What Kind Of Chicken Do Chinese Restaurants Use? The Plain Truth

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What Kind Of Chicken Do Chinese Restaurants Use The Plain Truth

The Chinese people have a unique culture. They are also famous for eating the unthinkable. The Chinese’s love for pork meat is undeniable. Pork is so popular and used in almost every meal. Compared to chicken, pork meat is the most consumed.

However, most people don’t believe that chickens used in Chinese restaurants are the normal ones. And you can’t blame them for thinking this way.

Chinese restaurants prepare meals with ducks, goose, pigeons, and other animals with feathers. It won’t be difficult for them to deceive customers that their meat is chicken whereas it’s something else.

So, here’s a mind-boggling question.

What kind of chicken do Chinese restaurants use?

Chinese restaurants in the United States use normal chicken consumed throughout the country. But then, everything is possible with the Chinese people when it comes to food. They may decide to substitute chicken for pigeons or duck. And you won’t even know. Their meat is usually well-spiced and tasty.

Chinese restaurants also use every part of a chicken except the feathers.

Furthermore, Chinese restaurants may use normal chicken, but the texture might be different. The change in texture is due to the meat’s preparation.

Don’t forget that Chinese chefs are masters at tenderizing their meats, including chickens. Most Chinese restaurants also prepare their chickens using a method called Velveting.

Velveting involves coating the chicken with a mixture containing soya sauce, egg white, and cornstarch. There are other mixtures you can use to velvet your meat.

We have more in store for you about Chinese restaurants and food, so continue reading.

Do All Chinese Restaurants Velvet Their Chickens

Good question. If you have ever visited or ordered fried chicken at a Chinese restaurant, you’re right to ask such a question.

Velveting is a common way the Chinese people prepare their chickens. And yes, all Chinese restaurants do this. These include restaurants in the United States of America and the ones back home in China.

Chinese people also tenderize their chickens this way at home. It’s a common thing for them. That’s why it’s always good to ask questions before criticizing other culture’s cuisines.

So, if you’re trying to compare the rotisserie chicken’s texture from Wal-Mart’s, Costco, Fred Meyer to US-based Chinese restaurants, you’re in for some disappointment. Why? Both chickens have different textures.

How the rotisserie chicken is prepared in Wal-Mart is different from how Chinese restaurants prepare their chickens. So, the texture would be different.

Now, remember this. In Chinese cuisines, mouth-feel or texture is a priority. That’s why you hear of the Chinese people consuming diverse cuisines and consume almost every plant and animal on the planet.

There’s a popular saying that the “Chinese people eat everything with four legs except tables and everything that flies except airplanes.” And this is so true.

How Do Chinese Restaurants Velvet Their Chicken?

Ever bought stir-fries from a Chinese restaurant and wondered if the meat was chicken or another winged animal? The truth is, if you’re trying the Chinese stir-fries for the first time, you may have this question in mind.

The chicken in Chinese stir-fries is usually very tender. Yes, most people tenderize their chickens in the United States. But then, how the Chinese prepare theirs is shocking. Chinese Velveted chickens are always super tender.

You also can’t prepare Chinese stir-fries without tenderizing your chicken. So, here we go! Below are simple ways on how to Velvet chicken the Chinese way.

Step#1 – Use bi-carb

Your first move is to use baking soda (Other options are available). So, for every 250g/80oz chicken breast or pieces, you plan to use, toss with baking soda.

Please note that ¾ tsp is a good amount for this quantity of chicken breasts or pieces. And the chicken in question has to be skinless and thinly cut.

Step#2 – Marinate your chicken

Marinate your skinless and thinly-cut chicken in a mixture comprising cornstarch, liquid, and salt for 20 to 30 minutes.

Most Chinese restaurants marinate for just 20 minutes. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Step#3 – Rinse and dry your marinated chicken

After marinating, rinse your chicken thoroughly under running water. Then remove the excess water using a paper towel.

At this point, you have succeeded in velveting your chicken the way Chinese restaurants do. Now is time to choose your preferred recipe and prepare your favorite Chinese cuisine.

