The meat in beef chow mein doesn't look fatty or have white tissue on it unlike say front lamb chops. What part of the beef is it they use to get these clean cuts of meat and why do they use these instead of say more fattier cuts of meat?

  • 1
    Where are you? Who is they?
    – Johannes_B
    Jan 12, 2019 at 9:10

1 Answer 1


Chow mein is a Chinese dish of stir fried noodles. While popular throughout Chinese cuisine, I am guessing that you are referring to the dish found at Chinese restaurants throughout India, the UK, or the US. In these restaurants, a protein such as chicken, beef, or seafood is often added. Remember, these are high heat, fast-cooked dishes, most often cooked in a wok. So, the proteins must be cut small enough to cook quickly, and lean enough to result in a tasty and tender bite. There is not time to render fat or break down collagen when stir frying. So when considering beef, pork, or lamb specifically, cuts that lend themselves to quick cooking are chosen. For beef, I would say sirloin or flank are two good options. In the end, this ingredient choice is mostly about cooking method.

  • I believe minced lamb can be used in stir fry? however it contains white suet in it as well as fat. why do people use this then and wouldn't it mean the fat and collagen isn't being broken down properly? Jan 14, 2019 at 6:38
  • Mincing or grinding allows fat and collagen to be cooked more quickly (think hamburgers and sausages, for example.
    – moscafj
    Jan 14, 2019 at 13:29

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