Chinese cuisine uses cornstarch to give meats a light coating before frying. This coating is so light that you might not even notice it on your stir-fried meats, except that they have a flavorful brown crust. The main reason to coat meat in cornstarch is that you can add other flavors to it such as ground ginger or garlic powder, and because the cornstarch does not have a strong flavor of its own, the flavor of the seasoning shines through.
Thaw the cutlets and pat them dry with a clean towel. The cornstarch will stick better to dry meat.
Combine the 2 cups of cornstarch with salt and pepper to taste. Leave the cornstarch plain for a light crust, or add 2 tsp. of ground ginger, 3 tsp. of garlic powder, 1 tsp. of allspice, 2 tsp. of orange zest or 2 tsp. of lemon zest to the cornstarch and stir it in with a spoon.
Heat the oil to your desired temperature. Do this before you dredge the meat in the cornstarch because the cornstarch will get mushy and fall off in the oil as it fries if the meat sits too long in the uncooked coating.
Place the meat in the oil and fry it until it is finished cooking.
Serve the meat hot alone or over rice as part of a stir-fry.
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Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.