Chicken Velvet for Soup

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Chinese Technique

By Ken Hom

Published 1981

  • About

This is a fluffy chicken mixture made from tiny bits of breast meat that disperses through the soup, imparting its fine, light texture and taste. It can be used in any light broth or delicate soup, such as Winter Melon Soup. You may make it up to 4 hours in advance and keep it refrigerated until you are ready to use it.


  • 1 whole chicken breast, boned and skinned
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  1. Place the breast on the cutting board inside up. (The outside surface has a thin membrane that makes it impossible to scrape.) Scrape the cleaver against the meat.

  2. Continue to scrape until all the meat is scraped away from the membrane into a mound.

  3. Start mincing the chicken, adding a splash of water, a dash of cornstarch, and a bit of the egg white.

  4. As the mixture spreads, scoop it back into a smaller mound with the cleaver.

  5. Continue to mince, scooping and adding water, cornstarch, and egg white until it forms a thick paste. The fluffed chicken can be made ahead to this stage and kept refrigerated up to 4 hours. Add the chicken velvet to hot broth just before serving.