Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

TdeV

Beef for stir fry

Recommended Posts

TdeV   

What cut of beef do you use for stir fry? Do you use marinade to tendertize it? What's in the marinade?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lindag   

I'm no expert and I don't make a lot of stir fries but from what I've observed it seems many use flank steak.

I don't know about the marinades but here's one that I understand is good with flank:

 

  Beef Marinade

          1 cup soy sauce, low-sodium soy sauce     

  • 6 tablespoons sherry or cooking sherry

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced fresh

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kayb   

I've had good success using sirloin, cut thinly across the grain. I cut it when it's semi-frozen to achieve the thinnest cuts.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
liuzhou   
Posted (edited)

Chinese cuts don't correspond to American, French or British cuts, so it's difficult for me to say. In fact, Chinese cuts don't correspond with those of the the next butcher along. It all seems very random.

 

For stir fried dishes, which I make often, I tend to mainly select beef with a clearly visible grain. Certainly, sirloin works. Flank is known as skirt steak in the UK, but I've never used that for stir fries, so cannot comment.

 

Marinades tend to be used more for flavour rather than to tenderise. They usually consist of soy sauce and rice wine.

 

2 hours ago, lindag said:

Beef Marinade

          1 cup soy sauce, low-sodium soy sauce     

  • 6 tablespoons sherry or cooking sherry

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced fresh

 

That is a huge amount of marinade (and a humongous amount of sugar). You could do a whole cow with that! Ingredients for Chinese stir fries tend to be measured in teaspoons.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lindag   
3 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

 

 

That is a huge amount of marinade (and a humongous amount of sugar). You could do a whole cow with that! Ingredients for Chinese stir fries tend to be measured in teaspoons.

 

Yes, it is.  This is not my recipe but from a source I trust.

The majority of the marinade is saved ahead and later turned into a sauce (with the cornstarch) for the meat and veg.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hauled out Grace Young's Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge to see what she has to say about this subject.

 

"Marinades typically are made with cornstarch, rice wine, soy sauce, and sometimes oil, in addition to other seasonings such as salt, pepper, sugar, ginger, or garlic.  Marinades enhance flavour and tenderize meat and poultry (the moderate acidity of rice wine or dry sherry breaks down muscle fiber), and they promote the browning, even caramelizing of ingredients.  Regardless of the ability of marinades to tenderize, great care must always be taken to cut beef or chicken correctly across the grain, it will be tough, dry or chewy even after marinating.  Marinating beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and duck for stir fries can require as little as a few minutes, but in general 5 minutes should be allowed.  Marinades infuse bite-sized morsels quickly, whether cut as thing as a 1/4 inch thick slice or as thick as a 3/4 inch cube.  In fact, when a marinade made with soy sauce marinates for more than 45 minutes, the flavour of soy sauce can become overpowering, and the dish may become too salty."

 

I use sirloin, flank or tenderloin and am sure to cut across the grain.

Hope that helps.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alex   
2 hours ago, liuzhou said:

 Flank is known as skirt steak in the UK, but I've never used that for stir fries, so cannot comment.

 

Now, that's interesting. So what is US/Canada (I assume) skirt steak called in the UK?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A number of Grace Young's recipes call for flank steak.  I had a small piece of fillet in the freezer so I used it for my stir fry tonight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most stir-fry recipes for beef have always suggested using flank steak. Call me crazy, but in the past I cooked with flank steak, cut thin against the grain and it used to work well. But the last few years I've been unimpressed with what is being sold as flank steak. It doesn't have much flavor and it is tough. In my experience. As some have suggested above, marinating helps flavor but doesn't noticeably tenderize. I don't eat much beef, but on the rare occasions I crave beef for stir-fry, I now buy something a bit more pricy and marbled than flank with better results. Skirt steak has not impressed me either. It's a mystery whether the meat sold these days is poor quality or I just have become fussier.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sirloin is good. If I am feeling flush strip steak is particularly nice.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
liuzhou   

According to this site, the cut sold locally for stir fry is 'chuck tender'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FeChef   

I have come to the conclusion the cut is less important then what it used to tenderize it. And i don't want to hear bs  about using a very hot wok and  cooking briefly because i have nuked to hell leftover beef stir fry and that beef was still more tender then any thin sliced beef i have made stir fry out of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
FeChef   
21 hours ago, TdeV said:

OK @FeChef, what do you use to tenderize beef?

Good question. Let me know when someone actually tells you. Because "velveting" and all the other tenderizing methods ive found online don't come close to what the chinese restaurants are doing. Sure papain or w/e tenderizers out there work if you use enough of it, but at that point it ruins the taste and texture of the meat.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IEATRIO   
On 8/16/2017 at 2:33 PM, FeChef said:

Good question. Let me know when someone actually tells you. Because "velveting" and all the other tenderizing methods ive found online don't come close to what the chinese restaurants are doing. Sure papain or w/e tenderizers out there work if you use enough of it, but at that point it ruins the taste and texture of the meat.

 

I suspect that the missing step you are looking for is soaking the beef in baking soda and and "washing" it.  Try mixing the beef in a bowl with 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder and then add  1/4 cup of water, and leave it for 1 hour.  After the hour, you want to "wash" it by leaving the bowl under a faucet, and running a steady but light stream of water into the bowl for 5 minutes so that it dilutes the water, but does not agitate the surface of the meat.  Then drain the water, and toss the beef in 2 teaspoons of potato/tapioca starch (or whatever starch you like).  By the time you get your mise in place ready, the beef will be ready to cook however you would like it.  This will give you a soft, but not too soft, texture.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have recipes which incorporate baking soda and have used to success.   But I think those recipes had the meat marinating in soy sauce, etc with the baking soda.  Must try again.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FWIW, I've used small amounts of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) as a tenderizer/moisture retainer in some of my sausage making experiments.

 

iWo5m0o.png

 

Source: Handbook of Meat and Meat Processing By Y. H. Hui

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×