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Best Steak For Stir Fry

the best steaks for stir frying

Stir fries are a great! One of the quickest ways to get something on the dinner table after a long day of work. But what is the best steak for stir fry?

Don’t worry, you don’t need the most tender steak to have great results. Keep reading!

Flank Steak

Flank steaks are very lean cuts of beef that 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. You will get a higher quality product if you do this.

Marinating flank steak is an easy way to add flavor to the cut. Try using soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, chili peppers, or other seasonings. Use about 1 tablespoon per pound of steak.

Let the steak sit for 30 minutes before cooking. Try not to  overcook it and remove it when it reaches a medium texture. 

Skirt Steak

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.

It also works well when cooked rare because it retains its juiciness. Skirt steak should be cooked to medium rare, and it will still retain its flavor and texture.

Rump Steak 

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.

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.

Sirloin 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.

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Preparing Steak 

It’s always best to avoid  pre-cut frozen stir fry packets from your local supermarket. Select and cut the beef yourself, then place it in the freezer for at least 20 minutes.

Once it’s partially frozen, it’ll be easier to slice and make sure you slice against the grain. This technique will help reduce the toughness of the meat.

Tenderizing Beef

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 and  are also often used in stir fries and soups.

Best Steak For Stir Fry

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, then these are the best ways to tenderize steak.

How To Cut It 

If you are using flank steak in your stir fry you can buy it in packages and some grocery stores sell flank steak in bulk. To prepare it, you need to remove the fat cap from the top of the meat.

Then, trim away any visible fat. 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 we mentioned earlier, when cooking meat, it’s important to cut against the grain. When you cut along the long fibers of muscle, you will get tough cuts. If you cut across them, you will get tender pieces. Once cooked, the fibers shrink and become less visible. 


If 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. Place the beef aside and cook the vegetables until tender. Add the beef back in to the pan and coat it in the sauce. Serve immediately.

There are lots of recipes available online that are simple enough to make at home, but still delicious enough to serve guests. For example many stir fries include:  beef, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, green onions, rice wine vinegar, and corn starch.

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.

Teriyaki Stir Fry 

Teriyaki beef stir fry is a popular chinese dish and is made with a teriyaki beef marinade. It’s an easy weeknight dinner that takes just minutes to prepare.

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 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 terriaki stir fry such as  red bell peppers which add a lovely color to the dish. Broccoli, snap peas, or even carrots would 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 to keep everything cooked at the same temperature.

To get the best results, try to buy fresh beef whenever possible. The flavor will be much stronger when the meat is still alive.

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 on a high temeprature. 

In Summary

There are a plethora of options when it comes to beef stir fries and with the right cut of beef, cooked the right way you could be enjoying a delicious meal in super quick time.

Need help with cleanup? Here’s how to clean your cast iron pan, or wok.



Richard is the founder of SteakBuff. He manages the team of expert writers on the site and is a foodie who loves eating steaks

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