Velveting—marinating raw meat in egg and cornstarch to protect it from drying out while cooking—is a special technique used in Chinese cuisine. It often results in pieces of protein that are tender and juicy, even when using venison. For this recipe, I used the eye of round from an old doe and still achieved that velvety texture you’d expect from beef.
This sweet and spicy venison recipe might resemble your favorite Chinese takeout, such as Beijing beef. While the sauce and flavors are interchangeable, velveting the meat isn’t optional for this traditional dish.
Time to make
1 lb. eye of round, or another tender cut
5 tbsp. cornstarch, separated
1 tsp. kosher salt, separated
Canola or vegetable oil for frying
1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
1/3 cup Hoisin sauce
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 1/2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. sugar
1 red bell pepper
Half an onion
5 cloves of garlic, minced
Freshly cooked white rice
Also works with
Any red meat
Frying pan, wok
- Trim off silver skin and slice thinly against the grain. In a small bowl, beat the egg and mix in a tablespoon of cornstarch and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Add sliced venison, mix, and refrigerate covered for one hour.
- Meanwhile, remove ribs and seeds from the red bell pepper and cut into 1-inch squares. Cut the onion into similar-sized pieces. In a small bowl, combine sweet chili sauce, Hoisin sauce, red pepper flakes, vinegar, water, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and sugar, and set aside.
- When the venison is done marinating, add the remaining cornstarch to the bowl and stir to coat. In a saucepan, heat 1 inch of oil to 350 degrees. Carefully separate venison pieces and drop into the hot oil one by one—do not crowd the pan. Once the pieces start turning golden at the edges (1 to 2 minutes), remove and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the venison.
- While the venison is frying, add oil to coat the bottom of a frying pan/wok over medium-high heat. Add onion and red bell pepper and sauté until caramelized at the edges. Lower heat to medium, then add minced garlic and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add the sauce to the pan and bring it to a low boil, stirring frequently and being careful not to scorch the bottom. Add the cooked venison and toss to coat. Simmer for a couple minutes until thickened and warmed through. Serve hot with white rice. Garnish with sliced green onion.