Pieces of beef with broccoli and rice on a plate with chopsticks
Food - Drink
The Secret To Get Super Tender, Chinese Restaurant-Style Beef
The thin slices of beef at Chinese restaurants are often amazingly tender, and can be recreated using a few methods. Many restaurants use a combo of baking soda and water.
The thinly-sliced meat marinates for an hour or two in a mix of baking soda, water, soy sauce, and sesame oil, tenderizing it. Cornstarch can also be used instead of baking soda.
Another option is to marinate the beef for a longer period of time in a soy-based marinade. Chinese restaurants typically use flank steak, an affordable cut with great flavor.
The steak should be cut thinly against the grain. Each slice should be about one-eighth of an inch thick, since thinner slices have more surface area for the marinade.
To identify the grain of the beef, look for the long lines of vertical fibers in the muscle, then cut your slices perpendicular to these lines for tender meat that's not chewy.