Everyone loves a good soft beef stir fry. Succulent, tender meat strips, fresh vegetables and a glossy, sticky sauce – fingerlicking good! Here’s my secret to getting it right every time without any additives!
Why are stir-fry beef strips tough?
Have you’ve ever bought pre-packed ‘beef strips for stir fry’ and wondered why the meat goes dry, tough and chewy?
It is because the cuts used are those that require long-slow cooking. I actually buy these for things like Beouf Bourguignon instead as they are a lot more economical. However, they turn out all dry and chewy when cooked in a stir-fry.
Always make sure you are cooking your stir-fries quickly over high heat. This will ensure that the meat doesn’t end up ‘sweating’ and stewing, making it tough.
How to tenderise meat strips for stir fry?
It’s simple and you will love just how effective tenderising actually is.
Using only 1 ingredient, this velveting method, helps tenderise the meat to juicy perfection. You can use it on beef stir fry strips or chicken breast for a tender, juicy and silky smooth meat every time. You know the kind you get from Chinese takeaways… yum!
Simply velvet the meat then quickly stir-fryfry, searing it then remove from pan / wok. The meat will continue to cook in its own heat and should remain soft. Cook your veges separately with the sauce and add to the meat without further cooking.
Best beef for stir fry
You can, of course, use beef fillet (tenderloin) instead because it is unvelievably tender, buttery and has a mild beef flavour. It’s probably my first choice when making a fancy stir fry.
It may seem like a more expensive option at over $40 a kilo, but a 250g fillet goes a long way if you add more vegetables to your dish. It will also come close to satisfying the recommended requirement of 5 servings of vegetables per day!
Best thing? The beef remains soft as butter.
Choose a beef fillet cut that’s marbled with some fat for an even more juicy and tender result. Note that grass-fed beef will have less marbling. Slice thinly (3mm thin) with a sharp knife and you’re ready to go.
If price is an issue, then I would use scotch fillet steaks as my second choice, sliced thinly again.
The secret to the most tender [teriyaki] beef stir fry
- 250 g beef fillet
- black pepper ground
- 1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari
- 1/4 cup honey or rice syrup
- 4-6 tablespoons macadamia oil or sesame oil or light olive oil for frying
- 1 Spanish onion cut into quarters
- 2 sprigs of spring onions chopped
- 300 g green beans cut in half // or snow peas if you prefer
- 10 small button mushrooms cut into quarters
- 4 cloves of garlic sliced thinly
- 4 slices of fresh ginger diced
- Slice beef fillet thinly, spread on the cutting board and season well with freshly ground black pepper.
- In a measuring jug mix soy sauce or tamari with honey or rice syrup.
- Heat oil in a wok (or a frypan) until just starting to smoke and fry beef slices in batches - only one layer should cover the pan at any time.
- The meat will only take about 10 seconds to brown on each side. Flip using tongs and brown the other side. Place the meat in a bowl, set aside and repeat with the remaining slices.
- Wipe down wok with paper towel. Add 1 tablespoon oil and return to heat.
- Add onion, spring onions and beans. Stir fry until onion has separated and starts to caramelise. Add mushrooms and stir fry for another couple of minutes. Add garlic and ginger. Stir to combine. Return beef to the wok, add soy sauce mixture. Stir fry until the sauce thickens slightly and blends in with the meat and vegetables.