Stir-Fry Velveted Chicken and Vegetables highlights a special Chinese cooking technique called water velveting. Water velveting is a Chinese cooking method that results in the most tender chicken breast. It’s a healthy way of cooking boneless chicken breast, and a great way to ensure your chicken won’t be dry. I’ve used this cooking method with fish filet with excellent results too.
I made this stir-fry velveted chicken and vegetables for a cancer patient who is on a low-fiber, low-residue diet. Although this diet appears to be quite restrictive at the surface, many recipes can be adapted to use the ingredients that are allowed. For example, carrots, asparagus tips, mushrooms and zucchini are allowed, as long as there are no skins or seeds and the vegetables are well cooked. In addition, lean proteins such as chicken breast are recommended.
Since this cancer patient also has some difficulty chewing, I decided to try using the Chinese water velveting cooking technique to cook the chicken breast.
Chinese Water Velveting Cooking Technique
This particular cooking method involves two steps:
- Marinating cut pieces of boneless chicken breast in a mixture of salt, cornstarch, egg white and a little oil. Slice, dice, or cut the chicken into thin strips – it’s your choice.
- Cooking the marinated chicken in low simmering water (to which a little oil has been added) just until it turns white. The protein will not be cooked 100% through, but will be finish cooking when you stir-fry.
The cornstarch egg white marinade creates a slippery coating that protects the chicken and keeps it from drying out.
Once the chicken is velveted, it can be used in a stir-fry dish.
Stir-Frying for Low Fiber/Low Residue Diet
If you’re making a stir-fry dish for someone on a low fiber/low residue diet, the vegetables needed to be peeled, seeded, and well cooked. Carrots, asparagus tips, mushrooms and zucchini are some of the vegetables that are often permitted under the low fiber/low residue diet. To prep the vegetables, peel the carrots, and peel/remove seeds from the zucchini.
Instead of the typical stir-fry where the vegetables are stir-fried until still crisp, I cook the vegetables separately in chicken broth until tender. Once tender, I remove, strain and reserve the vegetables until I’m ready to stir-fry.
Once I’m ready to complete the stir-fry dish, I stir-fry a finely grated ginger (no skin) in a little oil, then add the vegetables, velveted chicken and a little broth.
A stir-fry sauce is added once all the ingredients are heated through.
If you’re not on a low fiber, low residue diet, substitute your favorite vegetables. There’s also no need to pre-cook the vegetables in chicken broth if you’re not on this particular diet. You can just stir-fry the vegetable directly in the wok.
Stir-Fry Velveted Chicken and Vegetables
This recipe is adapted for a low fiber, low residue diet. You can use the same velveted chicken cooking technique in a more traditional stir-fry where the vegetables are cooked until crisp-tender directly in the wok.
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- 1 large egg white
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 3 cups chicken broth or water
- 1 carrot peeled, cut into 1/2" thick slices
- 4 shitake mushrooms stems removed, quartered
- 1 medium zucchini peeled, seeds scooped out, sliced into 1/2" thick slices
- 1 bunch asparagus tips
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1 slice ginger peeled, finely minced
- 1/4 cup low sodium chicken stock
Cut chicken into thin slices, small cubes, or thin strips. Place in bowl and add salt and rice wine; mix well. Whisk egg white with fork until gel is broken down. Add to chicken, along with cornstarch; mix well. Add 1 tablespoons of oil and stir until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon oil and reduce heat to low. Transfer chicken into pot and stir to separate pieces. Continue to stir until coating turns white. Then immediately strain in colander.
Bring chicken broth to a boil in a saucepan. Add carrot slices. Cook until tender. Remove from pan with slotted spoon. Add mushrooms and zucchini to chicken broth and cook until tender. Remove from pan with slotted spoon. Add asparagus tips to pan and cook until tender. Remove from pan with slotted spoon. Reserve 1/4 chicken broth stir-fry; store remaining broth for another use.
In a small bowl, mix together Stir-Fry Sauce ingredients.
Stir-Frying Chicken and Vegetables
Heat oil in a wok or large skillet. Add ginger and stir-fry briefly until fragrant. Add cooked vegetables to wok. place velveted chicken on top. Add 1/4 cup chicken stock to wok and cover. Cook on high for 1 minute.
Add Stir-Fry Sauce and toss well for 1 minute to coat chicken and vegetables with sauce. Serve.
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