Velvet Chicken with Baby Bok Choy

Velvet Chicken with Baby Bok Choy

12 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2011

Velvet chicken is a classic Chinese cooking technique that keeps the meat juicy and succulent, and the chicken stays creamy-white rather than getting browned as in most stir-fries. Baby bok choy is about 3 inches in length and stir-fries quickly. If you can't find it, use regular bok choy cut into 2-inch segments.

Ingredients 4 servings

for serving adjustment
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 4 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick bite-size slices
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon cornstarch, divided
  • 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons Shao Hsing rice wine (see Note) or dry sherry, divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil, divided
  • ⅓ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 6 cups water
  • ⅔ cup chopped scallions, divided
  • 1 tablespoon finely julienned or minced fresh ginger (see Tip)
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 8 cups trimmed and halved baby bok choy (about 12 ounces)


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Combine chicken, egg white, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 2 teaspoons rice wine (or sherry) and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Stir until the cornstarch is totally dissolved and no clumps are visible. Add 1 tablespoon oil and stir to combine. Marinate in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine broth, soy sauce, white pepper and the remaining ½ teaspoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons rice wine in a small bowl.
  3. When the chicken has 10 minutes to go, bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Reduce the heat to low. Carefully add the chicken to the barely simmering water; gently stir so it doesn't clump together. Cook just until opaque but not cooked through, about 1 minute. Carefully drain the chicken in a colander and shake to remove excess water.
  4. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add ⅓ cup scallions, ginger and crushed red pepper; using a metal spatula, stir-fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add bok choy and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir-fry until the bok choy is almost crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chicken. Stir the broth mixture again, swirl it into the wok and stir-fry until the chicken is just cooked through and lightly coated with sauce, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Serve sprinkled with the remaining ⅓ cup scallions.
  • Note: Shao Hsing (or Shao xing) is a seasoned rice wine. It is available at most Asian specialty markets and in the Asian section of some larger supermarkets. If unavailable, dry sherry is the best substitute.
  • Tip: To finely julienne ginger, cut peeled fresh ginger into paper-thin slices, make a stack of 3 slices at a time, then cut into fine matchsticks (about ⅛ inch wide).
  • People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use soy sauces that are labeled "gluten-free," as soy sauce may contain wheat or other gluten-containing sweeteners and flavors.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1½ cups
  • Per serving: 251 calories; 13 g fat(2 g sat); 1 g fiber; 6 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 49 mcg folate; 63 mg cholesterol; 1 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 3,770 IU vitamin A; 25 mg vitamin C; 114 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 537 mg sodium; 600 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (75% daily value), Vitamin C (42% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 2 fat

Reviews 12

March 03, 2015
profile image
By: Rose Kottakis
boring If I made this again I would probably use some oyster sauce, a little garlic. Pros: velveting is the way to go Cons: very bland
November 03, 2014
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Delicious! Beautiful recipe! Chicken is very soft and flavour is actually incredible. The chinese wine and white pepper make the recipe. I didn't have enough sauce so I made another lot of broth up and mixed through the rice that I served it with. Didn't have enough bok choy so added mushrooms and broccoli. Also added some almonds. Amazing!!!! Pros: Unique flavour Cons: Not enough sauce
September 28, 2014
profile image
By: Ann Marie Natal
Flavorful Chicken! This chicken came out very moist and flavorful. This is a good way to include Bok Choy as well. The recipe is amazingly delicious as is but my sauce came out a little soupy and I followed this recipe exactly other than substituting regular Bok Choy. I'm not sure if this is intended to be this way so if you want a slightly thicker sauce, I would add a little more cornstarch. Even with the broth, this was very yummy and simmering the chicken prior made it very tender. I really enjoyed this recipe, it's a keeper!
July 03, 2013
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Great and Simple to Make! My husband even remarked that this dish tasted like it was from a fancy Chinese restaurant. It was easy to make! I really appreciated the note about using regular bok choy instead of baby if not available. This was great!
September 28, 2012
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Amaze Your Guests! I took this dish to a potluck. Everyone thought I stopped at an upscale Chinese Restaurant, and was trying to pass it off as my own cooking. I had to send everyone the recipe to prove I actually made it! Pros: Chicken so tender, you can cut it with a spoon!
August 27, 2012
profile image
By: EatingWell User
I must have done something wrong. The dish very soupy and i didn't even add all the broth. Was the broth supposed to have thickened? Mine didn't.
March 15, 2012
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Great Dish The sauce was flavorful, yet not overpowering. I served it with pasta which was a hit with my family. The chicken was tender and you could really taste the ginger. I highly recommend this, and it was a fairly easy recipe.
January 08, 2012
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Just like a restaurant dish!! Wow, this dish came out amazing! I have always wanted to know how to make the super tender chicken in Chinese restaurant dishes. This dish had the secret of boiling the chicken first! This dish tastes so authentic. It is very simple and light and that is what makes it so special. We didn't find it bland, but we may have added a little more salt and chile to suit our tastes. We also added garlic and an onion to just add more veggies. We will definitely be making this again. Thank you for such a great recipe! Pros: Healthy, delicious, and the chicken was so perfectly tender Cons: Took us about an hour, but we can probably make it faster next time
January 04, 2012
profile image
By: EatingWell User
Delicious Healthy Dinner I have made this dish several times and while it is delicious it is a little bland for our taste. I add diced mushrooms, bean sprouts and julienned carrots for more crunch. I also add a few Tsp of Asian Chili Garlic sauce for extra taste and spiciness. My family loves it!!
More Reviews