A ripe papaya cut in half
Papaya Is Your Key For Tenderizing Steak
Tenderizing beef is easy with a marinade, perhaps with some acidic lemon. Papaya is another fruit that can create tender steak, in this case using an enzyme called papain.
Papain is a protease, which means it breaks down tough proteins into smaller components. The enzyme tenderizes meat without changing or compromising the flavor.
To make a marinade, wash and peel a fresh papaya, then cut it lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cube the flesh, blend it into a paste with water, and use it to coat your steak.
One tablespoon of paste per pound of steak is a good rule of thumb. Once the steak is covered, put it in the fridge and leave it for about two hours if the meat is very tough.
If the meat is thinner or more tender, leave it for just 30 minutes to an hour. The goal is for the papain to work its charm without overdoing it and turning your steak into mush.
Finally, wash off the papaya paste, making sure to handle the raw meat safely. Pat the meat dry using a paper towel, flavor it as you wish, and cook it to tender perfection.