Velveted Chicken and Peanut Stir-Fry

This Japanese-style stir-fry with a miso sauce is great for the holiday season. Busy-ness at this time of year bites into cooking time.
Rich tempting foods and drinks, or fast-food take away from the simple dining pleasures. Pretty enough for a party, with little red rings of Japanese peppers, dark green zucchini, and bright sugar snap peas, this meal is quick to prepare. Miso adds umami (うま味)—the flavor of satisfaction, comfort, and gratifaction.

This recipe even has a ‘secret’ technique to ensure that the chicken is moist and tender!

Chicken, Peanuts, and Miso in a Wok
Tori to Piinatsu no Miso Itame
based on a recipe for Chicken, Cashews, and Miso in a Wok
page 414—Hiroko Shimbo’s book: Japanese Cooking
3 to 4 servings

Velveting the Chicken:

  • 10 to 12 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubesvelveting chicken breasts
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sake
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 teaspoons potato starch or cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoons sesame oil
  • pot of boiling water, over high heat

white frost cooked chickenIn a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the above ingredients, adding them one at a time and mixing with the chicken. Cover and refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes. Drop the chicken cubes into the boiling water and let them cook just until they turn white. Remove and drain. Use the marinating time to prepare the other ingredients.
The Sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons akamiso (brown miso)ingredients for Japanese Cashew Chicken
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons sake

Mix these ingredients in a cup.

Prepare the Vegetables:

  • 4 to 5 akatogarashi (or other small dried red chile peppers)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 3 to 5 scallions, cut into 1″ lengths
  • 1/2 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into thick 1″ sticks
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts


  • 2-3 Tablespoons oil
  • about 2 teaspoons tamari

Heat a wok over medium heat. Add the oil, and when it’s hot add the peppers. Stir-fry until the skins darken (seconds!).
Remove the wok from the heat and add the garlic. Stir-fry for 20 seconds.
Add the chicken and stir-fry over high heat for a couple of minutes.
Add the onion, and stir-fry 30 seconds, tossing vigorously.
Add the pea pods and zucchini and stir for a couple of minutes.
Add the sauce (miso mixture) and stir for a minute.
Add the peanuts and stir-fry for a minute or two.
Turn off the heat and season to taste with tamari.
Serve with white or brown rice.


2 thoughts on “Velveted Chicken and Peanut Stir-Fry

  1. Velveting chicken changes everything! I love the texture of stir-fries with velveted meat, it’s smooth, tender, never with those “jagged” ends that seem dry to the palate.

    I wish I could do stir fries here, but this recipe will have to wait until I am back to my regular kitchen, and a powerful stove

    Nice recipe, Tess….

    • Happy holiday greetings Sally!

      Yes, and my next post is about making chicken sandwiches with the marinated chicken. Tender. Some people say the technique makes the meat mushy, but I think it does only if you leave it in the egg-white cornstarch too long.

      With your homemade bread, your sandwiches would be fantastic!

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