeping it thin and across the grain. But I've never seen it called out specifically in "velvet" recipes.

They also velvet shrimp.
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Old 10-07-2006, 01:34 AM   #6
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Constance, it's either "velvetting" as thymeless said, or it they added baking soda to the meat's marinade. We were discussing that in a thread awhile back.
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:50 AM   #7
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It's a marinade .... and the magic ingredient is cornstarch.

Here is a recipe for Moo Goo Gai Pan, a recipe for Beef and Broccoli, and one for Mu Shu Pork that demonstrates how conrstarch is used in the marinade.

I don't know how cornstarch works as a "tenderizing" agent ... but it seems to be consistent throughout Chinese cooking for that purpose.

Just remember - part of the "tenderizing" process is how the meat is cut (thin).
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Old 10-07-2006, 04:55 AM   #8
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I always thought the Cornflour [Cornstarch] was the thickening agent until I read that other thread, it was very interesting. Here, their meat is also always super tender. I guess that most of their dishes are cooked in a hot-hot wok and quickly would have something to do with it to.
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Old 10-07-2006, 12:35 PM   #9
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Constance,

Remember that over 90% of Asian Chefs/cooks use MSG in preparing their products for not only flavor enhancement , but also as a tenderizer.
It's part of the genration to generation cooking and talking to Asian Chefs in the World Association of Chef Societies they will tell you that is taught in their cooking schools.
Chef Mark
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Old 10-07-2006, 07:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef
Constance, it's either "velvetting" as thymeless said, or it they added baking soda to the meat's marinade. We were discussing that in a thread awhile back.
It was the marinating in baking soda that I was thinking of, Ironchef. Do you happen to remember what the ratios and timing were?

Michael, thanks for the recipes...my estranged grandson is coming for dinner on Tuesday, and asked for what he calls "stir-fry", which is anything oriental.

Mark, I did know they used MSG, but didn't realize it was a tenderizer.

Thymeless, the meat was sliced quite thin. The beef appeared to be skirt steak or brisket, and was cut across the grain, but the chicken was cut with the grain.

You all are so smart! I learn something new here everyday.
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