Velveting is used to prevent delicate foods like chicken breasts, prawns, from overcooking. The food is coated with a mixture of unbeaten egg white, cornflour and sometimes salt either a touch of sesame or vegetable oil.It is then put into the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes to ensure that the coating adheres to the food.The velvet cloak protects the flavour and texture of the food when it is put into warm oil or water for a few minutes will cook it briefly but not entirely and then drained before another final cooking.Velveting keeps the food moist and gives it a velvety texture, thus its name.
Having been to Vietnam recently it made sense to add a version of the Pho, pronounced ‘Fir’ over there I had a beef version for breakfast eaten on the side of the street very early one morning. The freshness of the dish really made an impact on me, tasty clean flavours all working well together. Also this dish is gluten free, something that is close to my heart.
There are many versions in Vietnam from north to south and can be made with chicken beef and also fish. One even served with a bread that is sliced and dunked in.