Easy and Quick Chinese-Style Soft Beef Recipe

Easy and Quick Chinese-Style Soft Beef Recipe

Transform tough cuts of beef into tender, flavorful dishes with this simple Chinese technique. This recipe uses a special marinade to achieve restaurant-quality softness quickly. Learn how to make delicious, tender beef with ease.


  • 1 pound of beef (chuck, flank, or any tough cut)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of dry sherry or rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 20 milliliters of water
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

A plate of tender, juicy Chinese-style beef slices garnished with green onions, ready to be served


1. Prepare the Beef:

  1. Slice the Beef: Thinly slice the beef against the grain to break down tough fibers.
  2. Tenderize with Baking Soda: Mix the beef slices with baking soda until coated. Let sit for 15-20 minutes to break down fibers.
  3. Rinse and Dry: Rinse the beef thoroughly with cold water to remove baking soda, then pat dry with paper towels.

2. Marinate the Beef:

  1. Mix Marinade: In a bowl, combine soy sauce, rice wine, cornstarch, sugar, and water. Stir until cornstarch and sugar are dissolved.
  2. Marinate: Add beef slices to the marinade, ensuring they are well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to 2 hours for best results.

3. Cook the Beef:

  1. Heat Oil: Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat.
  2. Cook in Batches: Add marinated beef slices in a single layer without overcrowding. Cook for 2-3 minutes until browned and cooked through.
  3. Repeat: Remove the cooked beef and repeat with remaining slices.

Tips for Success:

  • Cut Against the Grain: Slicing against the grain helps tenderize the meat.
  • Marinate Well: The longer the beef marinates, the better the flavor and texture.
  • High Heat Cooking: Use high heat to quickly cook the beef, locking in flavors.

Health Benefits:

  • Protein-Rich: Beef provides essential proteins for muscle growth and repair.
  • Nutrient-Dense: Rich in iron and other vital nutrients.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving):

  • Protein: 23g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 2g

Variations and Substitutions:

  • Alternative Proteins: This technique works well with chicken, pork, or lamb.
  • Flavor Additions: Enhance the marinade with garlic, ginger, or other preferred spices.
  • Vegetarian Option: Marinate tofu or tempeh for a plant-based version.


Q: Can I use this method with any cut of beef? A: Yes, but it is especially useful for tougher cuts that benefit from tenderizing.

Q: Is there an alternative to baking soda? A: Yes, natural meat tenderizers like papaya or pineapple juice can be used.

Q: Can I marinate the beef overnight? A: Yes, marinating overnight enhances the flavors. Be sure to rinse off the baking soda after 20 minutes.

Q: How do I store leftovers? A: Store cooked beef in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days.

With this simple Chinese technique, you'll easily create tender, flavorful beef dishes. Just a few ingredients and steps transform tough beef into a delectable treat your family will love. Try this method next time you cook a stir-fry or any beef dish.

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