YouTube recently started recommending Chinese cooking videos. This particular cook has a curious habit of rubbing cornstarch all over the chicken breasts before washing them off. Is there an advantage to cleaning chicken with cornstarch? Or perhaps an alternate explanation? Some people have suggested it's for tenderizing or velveting but those aren't particularly satisfying answers.

  • Hi, and welcome to SA! Have a look at the Tour and Help Center when you get a chance.
    – LSchoon
    Commented Aug 13, 2020 at 8:50

2 Answers 2


Some asian cultures clean meats with flour and/or cornstarch to remove the game-y smell from it. Since it's being washed off, I don't think it for the velveting.


The closed captioning on the video stated that the chicken in the recipe has to be 'kneaded' for two minutes. This does suggest that this step is meant to tenderize the chicken. Cornstarch in principle does nothing to aid that process. However, cornstarch is excellent at absorbing liquid, which leads me to believe it's there to catch any liquids coming out of the chicken due to the tenderizing.

This is little more than a hunch, though, and does not really explain why the chicken could not be washed after tenderizing without using cornstarch.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.