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.
How to tenderise beef strips for stir fry?
I only have one word of advice (four actually): use beef fillet instead.
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. Tickle your tastebuds pink!
Best beef for stir fry
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.
But even when using a different cut than those two, not all is lost. Simply flash fry the meat, just sear it even then remove from pan / wok. The meat continues cooking in its own heat and should remain soft. Cook your veges separately with the sauce and add to the meat without further cooking.
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.