Cooking Guide

5 Best Beef For Korean Stir-fries: What Beef Is Best For Korean-style Stir-fries?

Stir-fry is one of the most popular family dishes in Korea.

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It is quick, easy, and mouthwatering.

Beef is a favorite ingredient for Korean stir-fries, but to make this Asian delicacy at home, it is essential to know what cut of beef works best for Korean stir-fries.

This is what our article is going to delve into and help you know how to choose the best beef for your next Korean stir-fry recipe.

How to choose beef for Korean stir-fries?

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When it comes to Korean food, beef is one of the most popular ingredients.

So how do you choose beef for Korean stir-fries?

Here are some tips on choosing quality beef that will ensure you have a delicious meal:

1.     Look for a fresh cut of beef without any sign of spoilage

The first thing to consider when buying beef is freshness.

You want your meat to be as fresh as possible so that it has more flavor and cooks better.

To determine if the meat is fresh or not, look at its sell-by date and find out where it was made.

Moreover, the physical appearance of the meat can tell you about the quality of the cut of beef.

A fresh beef cut has a dark red color with a glowy look.

It is also soft and a bit sticky when touched.

Avoid beef cuts that have a weird odor or dark spots on the surface of the meat.

2.     Choose a cut with a tender texture

Another tip to choose beef for Korean stir-fries or other quick-cooking methods is that you should opt for a cut of beef that has a tender texture.

Normally, the more tender the beef is, the more expensive the cut is.

So if you cannot afford a very tender cut of beef like tenderloin, filet mignon, or ribeye steak, try other cuts that are moderately tender and slice them into thin pieces against the grain.

3.     A cut with a little more fat will be more flavorful

You can either choose a lean cut of beef or a well-marbled one.

It all depends on your personal preference.

While a lean cut is considered better for your health, a cut with more marbling fat is packed with more flavors.

5 best beef for Korean stir-fries

Here are the five best beef cuts that should be considered to be added to your shopping list for making Korean stir-fries:

1.     Ribeye steak

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Ribeye steak is the most commonly used cut of beef in Korean cuisine when it comes to making a stir-fry.

It is a well-marbled, flavorful, and tender cut that everyone would love to have in their kitchens.

Ribeye steak is very juicy and rich in flavor thanks to the generous amount of marbling fat.

Therefore, no wonder why this cut is so expensive on the market.

2.     Brisket

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Beef brisket is more well-known for being used to make corned beef or pastrami.

However, it can be greatly used for Korean stir-fry recipes.

This cut is often slow-cooked so that the connective tissue is broken down, but it can be quickly cooked if thinly sliced.

Beef brisket is more suitable if you want your Korean stir-fry to be richer and fattier.

3.     Flank steak

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Flank steak is a classic cut for many stir-frying recipes.

It is flavorful and lean, but not really tender.

However, when you slice this cut into thin pieces of meat and give it a pan sear, flank beef becomes juicy, tender, and very delicious.

4.     Top round beef

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You can also try a top round for Korean stir-fries.

This cut is relatively lean because the muscle here is used the most for work.

It can be very tender when thinly sliced.

Top round is also more affordable than most cuts of beef, that’s why it is favored by many people throughout the world.

5.     Beef tenderloin

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Beef tenderloin is ideal for any recipe, especially quick-cooking methods like Korean stir-fries.

This cut is the leanest and most tender cut of beef, so it is often sold at a higher price than the average beef cut.

Beef tenderloin is a desirable cut for any home cook, but not everyone can afford it.

Since it is quite lean, you would love to marinate thinly sliced beef tenderloin with some soy sauce or other Korean condiments to make it more flavorful and juicier when cooked. 

The bottom line

Choosing beef for Korean stir-fry dishes is not as difficult as you may think.

You can choose between a flank steak, tenderloin steak, top round, ribeye steak, or beef brisket for your Korean stir-fry recipe.

The key factor to having the best dish out of your kitchen is that the beef cut should be fresh, thinly sliced, and well marinated before being stir-fried.

Hopefully, you find this post helpful in helping you choose the right cut for your next Korean stir-fry dish that can wow your Asian friends.

Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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