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Flap steak at Asian market

Nyleve Mar 29, 2014 07:44 AM

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. happycamper RE: Nyleve Mar 29, 2014 10:04 AM

    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
      Nyleve RE: happycamper Mar 29, 2014 10:45 AM

      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
        flonie RE: happycamper Mar 29, 2014 10:54 AM

        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
          Jar RE: happycamper Mar 29, 2014 12:35 PM

          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. h
          Herne RE: Nyleve Mar 29, 2014 10:43 AM

          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
            Herne RE: Herne Mar 29, 2014 11:19 AM

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


            1. re: Herne
              blitz RE: Herne Mar 29, 2014 09:52 PM

              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. scubadoo97 RE: Nyleve Mar 29, 2014 11:31 AM

            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
              fldhkybnva RE: scubadoo97 Mar 30, 2014 11:23 AM

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

            2. t
              Tom34 RE: Nyleve Mar 29, 2014 12:41 PM

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

              I also only buy choice grade.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Tom34
                jayt90 RE: Tom34 Apr 7, 2014 02:50 PM

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

                1. re: jayt90
                  Tom34 RE: jayt90 Apr 8, 2014 05:36 AM

                  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. n
                Nyleve RE: Nyleve Mar 30, 2014 08:18 AM

                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
                  Tom34 RE: Nyleve Mar 30, 2014 08:53 AM


                  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
                    Nyleve RE: Tom34 Mar 30, 2014 09:24 AM

                    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
                      Tom34 RE: Nyleve Mar 30, 2014 10:55 AM

                      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
                        Nyleve RE: Tom34 Mar 30, 2014 05:37 PM

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

                        1. re: Nyleve
                          Tom34 RE: Nyleve Mar 30, 2014 06:35 PM

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

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