Beef Stir Fry: What to Buy and How to Slice the Beef
What cut of beef to buy:
I usually look for Beef Flap Steak in Asian markets with a butcher’s case. In Cantonese it’s called “chow gno yook” which loosely translates to “stir-fry beef.” The steak is soft but it can be fibrous or coarse, so it’s important to slice across the grain.
If I don’t make my way to an Asian market, I usually look for Flat Iron Steak at supermarkets with a butcher’s case. If your butcher doesn’t have flat iron steaks in their case, order the day before. I was shocked to discover that sometimes the butchers use flat iron steaks to make ground beef, which makes great ground beef but what a waste of a fantastic steak. Flat iron steaks have a finer and more tender texture.
Both cuts of meat cost about $8 per pound. I personally prefer the taste and tenderness of flat iron steaks but beef flap meat is more traditional and much easier to stir fry with because it is much more forgiving of any variations in timing, such as overcooking.
How to slice the beef:
Use a paper towel to pat dry the meat and then discard paper towel. Regardless of which cut of meat you use, the strategies of slice beef for a stir fry are the same. I have a piece of beef flap meat pictured. Identify the grain and depending on the size and thickness of the meat, cut the meat along the grain into 3 to 4 strips, about 1 1/2 – 2 inches wide. Then cut the strips across the grain into thin slices (approximately 1/4 inch thick).
Then proceed with marinating the meat for your stir-fry beef recipe.
Now that you know how to slice beef for a stir fry try one of Nut Free Wok’s recipes such as Beef Chow Fun or Asparagus Beef Stir Fry.
Side note: Completely not related to food allergies, but I just couldn’t resist sharing a beef related video…Enjoy!
Video found on YouTube.