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.

Grace Young
Source: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2011


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine chicken, egg white, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 2 teaspoons rice wine (or sherry) and 1/4 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.

  • Meanwhile, combine broth, soy sauce, white pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch and 2 tablespoons rice wine in a small bowl.

  • 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.

  • 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 1/3 cup scallions, ginger and crushed red pepper; using a metal spatula, stir-fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add bok choy and the remaining 1/4 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 1/3 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 1/8 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 Facts

251.1 calories; protein 25.9g 52% DV; carbohydrates 5.8g 2% DV; exchange other carbs 0.5; dietary fiber 1.4g 6% DV; sugars 1.2g; fat 13g 20% DV; saturated fat 2.5g 12% DV; cholesterol 62.7mg 21% DV; vitamin a iu 3769.9IU 75% DV; vitamin c 25.1mg 42% DV; folate 49.1mcg 12% DV; calcium 114.1mg 11% DV; iron 2.1mg 11% DV; magnesium 41.5mg 15% DV; potassium 600.1mg 17% DV; sodium 536.9mg 22% DV; thiamin 0.1mg 9% DV.

Reviews (12)

Read More Reviews
12 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 1 stars
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 Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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 Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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! Read More
Rating: 2 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
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 Read More
Rating: 4 stars
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!! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Wasn't sure how much 2/3 cup chopped scallions were This dish was delicious. We really enjoyed it. But I wasn't sure how much 2/3 cup chopped scallions was so we only bought one bunch. I really needed two bunches of scallions. I wish they had made that clearer in the ingredient list. Pros: Delicious Nutritious Cons: scallions measurement Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Excellent Tasty Supper I made this for dinner tonight and I admit I was a little worried it would be bland. I was wrong! It was great. It is a little time consuming but the results were worth it. Pros: Tastes great low cal healthy Cons: A little time consuming Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Delightful dish! Shows off bok choy quite well. We did add three ingredients to make the entree a little more complex: added 1 tablespoon rice vinegar to the egg-white/cornstarch step; added about a half teaspoon toasted sesame oil when the chicken was done (and stirred the oil in); sprinkled each serving with toasted sesame seeds. Read More