Have you ever wondered how Chinese restaurants make chicken and beef strips so tender in stir-fries? Then read on… this 1 ingredient method is a secret to making the meat tender, juicy and super silky.
How do you make stir fry beef tender?
Use a simple tenderising method. It helps lock the moisture in the meat and break down the protein fibres of the meat. This simple method will ensure your chicken and beef strips for stir-fries are tender, juicy and have that wonderful soft texture you’ll find in Chinese restaurant dishes.
This technique works wonders on both beef stir-fry strips and chicken breast strips – you will seriously LOVE the texture and never go back to NOT velveting meat again.
Bicarb soda for velveting meat for stir fry
Simply sprinkle meat strips with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of bicarb soda per 500g of meat, toss to coat and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Rinse and cook. See full printable instructions below.
Which chicken or beef cut is best for stir-fry without velveting?
Knowing this Chinese restaurant meat velveting secret you will be able to whip up juicy meat stir-fries every time. This means being able to use chicken breast meat, as well as beef stir fry strips or rump steaks cut into strips for that tender, juicy texture.
Otherwise, chicken thigh meat is juicier than breast meat so if you are going to stir-fry chicken without velveting, simply use chicken thighs.
I have mentioned before that my personal preference for beef in a stir fry is eye fillet. It’s tender and does not require velveting. But it is the most expensive option.
How to make chicken and beef tender for stir-fries
- 500 g chicken breast strips or beef stir fry strips
- 1.5 teaspoons bicarb soda
- Place meat strips in a large ceramic or glass bowl and sprinkle with the bicarb soda, working in batches. Mix into the meat and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
- Transfer the meat into a colander or sieve and rinse well under cold running water to remove the baking soda. Pat dry gently with a paper towel and stir-fry as usual.
- Buy whole chicken breast or rump steak and slice the meat into thin strips yourself.
- Stir fry quickly over high heat. You can remove the par-cooked meat strips from the wok then cook the veggies. Return the meat to the wok for another minute with the sauce and heat through. Ensure the chicken is cooked through at the end, it may need a couple of extra minutes.
Must try this velveting. Haven’t heard of it before, but I’m always using bicarb soda for everything. I want to try the Black Pepper Sauce for Chicken Stir Fry.
Hi Margaret, you will be surprised at just how wonderful the meat turns out! Bicarb really is the magic ingredient! And yes, that black pepper sauce is amazing! Hope you enjoy!
I have to admit, until this day, never have I ever made any beef stir fry that didn’t have the dexterity of a strip of leather from a new boot. This velveting tip was a miracle and has encouraged me to cook more often now.
You can also use mashed pineapple from a fresh pineapple not canned or pineapple juice. Works well but wont have that after taste from the bicarbonat