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Old 10-21-2019, 12:53 PM   #1
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Stir Fry - Help!

I am an amateur cook who enjoys trying new recipes.

It seems as though, however, I am HOPELESS at any kind of beef stir fry.

Every time, without exception, no matter how thin I slice the beef or how hot I make the pan, instead of the beef becoming brown with slight bits of char, it ends up turning a brownish grey as it begins to 'boil' in its own juices as oppose to fry.

The latest effort was last night...I was making a beef stir fry that I found in a Whole 30 cookbook. I marinated 1 lb of thinly sliced skirt steak in 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 2 table spoons coconut amino and one tablespoon of sesame oil. I put 1 tablespoon of ghee into a very hot cast iron skillet and dropped the meat into it and quickly spread it around, per what the recipe called for.

Within minutes, the meat was nearly submerged by the juices of the melted fat from the steak and/or the marinade and was basically being boiled instead of frying. It was gross and I threw the whole thing away.

Same thing happens when I try to make Lomo Saltado.

Is there a secret of some sort on how to stir fry beef?

Help!

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Old 10-21-2019, 01:00 PM   #2
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Hi Robert. Welcome.

I think the problem is that you try to cook too much at one time. If you dump a large amount of cold or room temp meat into a pan, it cools down the pan and prevents the quickness's browning you are looking for.

First, heat the CI skillet very hot-5 minutes on a burner set on high. Then add your fat and a smaller amount of meat. Stir-fry that meat and remove it to a plate then repeat.

The combination of a super hot skillet and smaller amounts of meat will improve your chances of getting the result you want.

I use a carbon steel wok and have to cook stir-fry ingredients in batches then add them all back in to finish with the sauce.
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Old 10-21-2019, 01:33 PM   #3
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Robert, you will find a huge difference in your stir fry's if you "velvet" your beef or chicken.
"Velveting meat is a common practice in Chinese stir-fries: By marinating strips of meat with egg white and cornstarch, then dipping then in a hot oil bath before finally stir-frying them, the meat develops a texture that is tender, silky, and smooth." It can be done with water instead of oil.
Serious Eats does a great job of explaining this.


https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/07/...velveting.html
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Old 10-21-2019, 01:49 PM   #4
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Andy nailed it. You are adding too much meat at a time. Overcrowding the pan will always result in the pan contents without crowding the pan.
steaming rather than frying. This is true of vegetables added the pan as well. Follow Andy's advice.

Typically, in stir-fry dishes at Chinese restaurants, the meat is velveted. This cooking technique gives you very moist and tender meat. To velvet the meat, fill your pan with 2 inches of cooking oil. Make a marinade of rice vinegar, onion and garlic, Soy sauce, Chinese 5-spice powder, and cornstarch. Cut the meat be it poultry, beef, pork, or whatever meat you are using, into thin strips, and place in the marinade. Let sit for 15 minutes. When ready to cook the meat, heat the il over a low flame so that the oil is hot, but not hot enough to fry anything. It should be no more than 300 degrees F Put this meat into the marinade and let sit for 15 minutes. Heat the oil over a low flame. Remove the meat, a piece at a time, and place into the hot oil. It should not bubble. You are going to poach the meat strips in the hot oil. When the cornstarch from the marinade turns opaque, the meat is done. Remove it to a paper towel lined bowl, place multiple meat strips into the oil and poach the same way. Repeat until all of the meat is done.

Make the rest of your stir-fried veggies, and noodles, with whatever sauce you desire. When the veggies are cooked to your liking, add the meat back into the dish and remove from the heat.

Cooking the meat this way produces very tender, and silky smooth moth-feel on the meat. It is cooked just until done when the coating turns opaque. This method keeps you from over-cooking the meat, and making it tough or dry. The sauce from the veggies is usually some shade of brown and will color the meat.

I highly recommend this technique for stir fries, lo mien, chow mien, and any other Asian recipe that combines meat with veggies. I wish you success with your stir-fries.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the NOrth
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
Andy nailed it. You are adding too much meat at a time. Overcrowding the pan will always result in the pan contents without crowding the pan.
steaming rather than frying. This is true of vegetables added the pan as well. Follow Andy's advice.

Typically, in stir-fry dishes at Chinese restaurants, the meat is velveted. This cooking technique gives you very moist and tender meat. To velvet the meat, fill your pan with 2 inches of cooking oil. Make a marinade of rice vinegar, onion and garlic, Soy sauce, Chinese 5-spice powder, and cornstarch. Cut the meat be it poultry, beef, pork, or whatever meat you are using, into thin strips, and place in the marinade. Let sit for 15 minutes. When ready to cook the meat, heat the il over a low flame so that the oil is hot, but not hot enough to fry anything. It should be no more than 300 degrees F Put this meat into the marinade and let sit for 15 minutes. Heat the oil over a low flame. Remove the meat, a piece at a time, and place into the hot oil. It should not bubble. You are going to poach the meat strips in the hot oil. When the cornstarch from the marinade turns opaque, the meat is done. Remove it to a paper towel lined bowl, place multiple meat strips into the oil and poach the same way. Repeat until all of the meat is done.

Make the rest of your stir-fried veggies, and noodles, with whatever sauce you desire. When the veggies are cooked to your liking, add the meat back into the dish and remove from the heat.

Cooking the meat this way produces very tender, and silky smooth moth-feel on the meat. It is cooked just until done when the coating turns opaque. This method keeps you from over-cooking the meat, and making it tough or dry. The sauce from the veggies is usually some shade of brown and will color the meat.

I highly recommend this technique for stir fries, lo mien, chow mien, and any other Asian recipe that combines meat with veggies. I wish you success with your stir-fries.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the NOrth

Chief, you left out the egg white. The egg white is very important to get the result needed.

Please check out the link from Serious Eats.. https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/07/...velveting.html
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Old 10-22-2019, 05:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayelle View Post
Chief, you left out the egg white. The egg white is very important to get the result needed.

Please check out the link from Serious Eats.. https://www.seriouseats.com/2014/07/...velveting.html
I have used both the water, and oil blanching methods. I was never taught to use egg whites. My velveted meat was sill silky smooth, and tender.

People who taught me to velvet meat didn't us e egg white. Also, the marinade I use soy sauce, onion, garlic, rice vinegar, and 5-spice powder gives the meat a teriyaki flavor as well. I'll have to try using the egg white and see what kind of results I get.

I can understand the idea of cutting the meat a little thicker, and not cooking it through until it is added to the stir-fry veggies. That would prevent overcooking the meat. This is all food for thought, and gives me new ideas to work with. Thanks.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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