How do you get tender beef in Chinese dishes?
As the other posters mentioned using baking soda and letting the meat marinade for 20 min will give you the best result. Also, by adding some water to your marinade will help tenderize the meat. Beef specially will absorb more water once its cut.
Most Chinese restaurants flash fry their meats and veggies before stir-frying for the second time. You may want to add more oil to your hot wok or pan when youre cooking it and dump the oil out after the meat is cooked.
re: Pizza Lover
Depends on the amount of beef is being used. For 1 lb of meat, I would use 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 3 tablespoon of water, 2 Tablespoon of oil, 1 Tablespoon of soy, 1 T of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of oyster sauce. Marinate the the meat for at least 30 min.
I found this idea on a Chinese food board, I forget where. The poster said it was standard procedure.
Cut the meat in strips, rub in baking soda, let it sit, put it in a colander and rinse well. The traditional way is to give it a "water massage" by putting it under a slowly running tap for several hours. The meat gets gray, but cooks well and is very tender.
With chicken, I have used the technique of "velveting" that Barbara Tropp describes in her tome on Chinese cooking. Cube chicken; marinate it in a mix of beaten egg whites, cornstarch, and Chinese rice wine; gently parboil the cubed chicken; finally finish cooking the chicken in whatever sauce you are using.
Parboiling the marinated chicken apparently seals the juices in because the cornstarch and eggwhite harden into an imperceptibly thin film. The taste and texture are hard to believe -- moist and almost bouncy. The first couple of times I tried it, I was concerened that the finished chicken was raw because it was juicier than any cooked chicken I had ever tasted.
I have never tried velveting beef, pork, or seafood. My hunch is that it would work very well for shrimp and scallop. I haven't cooked enough with beef or pork to guess whether velveting would work.
As the other poster have started MSG and baking soda will soften the meat. But not everyone can take MSD and I can taste baking soda if left on the meat too long.
If you make sure the meat is accross the grain straight down with no angle at all this will help. Also keep it thin.
Also the marinade you can use to help it be tender with out affectting the taste is
Let stand for at least 30 minutes.
Also it has cook quickly over high heat. If your cook top can not give you high heat, you may have cook in batches.