Chicken stir-fry is a favorite dish for many people.
It is also the introduction that a lot of folks have to Chinese and Asian cuisine in general, which is why it’s a dish that has been attempted in many different kitchens.
And one of the most important steps to making a good chicken stir-fry is to thinly slice the chicken breast before cooking.
But for some cooks, this can be a more challenging task than they originally thought.
To slice chicken breast for stir-frying, you first have to partially freeze it so it is firm, but not solid. From there, take a sharp chef knife and hold it in your dominant hand, hold the meat with your non-knife hand while curling your fingertips under your knuckles (your knuckles will serve as a guide), and proceed to make long and even strokes, slicing the meat to around a quarter of an inch thick.
In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at the proper way to slice chicken breasts for your home-cooked meal, as well as a couple of other tips you can use in making stir fry in the comfort of your own kitchen!
How To Slice Chicken Breasts For Stir Fry
Step 1: Partially Freezing The Meat
The first step in this process actually involves partially freezing your meat.
You have to freeze it until it is firm, but not exactly solid, so it can hold its form better and be much easier to slice.
To do this, simply take your defrosted meat, wrap it, and put it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes before slicing.
If your meat is still frozen, however, you can simply move it from the freezer to the refrigerator overnight so it will slowly thaw there, and by the time you’re ready to slice it the next day, it should be frozen just right for the task.
Step 2: Grab The Knife And Hold The Meat
The next step is to get a hold of a long and sharp chef knife and get a secure grip on it.
Every cook and chef has a different way of holding the knife, but make sure that you have a firm grip that will allow you to control your strokes properly.
After that, use your non-knife hand to hold the meat down.
On top of that, you will also need to curl your fingertips under your knuckles so that you don’t risk cutting yourself.
From there, you can even use your knuckles as a sort of guide for the knife when cutting so you get even slices of chicken.
Step 3: Make Long & Even Strokes
So once you have the right grip on both your meat and your blade, you’re ready to start cutting.
Ideally, you would want to use long and even strokes while slicing and try to get slices that are around a quarter of an inch thick.
That being said, there are a couple of other ways chefs slice their chicken when preparing stir fry.
Some might prefer slicing them julienne, which results in very thin slivers of meat that you can toss into your meal.
Other chefs even prefer dicing their meat, which is required in a lot of stir-fry recipes such as Sichuan Kun Pao chicken.
If you plan on dicing the chicken, make sure to make wider lengthwise strips when slicing, then take those strips and cut them crosswise so they will turn into cubes.
Tips On Making Good Stir Fry
Velvet Your Meat
This is something done by most Chinese chefs when making stir fry.
Whether you’re using chicken, beef, shrimp, or pork, velveting the ingredients is key to getting a flavorful stir-fry.
Velveting involves marinating and pre-cooking the meat in oil to ensure that the meat keeps its silky texture when fried.
There are a lot of different ways to do this, and all chefs will have their own way of velveting their meat for stir-fry.
Use A Very Hot Wok
This is the secret to getting a great texture in your stir fry.
Most Chinese restaurants have specialized burners that are designed to get your wok extremely hot.
But if you don’t have this in your kitchen, don’t worry all you need is the hottest burner on your gas range and patience.
Make sure to wait until your wok or saute pan gets very hot before adding in your ingredients or your risk not getting the right texture in your stir fry.
And with that, our quick guide to chicken stir-fry comes to an end.
Prepping your ingredients properly is key to getting a great meal, so make sure that you partially freeze your chicken before slicing, and slice them into even strips that will cook at the same time.
By doing that and following the steps in the recipe properly, you will surely cook a stir fry to remember, all in the comfort of your own kitchen!