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A large thin steak that coated in cracker meal and fried until golden. Served on a large platter with rice, beans and lime wedges.

Bistec Empanizado (Breaded Steak)

Bistec Empanizado (breaded steak) is a thin steak that’s seasoned, coated in cracker meal and fried until it is golden brown. It’s a traditional, and very popular, Cuban dish.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Cuban
Keyword breaded steak
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 439kcal


  • pounds Thin Sliced Top Sirloin Steaks 3-4 steaks
  • 1 teaspoon Salt plus a few pinches for the breading
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Pinch of Cumin
  • Pinch of Dried Oregano
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1- 1½ cups Cracker Meal
  • Canola Oil for frying about 1-1½ cups
  • Lime Wedges for serving


Prep Work

  • Preheat the oven to warm, or to its lowest setting to keep the fried steaks warm while you cook the second (thirbatch.
  • Combine the salt, garlic powder, black pepper, cumin and dried oregano in a small bowl. Stir well to combine. Sprinkle the prepared seasoning on both sides of the steaks.

Prepare a Breading Station

  • Use a large baking sheet or two large platters; add the flour to one side and the cracker meal to the other. Season the flour and cracker meal with a couple of pinches of salt.
  • Add the eggs and a pinch of salt to a large bowl and scramble using a fork or whisk.

Coat the steaks

  • Working with one steak at a time, lightly coat it on both sides with the flour, shake off the excess.
  • Next, dip the steak in the egg mixture; make sure it’s evenly moist.
  • Now, place the steak in the cracker meal, make sure there is an even coating and gently shake off the excess.
  • Place the steak on a pan or plate and repeat with the remaining pieces. If you’re stacking the steaks, use a piece of parchment paper in between so the coating does not stick to itself and flake off.

Fry the steaks

  • Add enough oil to a large, deep skillet to cover the bottom by about a ¼ to ½ an inch. Heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  • Fry one bistec empanizado at a time for about 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown on both sides. Use tongs to turn so the breading doesn’t flake off.
  • Remove the steak from the skillet and place it on a baking sheet that’s lined with a cooling rack.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven to keep warm and repeat with the remaining pieces.
  • Serve the bistec empanizado with lime wedges.



Make sure the oil is hot before adding a steak. I like to use a small test piece to make sure the oil is hot enough. If the oil starts bubbling and makes a sizzle sound, it’s ready to go.
Also, be sure the oil is not too hot. The coating will brown too quickly and the steak will not cook all the way through.
If the steak is browning too quickly, lower the heat a little bit and turn the steak frequently to brown evenly on both sides.
It may be necessary to lower the heat a bit for the second or third batch. Just keep an eye on it, and adjust the heat as needed.


Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 42g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 186mg | Sodium: 809mg | Potassium: 625mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 120IU | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 4mg