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A bowl of velveted chicken stir fry on rice, with chopsticks

Velveted Chicken Stir Fry Recipe

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  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into ½ inch by 2-inch strips
  • ½ teaspoon Sichuan pepper salt (or ½ teaspoon kosher salt)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 piece of ginger the size of a quarter, smashed
  • 2 green onions, trimmed, white part cut into 1-inch lengths, green part minced into thin rings


  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil


  1. Marinate the chicken: In a medium bowl, whisk the soy sauce, rice wine, and cornstarch until the lumps of starch dissolve. Add the cut-up chicken, sprinkle with the Sichuan pepper salt, and toss to coat. Let the chicken sit in the marinade until you are ready to stir fry - up to half an hour ahead if you have the time - tossing the chicken occasionally to coat it with marinade.
  2. Whisk the sauce: Put the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until the sugar and cornstarch dissolve.
  3. Stir fry the chicken in 2 batches: Turn on the fan on the oven hood. If using a carbon steel wok, heat over high heat, then swirl in one tablespoon of the vegetable oil. If using a nonstick pan, put the oil in the pan and heat over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering and starting to have wisps of smoke. Add half of the chicken, toss to coat with oil, and then stir fry until it loses its pink color and browns a little on the edges, about 2 minutes. Pour the chicken from the pan onto a serving platter.
    Return the pan to the heat, add the second tablespoon of vegetable oil, and let it heat for a minute. Add the second batch of chicken to the pan, toss to coat with oil, and then add the garlic, ginger, and white part of the green onions. Stir fry until the second batch of chicken loses its pink color and browns a little on the edges, about 2 more minutes. Stir the first batch of chicken (and any accumulated juices) back into the pan, stirring for a minute to heat through.
  4. Simmer the chicken in the sauce: Whisk the sauce again, then pour it into the pan while stirring the chicken to coat evenly. Stir the chicken until the sauce tightens and turns glossy, about 30 seconds. Pour the chicken onto the serving platter and sprinkle with the minced green onions. Serve and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Weeknight Dinner
  • Method: Stir Fry
  • Cuisine: Chinese