Chow Mein Gravy

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by pastachef, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. pastachef

    pastachef

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    Hello,

    I need instructions on making the gravy for chow mein. My last attempt was a three gallon disaster. It tasted really good, but I couldn't get the consistency right. The corn starch wouldn't thicken and it kept clumping into gooey balls. Was the corn starch too old? Did I not cook it long enough (about 20 minute boil)? How much corn starch should I have used for three gallons of gravy?

    Thank you!
     
  2. markv

    markv

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    NEVER cook your cornstarch that long. :eek: You'll cause it to backfire and lose it's thickening properties.

    I don't know if you did this but just in case:

    First you must wisk the cornstarch with a liquid such as water, rice wine, stock, whatever. This is called a slurry and prevents lumping. The slurry should be the consistency of heavy cream

    Add the slurry to simmering, not boiling liquid and then return it to JUST UNDER A BOIL.

    Every chef in the world will tell you to bring your roux or cornstarch/arrowroot thickened sauce to a full boil to achieve its maximum thickening potential. This is not scientifically correct. Beyond 200-205 degrees (boiling is 212), the starch will begin to break down. Thus, bring it to almost a full boil, immediately reduce to a simmer, and stir gently. It only needs a few minutes to hit it's maximum thickening potential.

    One tablespoon of cornstarch will thicken about 1 1/2 - 2 cups liquid. Measure accordingly based on the viscosity that you want.

    Mark
     
  3. suzanne

    suzanne

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    I'm glad Mark could answer your question. I just want to say: Nice to see you here again!!! :D
     
  4. pastachef

    pastachef

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    Thank you Mark and Suzanne. I had already decided that the next time, I will mix the corn starch with a liquid before trying it again. I let it reach a boil and then immediately turned it down to a simmer and stirred and stirred. I used about 1/4 cup of corn starch for the three gallons of gravy. I'm glad I asked:) Now I won't be afraid to try it again. :blush: