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Mar 29, 2014 07:44 AM

Flap steak at Asian market

So I never see this cut of beef anywhere. The other day I was at First Choice Supermarket (Kennedy and 407) and there it was in the meat counter. Cheap, too - like $4.49 lb. I bought two pieces, froze one and marinated the other for dinner last night. Turned out to be absolutely unchewable. Grilled to medium and thinly sliced across the grain, the meat was almost inedible. I often do flank steak that way and it's delicious, but this cut was ridiculous. Not sure if it was specifically the meat at this store but i won't be buying it again. This wouldn't have even be useable in a stir fry. I'll grind up the other steak for burgers. My dog was delighted with the leftovers, though.

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  1. To my knowledge, these cheap cuts are usually used by restaurants for inexpensive dishes like Beef Ho-Fun.
    They are often treated with meat tenderizers (papain), then dredged in corn starch and pan-fried.

    3 Replies
    1. re: happycamper

      I guess. Maybe. I was surprised at how tough it was so you'd have to cook it some very different way or use an enzymatic tenderizer. Live and learn.

      1. re: happycamper

        really? Ouch, I'll avoid those dishes.

        But it's so tender! We always thought it was tenderized with baking soda, we tried that but it's not the same quality as with the restaurant.

        1. re: happycamper

          At inexpensive Chinese fast food food servers, I gave up on any beef certain!y decades ago, taste and texture horrible, I'm sure still well worth avoiding today! Heavens knows what other tenderizers might be used!

        2. Not an expert on this but thin cut Flap steak is know as Bulogi in Korean Supermarkets (eg Galleria). Perhaps they could point you to a supplier.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Herne

            Still not an expert but here is a recipe including some tips to soften the meat


            1. re: Herne

              not an expert either but other bulgogi recipes i've seen usually contains kiwi/coke/pepsi/sprite of some sort. i'm assuming the citric/carbonic/phosphoric acids within any of these help denature/tenderize the tough meat.

          2. The flap I buy has never been that tough. Ive purchased from Costco and our local Publix supermarket.

            Also sometimes goes by the name sirloin tips

            1 Reply
            1. re: scubadoo97

              I love flap meat and it's never been tough. It has some chew to it but not tough.

            2. Never had tough flap but I always cook to med rare.

              I also only buy choice grade.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Tom34

                Choice = USDA grade. Is it preferable to Canadian beef, such as Canada AAA ?

                1. re: jayt90

                  I think the US & Canadian grading systems are so close with marbling scores it really doesn't matter. AAA = Choice. With other quality factors such as age, fat color & lean color the Canadian grading system is stricter.

              2. At this point this discussion probably belongs more on the home cooking forum. I assume that the meat I bought was just a poor grade of flap steak, if in fact it was flap at all. It certainly looks like it, but doesn't fit any of the descriptions I have read about the final product. I have bought meat from First Choice before, and it's always been at a really good price, but maybe will stay away from beef from now on.

                On the other hand, they sell big bags of chicken bones for $1 each if you want to make stock. And that is a real bargain.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Nyleve


                  Flap meat (185A Bottom Sirloin Flap) is not a tender cut but it is very flavorful. I would look for choice grade.

                  When cooking, final temp is critical. Well done and it will be downright tough. To rare it will be gummy & tough. Med rare (fully cooked but still red) is where you want to be absent tenderizers.

                  I season with salt, pep & garlic powder & let sit over night in the frig.

                  I quickly sear over lump charcoal, then slice across the grain into 3/4 inch slices, then quickly sear each side of the slices over screaming lump and pull.

                  1. re: Tom34

                    Yeah I do get this. Trust me, the meat was very very tough, even cooked to medium rare - most of the piece was med rare, some of it was medium and the thinnest bit was just a little bit more. But ALL of it was tough.

                    1. re: Nyleve

                      I think you got yourself a piece of low grade meat.

                      When you cook the one you froze you could hit it with a Jaccard ($20-$30 handy gadget) and use a tenderizer like Adolf's. I often use one on top round London Broils.

                      1. re: Tom34

                        I'm just going to turn it into hamburger. Problem solved.

                        1. re: Nyleve

                          Lot of folks add flap to burger to bump up the flavor.