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Weeknight Cooking

Dinner Tonight: Stir-Fried Beef and Bok Choy

The key to keeping the beef tender? Baking soda.
By Published Nov. 6, 2018

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How can I keep beef from becoming tough when I stir fry it?

It happens to the best of us: We slice steak super thin for a stir-fry supper only to have the meat emerge tough and chewy rather than tender. We eat it anyway, but we’re disappointed. 

There is a better way, and it’s simple: cornstarch and baking soda. Tossing your thinly sliced pieces of flank steak with these ingredients before cooking prevents the meat from seizing up and turning tough. Some folks call it “velveting” the meat, because the resulting dish is velvety soft.

Oyster sauce, which is easy to find in the Asian section of your grocery store, lends a deep savoriness to this recipe, enhancing the beefy flavors. Baby bok choy, with its vibrant freshness, adds a lively and beautiful green counterpoint.

Printable shopping list here: Stir-Fried Beef and Bok Choy.