These days many players try to receive these with their backhands, often using a backhand banana flip. And there's nothing wrong with doing that. However, you'll run into problems if you can't also flip return these with your forehand – an opponent might use the same motion and either serve short to the forehand or long to the backhand, and unless you have world-class feet, you aren't going to be covering both with your backhand. So learn to return these shots with your forehand as well, with flips and pushes.
The key is stepping in properly. For right-handers, that means stepping in with the right foot as far in as needed. Balance is key, so keep your left arm out in the opposite direction, like a fencer doing an "en garde."
But you can't really learn this just by doing it when it's needed; you need to systematically practice it. This means:
- Shadow practicing the shot until it's second nature. Perhaps even put a mark on the floor under the table where the right foot should go, and another where it should be in your regular stance, and then move back and forth, while also shadow-stroking a flip or push when you step in.
- Practicing it with a partner or coach. Have him serve short to your forehand, or you serve short and he drops it short there, and then you can step in to practice the shot. Even better, do it with multiball, where the coach/practice partner alternates one ball short to the forehand (usually backspin or no-spin), another somewhere else (either random, or perhaps long to the backhand).
- Then do it in game situations. Perhaps play games where both players have to serve short to the forehand, so both get practice on this.
Once you have confidence in receiving short balls with the forehand, you can do so either forehand or backhand, depending on the situation. And if you have a good forehand, you'll find that you might even want to receive with the forehand sometimes against short balls to the middle or even backhand, as it puts you in perfect position to follow with a big forehand!