A great stir fry is quick and easy to make, versatile, and incredibly delicious. The ideal meal for any day of the week, stir-fry is usually super healthy and packed with valuable nutrients and vitamins too.
A dish you always want more of, the combination of flavors are endless. However, if you want to make the best stir fry, you simply have to include steak. Combining with the veggies perfectly, steak helps to elevate a stir fry, taking it to the next level.
You have to choose the right steak though!
With so many steak options to choose from, picking the right one can be tough, as can the meat. Luckily for you, I’m here to help.
In this post, I’ll be showing you the best steaks to use for a stir fry. If you want to make the best stir fry with the best tender steak, make sure you keep reading.
Let’s dive straight in!
I’ll start with flank steak. Flank steak is easily one of, if not the most popular steak to use in a stir fry.
A long and thin cut of steak, flank steaks are very lean. Compared to other steaks, they are often sold at lower prices because they are less desirable. These steaks are usually sliced across the grain and then seasoned before cooking.
If you buy them pre-sliced, ask your butcher to leave the fat cap on the steak. This will give you a more intense beef flavor that will go nicely in your stir fry.
One of the best things about flank steak is how easy it is to marinate. Taking to marinade well, I like to use soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and chili peppers. Use about 1 tablespoon per pound of steak.
Before cooking your steak, let it marinate for at least 30 minutes. Try not to overcook the steak and remove it when it reaches the texture you desire.
Skirt Steak is an excellent choice for a quick weeknight stir fry meal. Skirt steak is leaner than flank steak, making it perfect for cooking quickly and then serving immediately.
This steak is from the diaphragm muscles of the cow. It has a more robust flavor than flank and tastes wonderful when marinated before cooking.
Once marinated, you should cook your steak on high heat for just a short period of time. This will help keep the meat tender and trap in any juices. It is best to serve skirt steak rare to medium rare.
Rump steak is the second leanest cut from the cow. It comes from the rump area of the animal and is usually sold as steaks that are about 1/2 inch thick. It also happens to be the most flavor-packed, tender cut of beef from the round.
Because rump steak is very lean it doesn’t hold together well if overcooked. It tastes great when served rare, medium rare, or medium.
It will get tough if you cook it past medium. It can be grilled, pan-fried, broiled, roasted, sautéed, stir-fried, or even barbecued. I recommend searing it quickly over high heat before then cooking it a little longer over a lower temperature.
Also known as the porterhouse steak, sirloins are from the top portion of the rib eye and are very delicious. They are usually served medium rare but can be cooked well done if desired.
Sirloins are often paired with other cuts like rib eyes or strip steaks, making them an ideal choice for a romantic stir fry dinner.
An excellent thing about sirloin steak is that it is still relatively inexpensive too. Make sure you marinate this steak for at least 30 minutes to unlock more robust flavors.
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When it comes to picking and preparing the best steak, there are a couple of useful things you should know.
For starters, it’s always best to avoid pre-cut frozen stir fry packets from your local supermarket. Secondly, you should select and cut the beef yourself. After that, you should then place it in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.
Once it’s partially frozen, it’ll be easier to slice. When slicing, make sure you slice against the grain. This technique will help reduce the toughness of the meat.
You can then marinate your steak in whatever you like, before then searing, pan-frying, grilling, roasting, sautéeing, stir-frying, or even barbecuing it.
Velveting is a method of cooking meat that involves coating it in starch and other liquids to create a smooth surface. It is commonly used in Chinese cuisine.
Velveted meats are often served cold in salads or as an appetizer. They are also commonly used in stir-fries and soups.
Do some research about how this method works and introduce it into your preparation if you have particularly tough cuts of meat. If you need other ideas, these are the best ways to tenderize steak.
I promise you won’t regret it!
How To Cut It
If you decide to use flank steak in your stir fry you can buy it in packages and in some grocery stores. When it comes to preparing it, you have to get it right if you want the best texture and flavors.
You should start by removing the fat cap from the top of the meat.
Then, you can trim away any visible fat. After that, cut the meat across the grain into thin slices. You can either slice it thinly or cut it into cubes. For cubed flank steak, cut the meat into roughly 1/4″ cubes.
As I mentioned earlier, when cooking meat, it’s important to cut against the grain. When you cut along the long fibers of the muscle, you’ll be left with tough cuts.
If you cut across them, you will get tender pieces. Once cooked, the fibers shrink and become less visible.
When cooking a stir fry, start with a hot pan and quickly sear the beef. Don’t overcrowd the pan and keep the beef separated so that it doesn’t steam.
Brown the beef in a single layer across its surface. When the steaks are ready, move them aside and cook the vegetables until tender. Once the veggies are cooked, add the beef back into the pan and coat it in the sauce. Serve immediately.
There are plenty of recipes available online that are simple enough to make at home, yet still delicious and exciting enough to serve to guests. For example, many stir fries include beef, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, green onions, rice wine vinegar, and cornstarch.
To save time, you can buy pre-cut beef strips, which are already cut into bite-sized pieces. Once everything is prepared, you simply toss all the ingredients together and grill them until they’re cooked through.
If you notice any burning, you can cover the pan with aluminum foil to prevent further damage. Depending on the cut, don’t worry about overcooking your beef because the flavor will still come out after it’s finished grilling.
Making A Teriyaki Stir Fry
Teriyaki beef stir fry is a popular Chinese dish, made with a teriyaki beef marinade. It’s an easy weeknight dinner that takes just minutes to prepare. Better still, it’s a dish the whole family will love.
Teriyaki beef marinades are usually made with soy sauce, black pepper, and a sweetener like honey or brown sugar. If you don’t have any of these ingredients, you can substitute for something else.
For instance, you can use regular white wine vinegar instead of mirin or light brown sugar instead of dark. Try different combinations of spices until you find what works best for you.
The joy of stir-fries is that any vegetables you have on hand will work with a teriyaki stir fry. This includes veggies like red bell peppers which add a lovely color to the dish. Broccoli, snap peas, or even carrots can also be delicious.
Frozen vegetables are fine to use in this recipe, just remember to cut them into bite-sized pieces before cooking. Make sure you keep everything cooked at the same temperature too.
To get the best results, try to buy fresh beef whenever possible. The flavor will be much stronger.
If you don‘t have access to fresh meat, then frozen or canned beef will work just fine. Just throw all the ingredients together in a wok and fry at a high temperature.
There you have it, the best steak for stir fry. As you can see from this post, there are a plethora of options available when it comes to beef stir-fries. With the right cut of beef, cooked the right way you could be enjoying a delicious meal in no time at all.
All you need to do now is pick out the fresh, juicy steak you want to eat, and turn it into a beautiful, flavorful stir fry.
Need help with cleanup? Here’s how to clean your cast iron pan, or wok.