How do Chinese restaurants tenderize their meat?

  • I eat at a lot of Chinese restaurants now and also while growing up. I often wondered how is it that the chicken, pork, and beef in dishes are always so tender. I can never replicate it when I cook. What do the Chinese chefs use to tenderize their meat?

  • jontyc

    jontyc Correct answer

    9 years ago

    One technique, but not the only, is velveting. Here the meat is tenderized in an egg-white/cornstarch mixture for 20+ minutes, then cooked briefly (a minute) in oil or simmering water with a small amount of oil prior to using in stir fries.

    I've never velveted in straight oil but water/oil definitely gives the chicken that smoothness that Chinese Restaurants obtain and the shorter stir fry cooking time makes it much more tender.

    Super thin slicing (you'll need to cut the meat semi-frozen to get such thin slices), plus cutting across the grain also lead to tenderness.

    My mom uses corn starch with meat sometimes, and has claimed it was a tenderizer. I was unfamiliar with the other parts of this technique. Thanks for sharing

    I've used corn starch and water to leather. Also gives it a bit of a crispness to it I believe. Learned the tip from watching the show Ken Hom's Hot Wok

    Crisping the outer layer might also give you the ILLUSION that the insides are more tender...

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