Cutting Flank steak against the grain

What does it mean to cut red flank steak meat against the grain?  It’s basically means you are cutting against the fiber muscles in order to get a tender piece of meat. You want to cut against the grain when you are preparing red meat for a stir fry and when you’ve cooked beef tenderloin or prime rib. You always want to cut against the fiber muscles so eating the meat will be tender. I remember years ago when I didn’t understand the this ” cutting against the grain,” technique and that would cause my stir-fry beef to be incredibly hard to chew and basically not edible to consume because it’s so hard to chew and digest it. You don’t want to waste money and time spent on purchasing and cooking a good piece of meat, only to find it hard to chew.  So hopefully my blog post here will help.

  • Place the flank steak on a cutting board vertical line straight up and down and study where the lines are going. The lines of the grain meat should be parallel. It’s good to run your finger cross those lines to get a good idea how it looks and feels.

    vertical lines straight up and down
    vertical lines straight up and down
  • Next turn the piece of steak horizontal line which faces left to right. You will see the line straight across and if you’re right handed you will be cutting from the right side first.
    Horizontal left to right parallel lines
    Horizontal left to right parallel lines

    Slice Thinly
    Slice Thinly
  • Taking a sharp chef’s knife you want to slice the meat at an angle about  1/2 inches thickness for a stir fry recipe. Personally, I always eye ball this measurement. You want the slices of meat to almost look like sashimi slices.img_4204
  • When the meat is cut right you see the flexibility of the steak and it is ready for a marinade to get it even more tender and flavorful for a stir fry.
Marinade the steak
Marinade the steak

A quick marinade for stir fry is…

1 tsp of cooking oil ( vegetable, canola etc)

3 slices of thinly cut ginger

1-2 tsp of fresh minced garlic ( I love garlic flavor so I put 2 tsp)

2 pinches of salt

2 pinches of white pepper ( black pepper is fine)

2 tsp of light soy sauce

1 tsp of dark soy sauce

1 tsp of sugar

1 tsp of sesame seed oil

2 tsp of Chinese cooking wine ( dry sherry)

1 tsp of starch powder

Mix it really well with your hands or with a fork and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes to an hour. I put it in for several hours before cooking time, because I like super deep flavors in my beef. You may adjust these measurements by more or less to suit your taste, because I eye ball all of these measurements.

What can you make with marinaded flank steak? Beef and Broccoli of course! You can also stir fry it with any vegetables of your choice. The skies the limit with this marinade flank steak.

 

Beef and Broccoli
Beef and Broccoli