The secret to Chinese food is the soft and tender meat—here’s how to do it at home

There are many ways to cook beef that are tasty, but have you ever noticed how tender the meat comes out when eating Chinese food at restaurants? This is because the meat is cut a certain way, and more importantly it is velveted, which is a term for meat coated with corn starch or flour and marinated for a few hours. This breaks down the protein and makes a softer, tender meat.

This video is a perfect demonstration of the process of velveting. It isn’t enough to cut the pieces of meat small and cook on the stove. Even though the pieces may be small, they will be a bit dry and tough if just cooked fresh from the butcher. Beef and pork need a little bit of further processing. Although many people wish to avoid processed foods, meat is something that we benefit nutritionally from in having processed a little bit.


1. Cut beef into thin strips and then on the diagonal, cut into thin pieces(cut against grain, as shown on video)

2. In a container or a bag as shown, add beef pieces and marinade ingredients and mix well. Marinate for 6 hours in the refrigerator only, not room temperature nor in the freezer. It should stay cold for food safety reasons.

3. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil, add in broccoli and carrots, cook for a minute and drain.

4. Heat about 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over high heat, then add garlic. Cook garlic in hot oil for a while, stir in marinated beef with the marinade until sauce forms a glaze on the beef, add in 1 tbsp oyster sauce, ½ tbsp soy sauce, and ½ tbsp sugar. Stir well until beef pieces are evenly coated. Stir in broccoli, carrots and red chili pepper.

5. Serve over rice, and enjoy!