we have been trying to incorporate some new recipes into the routine lately, and there was one recipe in particular that i pinned awhile back and have been meaning to try. it’s a quick and easy version of sweet and sour chicken that has a ton of positive feedback.
i have always wanted to learn a little more about how to make chinese food – i’ve tried whipping things together without a recipe in the past and the meat is never like what you get at a chinese restaurant. it’s one of those things i’ve been meaning to get around to, but just never have.
so when this recipe called for coating the chicken in cornstarch, dipping in egg, and searing it in oil before baking it, i thought to myself – ok, this must be what makes the meat turn out so differently. a quick google searched confirmed my suspicion, and it even has a name – this method of cooking is called “velveting” the meat and it’s what gives the meat in chinese dishes that signature soft, velvety texture.
there are no pictures of the dipping-and-searing process because that process was a hot mess (literally) – eggy cornstarch goop everywhere! next time, i need to let the oil heat up more – i started searing the chicken a little prematurely this time. it doesn’t seem to have affected the taste, but it ended up taking longer and probably not searing the meat properly.
i’ll also probably use about half of the sugar next time (or adjust other ingredients up to offset the sugar but still make enough sauce). it was really heavy on the “sweet” and pretty light on the sour. the fella thought it was fine, but after a few bites i was pretty convinced that the amount of sugar in the sauce is overkill.
another modification – i chopped up some red bell pepper and tossed it in with the meat and sauce to bake. perfect! i will try some other veggies next time i make it.
methinks this will be a common dish from now on!