Bistec Empanizado (Breaded Cubed Steak)

We got some Earth shaking news the other day.  News that gives me all kinds of conflicting feelings of excitement and dread.

We found out that we will soon be hearing the pittter patter of little feet.

Don’t get excited….it’s the sound of 28 – 32 little feet to be exact.

We found out that Girlie is expecting 7 – 8 puppies in 2 -3 weeks.  Know anyone that would like a lab puppy in the Tulsa Metro Area let me know.

Once that news sunk in I decided I needed some comfort food and I though some breaded fried meat would do the trick.

Bistec Empanadizado 550

Every country has it’s own version of certain dishes, in Puerto Rico we have our own version of chicken fried steak.  Bistec empanizado translate to breaded steak and it’s “delicioso”!   I hadn’t had “bistec empanizado” in years, I would dare say since I left Puerto Rico in 1999, crazy!   Holy cow….that’s ten years!  I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since I left PR.

The key to this “chicken fried steak” is that instead of using flour or bread crumbs for the breading you use ground soda crackers.  Ground soda crackers are a must, because you won’t get the same crispy crust with anything else, trust me, and it’s all about the crust.  Oh and don’t tell anyone that I like to dip my “bistec empanizado” in ketchup….it’s kind of embarrassing. 😀

Combine onion, garlic, juice, vinegar, Adobo and olive oil in bowl and whisk together.  Sprinkle the steaks with salt, place steaks in marinade giving them a good rub, marinate overnight.

Bistec Empanadizado

Place an entire sleeve of crackers into a food processor and pulse until finely ground.

Bistec Empanadizado
Bistec Empanadizado

Set up a dredging station, beaten eggs in one plate, cracker meal in another and your steaks.

Bistec Empanadizado

Dredge steak in beaten eggs and then cracker meal.

Bistec Empanadizado

Fry steak in hot oil at medium low heat.

Bistec Empanadizado

Fry until both sides are gold brown and the steak is well done.

Bistec Empanadizado

Drain steak in a paper towel lined plate,  you may also want to pat the top of the steak with a paper towel.

Bistec Empanadizado

Serve right away with a side of white rice and beans.  At least that is how I like mine.  If I had some yellow plantains I would have add those to my plate too.

Bistec Empanadizado 550

Now if you don’t mind I need to go and pick out some puppy names. 😀

Print Recipe

Bistec Empanizado (Breaded Cube Steak)

  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup lime or sour orange
  • 1 Tbs white vinegar
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 fresh garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 Tbs Adobo seasoning
  • 4 cube steaks
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 sleeve of unsalted or lightly salted soda crackers
  • Vegetable oil

Combine onion, garlic, juice, vinegar, Adobo and olive oil in bowl and whisk together.  Sprinkle the steaks with salt, place steaks in marinade giving them a good rub, marinate overnight.

Place crackers into a food processor and pulse until finely ground.  Put enough vegetable oil in a skillet to rise 1/4-inch up the sides of the pan and turn on the heat to medium low. Beat eggs in a shallow bowl, spread cracker meal in plate, dredge steak in eggs and then in cracker meal until completely coated on both sides.  Fry in skillet until steak is golden brown and well done.

Drain in paper towel lined plate and serve.


  1. mayda says

    I loved your recipes, tried it twice. Must admit didn’t have the crackers so I had to use the traditional bread crumbs and it was still delicious. My husband also dips his bistec in ketchup, lol.

  2. Eva Dones-Hardy says

    This sure brings back the good memories. My grandfather, Hector, owned a small meat market in Manati. He was well known for his empanadas. Him and my grandma will produce pounds and pounds of empanadas on a weekly basis. Often having a waiting list. Never tried adding lime or chopped onions to the recipe, but will sure give it a try.

  3. Minni Rivera says

    I haven’t had Chicken Fried Steak since before my mom passed away over 10 yrs. ago. This will be my 1st attempt at it. Wish me luck.

    • Nicole says

      Here’s my recipe if you’d like it?

      2 pounds beef, thinly sliced
      ½ cup olive oil
      2 tablespoons minced garlic
      dash dried oregano leaves
      1 tbsp adobo
      1 tsp salt
      2 large white onions, sliced in rings
      ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
      1 cup beef broth

      Put all ingredients in a gallon-size plastic bag and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight if possible.
      Cook in a heavy pot for about 30-40 or until tender.

  4. Leigh Anne says

    this looks So, So good! i cant wait to try it! and dont worry, i dip mine in ketchup too. the bf dips his in ranch of all things… sigh. 😉

  5. Millie Gonzalez says

    I love the rice & beans you featured with the bistec empanizado. When I was married, this was my husband’s favorite dish. I would have to cook it at least once a week. I did for 11 years. Then I tried to forget him and this dish. I divorced him and forgot about this dish, until now. I must admit it does look yummy enough to try again. Thanks for the memories.

    Ex-hubby is dead. Died of a heart-attack (from eating too many bistec empanizados) at 64.

  6. says

    That is a perfectly cooked chicken fried steak (or Bistec Empanadizado)! It has such a great golden color. I love weiner schnitzel, chicken friend steak, milanesa and now I guess Bistec Empanadizado too.

  7. says

    That meal takes me back to a happy place. I will definitely have to make it. Have you featured a piñon? I would love to make one but I think I need some guidance.


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