Velveting Beef and a Spicy Beef Bowl

For some reason, I never shared the results of a recent experiment in turning a relatively tough eye of round roast into a more tender piece of beef. The technique of ‘velveting’ is practiced in Chinese restaurants and is used for both beef and chicken dishes. I velveted in water, not oil, because I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of the latter, nor did I want to waste the oil. I’m frugal that way.

For the spicy beef dish below, I used the recipe/technique found on the YouTube video here. The ingredient list and amounts I used are listed in the bare bones recipe below.

Velveted Beef, Broccoli and Mushrooms over Rice

Spicy Beef, Broccoli and Mushrooms – serves 2

300 gm velveted beef

1 tbsp vegetable oil (and 1 tsp sesame oil)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 inch ginger, minced or grated
3-4 dried red chilis
5 large mushrooms, cut in half and thickly sliced
1 head of broccoli, broken up into florettes


1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
2-4 tbsp water

Serve over rice

After marinating the meat

How to Velvet Meat – yields 2 cups

1 pound boneless chicken, beef or pork, cut into 1/2 inch thick strips
1 egg white (2 tbsp)
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine (mirin or sake)
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt

Velveting in Water

large pot of water
1 tablespoon oil

Wash meat and drain well.

In a bowl, combine egg white, Chinese wine, oil, cornstarch and salt. Whisk together until smooth and frothy. Add meat and marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. In a colander, drain meat.

In a pot over high heat, combine about 2-inch deep of water and 1 tablespoon of oil. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and immediately add meat, stirring to disperse. Bring water back to a gentle simmer and once it’s barely bubbling, continue to cook meat for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. With a slotted spoon, remove meat from pot and drain well.

NOTE: You’ll want to velvet the meat in two or three batches making sure that you add the meat slices a few at a time, rather than in clumps, so they don’t stick but float freely in the pot of water.

After velveting in water and the stir fry

Review of the Velveting Technique: While delicious and noticeably more tender than previous attempts at the dish using the same cut of beef, WITHOUT velveting, the beef wasn’t quite as meltingly tender as the beef I’ve eaten in Chinese restaurants. I think the technique and dish will continue to be a work in progress.



10 thoughts on “Velveting Beef and a Spicy Beef Bowl

  1. Great job! I’ve been velveting various meats for years, and it really does work a treat. Like you, I water velvet also. It’s tough for us non-restaurant cooks to dispose of a bathtub’s worth of oil every time you want to make just one dish! With water velveting I just throw it on NewWifey(tm) after I’m done and kill two birds with one stone: the meat is tender, and the wife is clean(ish). Well done πŸ™‚

    1. “I just throw it on NewWifey(tm) ”

      … I’m assuming you sleep with one eye open at night. πŸ˜‰

      I think I’ll have to marinate longer for the beef. It’s was a fun technique to try.

      1. I don’t usually worry. She’s Irish. The alcohol keeps her insensate til morning.

        Yeah, let me know if marinating longer helped things. I’m curious.

      2. LOL … you just keep digging that hole deeper and deeper, don’t you?

        I’ll definitely give velveting another try. Maybe chicken next time. Once I finish watching the videos currently on my YouTube playlist, I’m going downstairs to make some vanilla panna cotta. Blackberry or raspberry gelee on top? Haven’t decided yet.

    1. I’d say to use breast since I like the nice fatty flavour of the thighs and think that they would be wasted in this technique. There are so many other dishes that chicken thighs are perfect for. πŸ™‚

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