Bistec Empanizado, also known as breaded steak, is a popular Cuban dish consisting of a seasoned, thin steak (usually beef or chicken) marinated in a tangy marinade and covered in cracker meal. It is then fried until it turns golden brown.
The dish is generally accompanied by lime wedges, fries, green salad, onion rings, tostones, white rice and black or red beans. It typically has a crisp texture and is golden in color.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Traditionally, Bistec Empanizado is prepared using palomilla, which is top sirloin steak that is thinly sliced.
Bistec empanizado is a widely consumed dish in Cuba and several other countries in Latin America. It can easily be found on the menus of restaurants throughout the country.
- Top sirloin steaks (thinly sliced) - 4
- Salt - 1 tsp plus a little more for the breading
- Garlic powder - ½ tsp
- Black pepper - ¼ tsp
- Cumin - pinch
- Dried oregano - pinch
- Eggs - 2
- All-purpose flour - ½ cup
- Cracker meal - 1- 1 ½ cups
- Canola oil (for frying) - 1-1 ½ cups
- Lime wedges (for serving)
- Begin by doing the prep work. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting so you can place the fried steaks in it to keep them warm while you cook the other batch.
- Take a small bowl and add salt, garlic powder, black pepper, cumin and dried oregano to it. Combine all the ingredients well. Dust the freshly prepared seasoning on both sides of the steaks.
- The next step is to prepare a breading station. Take a large baking sheet or two large platters. Place the flour on one side and the cracker meal on the other. Add a little bit of salt to the flour and the cracker meal in order to season both the ingredients.
- Take a large bowl and add the eggs and a pinch of salt to it. Using a fork or whisk, scramble the eggs.
- It’s time to coat the steaks. Taking one steak at a time, gently cover both surfaces with the flour. Make sure to get rid of the excess.
- Now, immerse the steak in the egg mixture. Ensure it is evenly moist.
- Next, transfer the steak to the cracker meal. Make sure it is evenly covered with the cracker meal, and lightly get rid of the excess.
- Take a pan or plate and keep the steak on it; repeat with the rest of the pieces. If you’re piling the pieces, keep in mind to place some parchment paper in between so the coating does not stick to itself and flake off.
- It’s finally time to fry the steaks. Take a large, deep skillet and add enough oil to cover the bottom by about a ¼ to ½ an inch. Over medium-high heat, heat the oil.
- Fry one steak at a time for approximately 2 minutes on each side, or until it turns golden brown in colour. Remember to use tongs to flip so the breading doesn’t shed.
- Take the steak off the skillet and keep it on a baking sheet that’s lined with a cooling rack.
- Keep the baking sheet in the oven to help keep the steak warm, and repeat with the rest of the pieces.
- Serve with lime wedges.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1131Total Fat: 102gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 86gCholesterol: 172mgSodium: 377mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 29g