|Beef & Broccoli|
Herein lies the secret to the tender meat you get from the restaurant or take-out place...surprise! It's because of one of the most versatile products you have in your home!
For more years than I care to mention, I've always wondered how the Chinese restaurant was able to take any cut of beef and give it that wonderful, melt-in-your-mouth slightly spongy texture. This was ONE tip I forgot to ask my college chum's sister (regretfully).
Anyway, I went to my best pal Google and simply typed my question..."how to get meat tender like Chinese restaurant," and I came up with several possibilities. I read about a technique called "velveting," which appears to be used for chicken and such and involves the use of cornstarch. I thought I may be set. However, I wanted to check out *other* possibilities. I happened, just out of pure luck, to find a message board where someone asked the exact question I did.
This was just a plain old message board, like back in the early internet days of BBS and Usenet...but there was my answer.
They talked about velveting, and one gal said that's what her mom uses for everything, but cornstarch is expensive and restaurants look to save money so they probably used baking soda primarily. She said especially if the meat has that slightly spongy texture. BINGO. And below is the marinade mixture she gave. And Eureka, it WORKS.
Beef & Broccoli
- 8 oz lean sirloin steak, sliced thinly (best if partially frozen)
- 2 cups fresh broccoli florets
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tbs oil
- Tenderizing Marinade:
- 2 tbs white wine or rice wine
- 4 tbs soy sauce
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- Stir Fry Sauce:
- 4 tbs soy sauce
- 2 tbs dry sherry or dry white wine
- 1 thin slice ginger, crushed
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
- 1 tsp ketchup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 2 tbs cornstarch
Mix tenderizing marinade. Pour in a zipper freezer bag and add the sliced sirloin. Seal bag and mush the beef around in the marinade so it's coating all the meat. Place bag in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Meanwhile, mix the stir fry sauce ingredients in a small dish and set aside. Mix the thickener ingredients in another small dish and set aside.
Remove meat from the bag, draining off marinade.
Heat a large wok or a large deep skillet over high heat. Add the oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add the garlic and the drained meat. Stir fry, stirring constantly, until meat is no longer pink. Add broccoli and stir fry for about 1 minute or until broccoli is bright green in color.
Add the stir fry sauce and stir in well. Bring sauce to a boil. Stir the thickener until no lumps are present and add to meat/broccoli mixture, stirring constantly until sauce begins to bubble. Cook for 1 minute. Serve immediately over rice.