A Handy Tip – Besides the famous Chinese stir-fries, you can prepare other foods with Chinese Velveted chicken. These include Chow Mein, Kung Pao Chicken, and Cashew Chicken.

How Chinese Restaurants Tenderize Chickens

We have explained how to velvet chickens according to how Chinese restaurants do it. But it’s important to note that they can use one of several methods to tenderize their chickens.

Let’s go through the various ways you can tenderize your chicken. Use any of the methods you deem fit.

  • Marinate in a mixture containing cornflour or cornstarch. The next step after this is to blanch or deep fry in water before you start cooking.
  • Using egg whites – What makes Chinese cuisines one of the most diverse and unique is how they combine varied ingredients creatively. Chinese restaurants can use egg whites when tenderizing chicken. It changes the color of the chicken completely.
  • Chemical tenderizer – The use of a chemical to tenderize chicken may not be on most people’s minds due to health implications. But let’s pretend Chinese restaurants using this method know what they’re doing.
  • Bicarbonate or baking soda method – This method also works. And it’s quite simple too. We used the baking soda method in the Chinese Velveting method shared in this post.

What Chinese Restaurant Velveted Chicken Taste Like 

Taste is crucial in Chinese cuisines as it is in other regions’ cuisines. And the reason Chinese restaurants velvet their chicken is to make it softer inside and outside.

However, velveting doesn’t change the taste of chicken sold in Chinese restaurants. Velveted chickens taste like every other chicken.

The only major difference you will notice in the Chinese restaurant Velveted chicken is the texture. The process helps to break down the chicken’s fibers, making it softer for consumption.

That’s how Asian clientele visiting Chinese restaurants likes it. It doesn’t matter if the restaurant is located in the United States of America or China.

12 Unacceptable Meats Chinese Restaurants Use 

The Chinese people are famous for consuming all types of animals. In 1977, Michael Chow, a popular American-Chinese restaurateur, stated that the Chinese eat everything in a bird except the feathers. Surprisingly, they also do the same thing with other animals.

The Chinese eat diverse animals, including dogs and cats, considered pets in American and other parts of the world. But it’s very rare to find an American-based Chinese restaurant that serves dog or cat meat these days.

Even back home in China, eating dogs and cats is highly prohibited. Shenzhen is the first city in the history of the country to place such a ban. The economy is also playing a crucial role in changing the Chinese people’s meat preference. Many families are financially buoyant and can afford other meat choices besides dogs and cats.

Animal cruelty laws and regulations are quite strict in the United States of America. Punishment for offenders varies but can be very severe. So it is quite difficult for American-based Chinese restaurants to use dogs or cats as meats.

The Chinese people are also famous for eating several strange animals, which many people would tag “unacceptable.”

Here are unacceptable meats Chinese people consume:

  • Pork
  • Duck 
  • Goose 
  • Rats
  • Frogs
  • Bats 
  • Mutton 
  • Pigeon
  • Snakes 
  • Earthworm
  • Cockroaches
  • Monkeys

The list of animals Chinese people eat is quite long. Just think of any animal in existence. Surprisingly, some of these animals are consumed raw in most parts of China.

Most people even claim that the Chinese eat live monkey’s brains from the head. They use a teaspoon to scoop up the animal’s brain while it’s alive.

Images of Chinese eating whole bats and baby rats alive have also been seen on the internet. Nevertheless, we can’t claim the whole people of China eat animals these types of animals.

If you dig deeper, you will discover that most Chinese people don’t eat most of these unacceptable animals. They have healthier and better choices such as chicken, fish, lamb, and beef.


So, what kind of chicken do Chinese restaurants use? Chinese restaurants often prepare a wide range of Chinese cuisines, which are quite tasty. But the major concern is the type of meat they sometimes use, including how they prepare it.

Velveting chicken is the process Chinese restaurants use to make their chickens super tender. A Velveted chicken usually has the same taste as a normal chicken. The only difference is the texture.

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