Making a perfect beef stir-fry is all about having the right ingredients.
You need to choose a good cut of beef so that after cooking, it is tender but still meaty and chewy enough to chew with other ingredients like veggies and noodles.
In this post, we are going to unravel the best cuts of beef for a stir-frying recipe so if you are planning to make an Asian stir-fry, nothing can stop you.
How to choose beef for stir-frying?
As already mentioned, the key to having a successful stir-fry is to choose the right cut of beef.
Stir-frying is a quick-cooking method, so you don’t want it to be chewy or tough just because the beef isn’t cooked yet.
So here are some tips to help you choose the right beef for stir-frying:
1. Look for a moderately tender to tender cut
A moderately tender to tender cut will be perfect for a stir-fry.
Normally, your beef stir-fry will take just about 10 to 15 minutes, so don’t buy a tough cut like chuck roast, brisket, or top round because these cuts often require a long cooking time and are best to be cooked in a liquid like in a soup or stew recipe.
However, a tender cut also means that it will be more expensive, so make sure to choose the right cut that is both tender and affordable.
2. Buy beef cut that has an intensely beefy flavor
Another thing to keep in mind when choosing beef for stir-frying is that the cut of beef should be packed with an intense beefy flavor.
This is unlike a baking or roasting recipe, where beef is often marinated with a dry rub of various spices or some kind of sauce and cooked for a long time so that all the flavors can penetrate into the meat.
Stir-frying is a quick method so you should have a good cut of meat that is already packed with the natural beefy flavor of this kind of red meat.
To have a strong flavor, the cut of beef often comes with some marbling fat.
3. Buy fresh beef
Always buy fresh beef instead of old beef that is left from yesterday.
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Frozen beef can work if it has a clear origin and you know how to properly thaw it.
The fresher the meat is, the better your beef stir-fry is.
Therefore, just look for a fresh cut of beef from a reputable butcher shop in your neighborhood.
4. Don’t slice too thin or too thick
Another key to having a good beef stir-fry is to slice the beef cut properly.
Do not slice your beef too thin or too thick.
Too thin slices of beef can easily get burnt, while too thick pieces are hard to cook and might end up chewy and tough.
It is recommended to slice your beef cut into about ⅓ inch thickness.
Best five cuts of beef for stir-frying
If you are wondering what cut of beef is best for stir-frying, here are our suggestions:
1. Flank steak
When it comes to beef stir-fry, people immediately think of flank steak.
This cut is taken from the abdominal section of the cattle.
Despite its name, flank steak is often thinly sliced for stir-frying recipes rather than being cooked as a real steak.
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It is lean, not too tough or tender, and is prized for its flavorful taste.
2. Top sirloin steak
You can also opt for the top sirloin steak for your next stir-fry.
It is considered a more tender part than the bottom sirloin.
Top sirloin is also flavorful, making it perfect for a quick-cooking method like stir-frying with other vegetables and sauces.
However, top sirloin steak is one of the most expensive cuts of beef, along with a filet mignon or ribeye, so it will be best if you can watch for sales from some famous supermarkets.
3. Strip steak
A strip steak is a cut of beef that comes from the short loin or sirloin.
It has an amazing flavor and will fill you up quickly.
A strip steak can be pan-seared, grilled, or sliced into thin pieces for stir-frying.
Strip steak is a favorite cut of many people because it has just a perfect marbling fat that is enough to make it more flavorful without being tough.
It is also more affordable compared to a nearby cut, beef tenderloin.
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4. Beef tenderloin
The last cut of beef that will work in your next stir-fry is beef tenderloin or known as beef fillet or filet mignon.
This is the leanest, most tender, and most expensive cut of beef.
Nobody can resist a dish that is made from beef tenderloin because of its sufficient flavorful taste, not too strong or mild, and its texture that can melt in your mouth.
You will never have to worry about overcooking this cut because it is gonna tender as it is.
The bottom line
In conclusion, flank beef has always been a top choice for stir-frying so far.
However, you can also choose between a top sirloin, strip steak, or beef tenderloin if these options are more available in your local butcher.
Eventually, there is no right answer since everyone has different preferences so make sure to experiment before deciding what cut of beef works best in your stir-fry.
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