Melt in Your Mouth Beef

Let’s face it, if you buy an expensive cut of steak, you wouldn’t use it for a stir-fry. So what is the secret to that melt-in-your-mouth beef that won’t cost you a fortune? Well, there are a number of ways to tenderise meat, you can soak in a brine, use a salt and spice rub and air it out in the fridge, or simply massage it with bi-carb soda. For a stir-fry I prefer using bi-carb soda. For a roast, I normally choose soaking in brine.

Using bi-carb soda or baking soda to tenderise meat works differently than using a salt brine. Baking soda neutralizes acid and raises the pH level on the surface of the meat, causing the outside of the meat to become more basic. This chemical reaction makes it more difficult for the proteins inside the meat to tense up, and when proteins can’t bond together, the meat stays tender when cooked instead of toughening up.

Also, this method is the fastest method to tenderise meat, so it’s perfect for a stir-fry.

I will talk about brining and how the process makes meat more tender on a different post, with a recipe for a brine and a roast. But basically, the salt breaks down the protein bonds and transforms into a string of amino acid that then links with water. Therefore keeping the meat from drying out.

Today’s recipe is my version of a Filipino dish I loved ordering from a once popular Japanese joint in Makati, Philippines. This was probably more than a decade ago, and I’m not even sure if they still exist. It’s rich in flavour because of the roasted garlic, vincotto and Worcestershire sauce. Now, don’t fret it you don’t have vincotto, you may use a mix of honey and balsamic vinegar. It is not exactly the same, but you get a similar outcome for this recipe.

If you want to try and make this with vincotto, you can find it in specialty food shop and gourmet shops. In Australia, you can shop at Simon Johnson or Maggie Beer.

I can’t wait for you to try and make this, it’s quick, easy and so delicious! Tag me on Instagram and Facebook or use #mrsfancypantsrecipes to connect!

Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy

Garlicky Beef Stir-Fry

Serves 3

This is my version of a Filipino dish called Beef Salpicao


0/9 Ingredients


0/6 Instructions
  • Tenderise the meat by sprinkling bi-carb soda and massaging it evenly. Leave in the fridge for 15-20 minutes then wash off completely with cold water. Drain.
  • Mix the roasted garlic and beef with your hands until the garlic is mashed.
  • Mix the olive oil, vincotto, worcestershire and chopped thyme in a medium bowl. Then add the beef to the liquid and mix through.
  • Melt the butter in a wide saute pan over med-high heat. Pan should fit the beef cubes in one layer.
  • When butter starts bubbling, place the beef in, trying not to get too much of the liquid. Reserve liquid. Cover with a lid and cook for 2 minutes.
  • After 2 minutes, open the lid and add the rest of the liquid. Bring to the boil to thicken sauce to desired consistency then turn heat off and serve immediately with steamed rice.


  1. If you don't have vincotto or vino cotto, you can substitute 1 tbsp honey and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar.
  2. If you don't have fresh thyme, use 1/2 the amount of dried herbs.