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Chinese Secret to Tenderize the Toughest Meat


Chinese Secret to Tenderize the Toughest Meat


The Chinese culinary tradition is known for its ability to transform ingredients into dishes that are

delicious to both the palate and the eye. When it comes to tenderizing beef, especially cuts that are

notoriously tough, Chinese chefs use a technique known as “velveting.” This method not only

tenderizes the meat, but also retains its juices, so every bite is juicy and flavorful. Here’s how you can


use this secret in your own kitchen to enhance your

meat dishes.

Velvety Beef: The Chinese Secret


• 1/2 pound (approx. 225 g) beef, thinly sliced ​​against the grain

• 1 egg white


• 1 tablespoon cornstarch or potato starch

• 1 tablespoon soy sauce

• 1 tablespoon Shaoxing -Wine (optional)

• 1 teaspoon oil (and a little more for cooking)


Slice the meat: Start by slicing the meat against the grain into thin strips. This is the first step in


ensuring tenderness as it shortens the muscle fibers and makes the meat easier to chew.

Marinate: In a bowl, combine egg whites, cornstarch, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine (if using), and 1

teaspoon oil. Beat these ingredients until a smooth mixture forms. Egg whites and cornstarch are

crucial to the velveting process: the egg whites provide tenderness and the cornstarch forms a

protective barrier around the meat.Cover the meat: Add thinly sliced ​​meat to the mixture, making sure


each piece is well covered. Allow the meat to marinate in this mixture for at least 30 minutes at room

temperature, or up to a few hours in the refrigerator if preparing in advance.

Blanching or Roasting: There are two methods of tenderizing meat: with water or with oil.

Water velvety: Bring a pot of water to the boil. Add a tablespoon of oil to the water (this will keep the

meat supple).Gently add the marinated beef strips to the boiling water, stirring to make sure they

don’t stick. Once they turn pale and are cooked through (about 30 seconds to 1 minute), quickly

remove them with a slotted spoon and drain.

Oil Velvety: Heat the oil in a wok or deep skillet over medium-high heat. The oil should be hot but not

smoking (about 350°F or 175°C). Add the meat strips and spread them out so that no lumps form.Fry


briefly until cooked on the outside but still pink on the inside (about 30 seconds to 1 minute). Remove

meat and drain on paper towels.

Final Cooking: Once cooked, the meat can be added to any stir fry or dish you are preparing. Since it

is already partially cooked, you can add it toward the end of cooking to ensure it remains tender.

Why It Works

Velvetizing meat is a great method for several reasons:

The layer of egg whites and cornstarch protects the meat from high heat and prevents it from drying

out.Quick cooking in water or oil precooks the meat so it can be pan-fried more quickly without

overcooking it.

This technique also gives the meat a silky, velvety texture that is characteristic of many Chinese dishes.

Use the velveting technique to transform your meat dishes, turning even the toughest cuts into

tender and delicious delicacies. It is a simple but effective way to enrich your culinary creations and

bring the richness of Chinese culinary tradition directly to your home.

For more recipes click here

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